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Complaints abound on local government for not sharing information

KATHMANDU: The National Information Commission (NIC) has got flurry of complaints against the local government for not sharing information to the public as per Right to Information (RTI) Act.
As per the Constitution and RTI Act, a citizen has the right to seek, receive and impart information of public importance from public offices and institutions. Among the total appeals made at NIC in the last fiscal year 2076/77, most (53 %) of them are about the complaints on the local levels denying information to the public. It was shared by NIC Secretary Dr Mukunda Prasad Poudyal to RSS today. A total of 531 appeals were about the cagey local levels.
The RTI Act, 2064 has the provision that public bodies need to provide information within 15 days of receiving an application for the information. If the Information Officer at public bodies fails to provide information within two weeks, the information seeker has the right to go to chief of the bodies. Similarly, the denial of information by the office chief leads to the appeal at the NIC. Poudyal shared that within the five months he arrived at NIC, there were more than 1,000 appeals. The public offices must furnish reasons why the information is denied. Similarly, in the last fiscal year, there was the appeal that 21 percent non-government organizations failed to furnish information. Among the appeals the NIC received, education sector has 10 percent.
Similarly, eight percent are related to economic issues, five percent on IT and communication sector. Moreover, the information was requested at the land revenue offices, survey office and agriculture. Eleven local levels in Kathmandu were requested for information on expense made on Covid-19 management. Among them, only two local levels responded. SOCH Nepal had requested information in the local levels of Okhaldhunga and Gorkha districts on how the money was spent on management of Covid-19, but instead the information seeker was harassed.

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