The Ministry of Mass Media and Parliament Reforms held a two-day residential workshop on the 23rd and 24th November in Colombo about the implementation of the Right to Information Act. Thirty senior officials from the Wayamba, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Southern and Western provinces were present. These officials were nominated for the training by their respective Divisional Secretaries.
The workshop functions as a training of trainers. ‘All public authorities are currently in the process of selecting their Information Officers,’ said Mr B.K.S. Ravindra, Additional Secretary to the Minister of Mass Media and Parliament Reforms. ‘In the future, it will be necessary to train an enormous number of Information Officers. The Ministry cannot manage all of this by itself so we have decided that for all the provincial councils, we will prepare trainers chosen from officers in each of the districts. These officers can then return to their provinces and train others.’
Mr. Ravindra stated that these information sessions have already been completed for Ministry Secretaries and for representatives of many local councils. In the future, these trainings will be carried out for the rest of the local councils and the Ministry of Mass Media will cater to special requests made by various bodies based in Colombo to have training workshops for Information Officers. Mr. Ravindra further commented that the ministry intends to complete this type of general training workshop by this December and that by February 2017, the training of all Information Officers from government corporations, courts and departments will completed as well.