Pakistan Committee Makes Changes in Draft RTI Bill 

18 July 2014

A committee of the Pakistan Senate on July 15 approved amendments to a right to information bill, according to an article in The Daily Times and one by the Pakistan Press Foundation. 

The Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, chaired by Senator Kamil Ali Agha, dropped a provision that would have left authority to implement an RTI law in the hands of the executive.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid said the government needs time to create the infrastructure for implementation.

The committee also voted to apply a new law to nongovernmental organizations that receive government funds.

The committee decided that the first commissioner on the planned three-person Right to Information Commission would not have to be someone qualified to be a senior judge, but also could be a retired senior bureaucrat, appointed by the government. Another member would be a former parliamentarian. A third member would have a known public service record and could be a media professional.

The modified bill was referred to both houses of the legislature for approval.

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