January 11, 2017 08:04 am
The Right to Information Act will be gazetted on February 03, Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Gayantha Karunathilake said.
The minister made this observation during the special discussion held with the members of the Right to Information Commission including its chairman Mahinda Gammanpila.
Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana, Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Nimal Bopage and other officials also participated in the discussion which was held at the parliament complex on Tuesday.
The Right to Information Bill (RTI) was passed in the Sri Lanka Parliament with amendments in June last year.
The government has said that the Act will allow the public to get information regarding the public authorities and it will be an important feature for the government to be responsible at a higher level.
The bill was first introduced to the Parliament by the Minister of Parliamentary Reform and Mass Media, Gayantha Karunathilaka, in March 24, 2016.
The implementation of the Act will be the responsibility of the Ministry of Mass Media, which includes establishing a Right to Information Commission to directly oversee the functions of the bill.
The bill includes provisions on the public’s right to know, assures access to information from government, public and local entities as well as information held by organizations who receive significant funding from the government.
President Sirisena will appoint the five officers to the RTI Commission, with several seats designated as being reserved for members of civil society and media representatives.
The Commission will be in charge of handling the release of information, while the bill urges each public authority and body to appoint an information officer to meet possible and future requests for information.
The bill also removes restrictions from the release of information that is at least 10 years old.