Awareness on Access to Information Law (ATI Law) indeed promotes culture of demand for information from public bodies which consequently will result in further transparency and accountability and limit corruption in the state institutions. Therefore, on December 25, 2016, Oversight Commission on Access to Information (OCAI) organized an awareness program at the press hall of State Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs.
The session which was held to introduce and elaborate Access to Information Law and access to information right, was attended by nearly 150 officials including the Minister of State for Parliamentary affairs, deputy ministers, board members, the spokesman, heads of various departments and other staff both men and women of the aforementioned ministry.
In the beginning of the program, Ghulam Farahi, State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs delivered a short speech on main activities and tasks conducted by the ministry and as well as the facilities created on providing information to the public and promised to further cooperate in this regard. He further added: I believe in freedom of expression, mass media and access to information. OCAI’s recent activities and endeavors on promoting culture of access to information which is a basic right of human being, is admirable and today’s program is a prominent sample of that. To factually fight corruption and to foster culture of accountability and transparency, ATI Law needs to be implemented.
Then Mr. Fahim Dashti, OCAI’s commissioner gave his speech on significance of providing information and expressed that access to information is not exclusively limited to anyone or anything. And OCAI is responsible to stand and take certain actions when the process of access to information is restricted. As a matter of fact, culture of access to information is mostly limited in the despotic and fascistic governments while states indeed owe the information to the public where they get their legitimacy and sovereignty from.
Afterward, Mr. Noor Wali Khan Noor, a member of Oversight Commission on Access to Information delivered his speech on duties and responsibilities of state institutions in the democratic communities where states provide the information to the public without any pre-specified conditions and terms.
Subsequently, Walliullah Mesbah, public outreach specialist of the aforementioned commission elaborated the entire articles of Access to Information Law via an exhaustive presentation.
At the end, Noor Walikhan Noor and Waliullah Mesbah, answered to the questions raised by the participants under the light of the Access to Information Law and considered their opinions and suggestions in regard to further promote culture of ATI across the country.