•      Thu Mar 30 2023

Public servants denying information face action

Kathmandu, Feb 1: The National Information Commission (NIC) has taken action against four chiefs of public offices, reasoning that they denied providing information as per request.

The annual report of the NIC, 2078/79 released recently mentioned the details on it.

Those punished by NIC are Executive Director and Chief of Pashupati Area Development Trust, Ghanashyam Khatiwada; Chief Administrative Officer at Dharan Sub-Metropolitan Office, Laxmi Prasad Poudel; Chief of Rajput Municipality Office of Rautahat, Baiju Thakur and Chief of Padmankanya Multiple Campus, Kathmandu, Dhan Prasad Pandit.

They were taken action as per Section 32 of RTI Act, 2064, according to Information Commissioner Kamala Oli Thapa.

The information deniers were fined from Rs 1,000 to Rs 25,000 because they rejected sharing information to the information requestors despite logical demand. In addition to the fine, they were written for departmental action in the concerned body.

As per action, Khatiwada and Pandit were fined Rs 15,000 each; while Poudel and Thakur Rs 10,000 each, Information Commissioner Thapa added.

Similarly, among 1,083 appeals made in the fiscal year, 2078/79, most of them (99.4 percent) were settled. Chief Information Commissioner Mahendra Man Gurung informed the media.

He added, “Among the appeals, 75.5 percent are related to local levels.” Similarly, those in second are related to bank and financial institutions (10.3 percent), third are related to health and sports (3.87 percent). The least appeals were related to law and judicial administration, 1.01 percent.

The annual report has further stated that the complaints were filed on the issues relating to information and communications, corporation and authority, drinking water, electricity, construction and transport, land, survey and revenue office, forest and agriculture, administration and non-government organizations.

In the fiscal year, the quasi judicial body, NIC issued eight orders to various bodies. The NIC also prepared the draft of the whistleblowers’ protection regulation last year.