Bangladeshi Commissioner Supports Wider Coverage

4 August 2010

Bangladesh’s Chief Information Commissioner, Muhammad Zamir, has called for extending the 2009 Right to Know Act to cover all corporations.

“Most of the corporate companies and giant financial institutions in the country remain out of the jurisdiction of the act. But people have the right to know about their activities and financial dealings. So the act should be reviewed to bring those under the act,” said Zamir, according to a July 21, 2010, report in The Daily Star about a speech he gave at the launch of the website www.blast.org.bd.

Zamir elaborated in an interview that appeared in the July 22, 2010, New Age newspaper, which wrote:

“Necessary measures need to be taken to bring the multinational corporations and corporate offices within the purview of the Right to Information Act. This will expand the accountability and the transparency of these organisations,” Zamir, also a retried bureaucrat, said in an interview with New Age at his office on Sunday.
   Besides the government offices and non-governmental organisations, all other institutions should also be made accountable to the public since they have their stake there, he added.
   The existing RTI law, which came into effect fully in July 2009, covers any organisation constituted in accordance with the constitution, ministries, divisions, other government offices, statutory bodies and private organisations run by government financing or foreign aid.

The full text of the interview is also available. Zamir, who became the commissioner March 31, 2010, also discusses the implementation process.

A parliamentary body July 30, 2010, “… asked the government to recruit competent and honest persons in the Information Commission in order to protect the credibility of its information,” according The Daily Star.   

The RTI Act 2009 came into effect July 1, 2009.

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