Chapter Five: Annexure
The basic objective of the Right to Information Act, 2009 is to empower the citizens by promoting transparency and accountability in the activities of the public, autonomous and constitutional organizations and other private organizations, constituted or run by the government or foreign financing with the definitive aim of decreasing corruption and establishing good governance in our democratic society in its real essence. An informed citizenry will be better equipped to keep necessary vigil over the instruments of government and make the government more accountable to the governed. The RTI Act has created a practical regime through which the citizens of the country may have access to information under the control of public and other authorities.
Powers and Functions of Information Commission
The IC (Information Commission) enforces and oversees the Right to Information Act, 2009 and the rules and regulations made under the Act. The main functions of IC are educating and influencing (promoting good practice and give information and advice), resolving problems (IC resolves eligible complaints from people who think their rights have been violated) and enforcing (using legal sanctions against those who ignore or refuse to accept their obligations).
As part of the IC's work, Information Commission can help the public to access information from any public body or other authorities as defined in the Act and to find out information as per their requirement/demand.
The Functions of the Information Commission shall be as follows -
- Issue directives for the preservation, management, publication, publicity of and access to information by authority;
- Prescribe the procedure for applying for information from the authority and, as the case may be, to fix appropriate price of information;
- Formulate guidelines and directives as to the preservation and implementation of the Right to Information of the citizens;
- Consider the provisions recognized under the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh or any other law for the time being in force, in order to preserve the right to information and make recommendations to the Government for their effective implementation by indicating the obstructions;
- Identify the impediments against the preservation and implementation of right to information of the citizens and make recommendations to the Government for developing appropriate solutions;
- Conduct research on the agreements relating to the right to information and other international instruments and to recommend to the Government for their implementation;
- Examine the similarities of the prevailing law, relating to the maintenance and implementation of the right to information of the citizens and make necessary recommendations, as the case may be, to the appropriate authority in order to ensure their harmonization with the international instruments;
- Advise the Government to ratify or sign any international instrument on right to information;
- Conduct research on preservation and implementation of the right to information and to assist the educational and professional institutions for conducting such research;
- Generate and increase awareness about the right to information amongst different sections of society through dissemination and publication of information and other methods;
- Advise and provide assistance to the Government in order to make necessary laws and administrative directives for preservation and implementation of the right to information;
- Provide necessary advice and support to organizations and institutions working on right to information and the civil society;
- Increase public awareness on right to information by conducting research, seminars, symposiums, workshops and other similar measures and disseminate the result obtained from the research;
- Give the authority technical and other assistance with a view to ensure right to information;
- Establish a web portal for Bangladesh to ensure right to information;
- Oversee the actions taken under any other law relating to the preservation and implementation of the right to information.