Following the previous public awareness sessions, Oversight Commission on Access to Information (OCAI) organized an awareness program for the officials of the Ministry of Counter Narcotics after a separate meeting with the minister of aforementioned ministry, Ms. Salamat Azimi in her office on March 28, 2017. Mr. Ata Mohammad Yari, OCAI’s commission along with Capacity Building Specialist of OCAI, Mr. Abdullah Afghani held the meeting with Ms. Azimi in which they talked on establishment of a separate office for public information officer (PIO) to facilitate providing information to the public. Ms. Azimi, pledged to take certain measures in the near future and further declared to follow Access to Information Law and exercise it within the Minister of Counter Narcotics.
After the meeting, the awareness session on Access to Information Law was formally inaugurated by the minister, Ms. Salamat Azimi, attending around 70 officials including board management, heads of various departments in the conference hall of the mentioned ministry. The Minister of Counter Narcotics stated: it’s a very fortunate that Afghanistan is progressing towards globalization and living up to the international standards. Ministry of Counter Narcotics, as a state institution, is highly welcoming any measures committed to fight corruption and foster transparency to the public and believes that access to information is a fruitful initiative to promote such culture in the country.
Then, Ata Mohammad Yari, OCAI’s commissioner delivered his speech covering the legal basis of access to information within domestic and international laws and underlined: based on three elements (Need, Effectiveness and legality) a right is created , as you are aware that Access to Information Law, came into force almost two years ago, and undoubtedly, all laws and regulations deliver rights and responsibilities and it’s the citizens’ duty to be well aware of their rights and responsibilities towards the laws.
At the end, Mr. Waliullah Misbah, Public Outreach Specialist, Mr. Sayed Abdullah Afghani, Capacity Building Specialist of OCAI delivered a comprehensive presentation illustrating articles of Access to Information Law (ATI Law) with a couple of live examples of leading countries on access information as well as covering questions raised by the attendees.