Feb 23, 2017

Media Ministry not serious about RTI Act

The RTI desk at 'Sri Lanka Mirror' that tracks developments in implementing of the RTI Act came across total ignorance about the RTI Act in the public sector, with no contacts given for Information Officers appointed under the RTI Act.

The list of Information Officers made officially public in the rti.gov.lk website under the Ministry of Media and Parliamentary Affairs, does not have the list in Sinhala and Tamil languages though both languages are "Official Languages" in this country.The list also does not provide fax numbers and e-mail addresses for the public to request information although the RTI Act provides for requests to be made via e-mail and or fax.

An officer at the Media Ministry when contacted said they are still updating the website. When told, contacts of Information Officers was a key information the ministry should have obtained when names of Information Officers were gathered, the officer said it was not she who is in charge of "that work".

When an Information Officer in a different ministry was contacted over phone to ask how people could send their RTI requests for information, the Personal Assistance of the Deputy Director General who is now one of the many Information Officers in the ministry, did not even know her boss was one of the Information Officers in the ministry.