Details of all RTI Information Officers will soon be listed on the Ministry of Mass Media website, says BKS Ravindra, additional secretary to the Ministry for Mass Media.
The Ministry of Mass Media intends to launch a page on their main website dedicated to information about the Right to Information, including details of the Information Officers that have been appointed across the island. The website currently contains the RTI Act in all three languages, as well as the RTI01 annex which is the official RTI application form to file requests.
Mr.Ravindra said that in the first week most RTI requests have been made as letters, not using the RTI01 application form. The gazette regulations state that it is not necessary to use the RTI01 form and that requests can be made in written or verbal (if one cannot write) form to an Information Officer at the relevant Public Authority.
There is clearly still confusion on several levels of RTI roll-out. Firstly, the public evidently lacks awareness about the formal RTI application.
Secondly, there is a lack of clarity on what a Public Authority constitutes:
Finally, RTI protocol is still a challenge for the Public Authorities (PAs) themselves. Transparency International’s encounters with several PAs showed: staff did not know who the relevant Information Officer was, Information Officers were unaware of how to process RTI request, absentee Information Officers resulted in RTI requests being refused by other staff.