BSS-07 New CIC for action plan to make ultra-poor aware of RTI





New CIC for action plan to make ultra-poor aware of RTI

DHAKA, Jan 26, 2018 (BSS) – Newly appointed Chief Information Commissioner
(CIC) Martuza Ahmed is strongly considering formulation of an action plan for
making ultra-poor people more aware of the benefits of the Right to
Information (RTI) Act 2009.

“The ultra-poor people, however, are still not much aware of the use and
benefit of the Act,” he told BSS in an interview recently. Martuza was an
experienced bureaucrat who was also information secretary for five years. He
joined the Commission on January 18, 2018.

Earlier, the present government, under the leadership of Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina, passed the RTI Act for ensuring free flow of information and
people’s right to information. Using the Act, people including journalists
are getting access to necessary information those were rarely available to
public before.

Giving a brief on the action plan, the Chief Information Commissioner said
the action plan will be prepared in line with the seventh five-year plan with
short-, mid- and long-term goals.

“The major focus of the plan will be making the country’s extreme-poor
people aware of the RTI Act so that they can use the Act in establishing
their rights”, he said.

Martuza said the country needs to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) for attaining the government’s Vision 2021 and Vision 2041 with
getting the status of middle-income country by 2021 and a developed one by

However, he said, extreme poverty should be eliminated to achieve the SDGs
and mass awareness about the RTI Act would help people come out of the
poverty cycle.

Established in 2010, the Information Commission is playing a vital role in
implementing the RTI Act through various activities, including organising
training and public awareness programmes.

According to commission officials, a total of 33,554 people, including
government officials, law enforcers, teachers and journalists, have already
participated in the training and awareness building programmes. The training
programmes were held at 64 districts and 293 upazilas while the public
awareness programmes were arranged at 64 districts and 287 upazilas.

Since 2010, a total of 2,187 complaints were lodged with the Commission.
About 2,105 complaints were disposed of while 82 remained pending for