Govt orgs better than NGOs at disclosing info under Right to Information Act: TIB
Government organisations are doing better in comparison to non-government organisations in terms of proactive disclosure of information on the basis of Right to Information Act, according to a Transparency International Bangladesh study.
According to the study titled, "Proactive Disclosure of Information by Government Institutions and NGOs on the Basis of Right to Information Act: An Assessment," the anti-graft watchdog, however said the progress in publishing self-motivated information through websites of government and non-government organisations is not satisfactory enough.
TIB revealed findings of the study today through a webinar.
Scores have been given to organisations included in the study on basis of information disclosed in their websites under a total of 25 indicators in three determined areas (19 on extent of information, four on accessibility and two indicators on compatibility).
On the basis of availability, information has been collected on the websites of 153 government organisations and 39 NGOs, a total of 192 organisations in this study.
Among them, 76 percent are government organisations and 24 percent are NGOs. Data was collected during August 2020 to January 2021 for this study.
"Overall, the websites of most government organisations have received relatively good scores rather than NGOs," TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said in the programme.
"In case of NGOs, there is still a lack of practice and exemplary disclosure of relevant information in accordance with the laws and regulations," he added.
Although different types of government organisations attained satisfactory scores in extent of information, no NGO obtained satisfactory score, Iftekhar added.
Most of the NGO websites do not have all types of information as per Right to Information Act and Proactive Information Disclosure Guidelines and they do not have up-to-date information and the date of last update. Most of the NGO websites are in English only. However, some information of few NGOs has been published in Bangla.
At least 54.2 percent government institutions are doing poorly in disclosing information on activities and decision, the study added while 80 percent NGOs are trailing behind in disclosing all types information.
Organisations under the government include ministries and departments, including the Prime Minister's Office (31 percent); Departmental Institutions affiliated to the Ministry (31 percent), Constitutional and Statutory Institutions (18.4 percent) and other Institutions (Agencies, Trusts, Foundations, Public Companies, etc.) (19.6 percent).
And of the NGOs, 44 percent are international and 66 percent are national.
In case of NGO's, the study said, among all sampled organisations on basis of the grading no NGO was in the top ten rankings.
The Ministry of Food, the Ministry of Jute and Textiles and the Ministry of Water Resources are jointly in the first place with an overall score of 42.
On the other hand, no NGO got a satisfactory score rather 94.9 NGOs scored very poorly.
In its 11-point recommendations, TIB said the concerned authority is required to formulate its own proactive information disclosure and dissemination guidelines and publish them on the website; and monitoring needs to be increased to ensure effective implementation of the guidelines.
TIB also recommended to organise necessary training to enhance the technical skills of the human resources for the website management department.