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Sri Lanka

The enactment and implementation of the RTI Act (LK0022)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Sri Lanka National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media

Support Institution(s): Presidential Secretariat, Ministry of Public Administration and Management, Right to Information Commission, Sri Lanka Judges’ Institute and state media; Thematic-related CSOs (e.g- Health, Corruption, Education, Empowerment of Women, etc)

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption Institutions, Capacity Building, Legislation & Regulation, Public Participation, Records Management, Right to Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Sri Lanka Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: Yes Starred

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

The legal recognition of the citizens’ Right to Information and an effective mechanism whereby they are able and empowered to access such information is essential to create a culture of transparency and accountability in governance, and to encourage civic participation therein. It also serves as a tool for the systematic elimination of corruption. It balances the power of the people against the concentration of power in public authorities. The components of a democracy - such as representation, accountability, and participatory decision-making – are facilitated by the introduction of a dynamic RTI framework. Issues to be Addressed: Resources need to be allocated and the State has to roll out the entire RTI infrastructure. Systems (including ICT) have to be developed for record management, reporting, proactive disclosure and responding to requests. Public Authorities and their respective officials have to be trained and sensitized to the principles and processes of RTI. This includes ensuring the autonomy of appointed Information and Designated Officers. There is an ongoing need for the government to engage in public awareness campaigns to ensure that citizens are equipped to utilize the established RTI mechanism. Systems (including ICT) have to be developed for record management, reporting, proactive disclosure and responding to requests. Public Authorities and their respective officials have to be trained and sensitized to the principles and processes of RTI. This includes ensuring the autonomy of appointed Information and Designated Officers. There is an ongoing need for the government to engage in public awareness campaigns to ensure that citizens are equipped to utilise the established RTI mechanism. Main Objective: To strengthen anti-corruption framework and facilitate tri partite; public, private, civil society oversight and ownership of anti-corruption effort.
Milestones to Fulfill the Commitment New or ongoing
Commitment
Start Date:

End Date:
1. The Enactment of the RTI Act

a) Ministry in charge of the subject of mass media to ensure RTI requests can commence being processed from within 6 months of the Speaker certifying the RTI Act New August 2016 February 2017
2. Appointment and training of key RTI actors, including Information Commissioners and their staff and the Information Officers

a) Constitutional council to appoint RTI Commission
New August 2016 September 2016
b) Ministry in charge of the subject of mass media and/or the Commission to develop the initial Terms of Reference for Information Officers and Designated Officers
New August 2016 September 2016
c) Ministry in charge of the subject of mass media to conduct 4 training programmes for all Ministry-level Information Officers and Designated Officers for the performance of their duties under the Act on the following themes:
• Value of RTI and their role
• Receiving and responding to requests
• Proactive disclosure
• Records-management New October 2016 August 2017
d) Ministry in charge of the subject of mass media to facilitate training of RTI Commissioners and Commission staff by resource persons from RTI Commissions in comparable jurisdictions
New November 2016 June 2018

e) Ministry in charge of the subject of mass media to sensitize and train public authorities – In order to change the mind-set of secrecy to one of civic participation, accountability and assistance to citizens New August 2016 June 2018
3. Resource Allocation, Procedures and Processes
a) Ministry in charge of the subject of mass media to appoint an RTI implementation co-ordination officer
New August 2016 September 2016
b) RTI implementation co-ordination officer to examine & implement international best practices on procedure and processes of RTI implementation. New September 2016 October 2016
c) RTI Commission to publish rules in the Gazette as per the provisions of the Act including details of information to be provided free of charge. New October 2016 November 2016
d) RTI Commission to publish record management guidelines for public authorities
New November 2016 January 2017
e) Ministry in charge of the subject of mass media to Gazette regulations as per the provisions of the Act
New August 2016 October 2016
f) Ministry in charge of the subject of mass media to request the Ministry of Finance to include RTI resource allocation in the provisional and annual national budget
New August 2016 August 2016
g) Presidential Secretariat to develop the Government Information Centre Helpline (GIC -1919) into the main voice-based trilingual central RTI request portal, which would transmit requests in writing to relevant Public Authorities for response. New August 2016 December 2017
h) Ministry in charge of the subject of mass media to facilitate the development of a system that allows for the tracking, monitoring and reporting of RTI requests analytics.
New August 2016 December 2017
i) Parliament to amend Official Secrets Act No. 32 of 1955 and the Establishments Code for RTI compliance – Ensure contradicting secrecy or similar provisions are amended in line with RTI framework
New August 2016 August 2017
4. Raising Public Awareness
a) Ministry in charge of the subject of mass media, in collaboration with other relevant state actors, to conduct at least 3 media awareness campaigns targeted at 3 categories: the general public, social welfare recipients and women
New February 2017 January 2018
b) Ministry in charge of the subject of mass media, in collaboration with other relevant state actors, to conduct a targeted public awareness campaign for thematic training on the use of RTI in diverse fields for civil society New February 2017 January 2018
c) Government to allocate one-hour weekly slot for an RTI show on a State electronic media – Discussion around key RTI cases, activists, accomplishments, debates, etc New August 2017 June 2018
d) Government to ensure publication of RTI-related content in State newspapers in Sinhala, Tamil and English fortnightly. New August 2017 June 2018

IRM Midterm Status Summary

For commitment details, see the full report: English | Sinhala | Tamil

Sri Lanka's Commitments

  1. Integrity officers to decrease bribery and corruption

    LK0024, 2019, Capacity Building

  2. Asset declaration system

    LK0025, 2019, Asset Disclosure

  3. Increase use of RTI

    LK0026, 2019, E-Government

  4. citizen participation in health

    LK0027, 2019, E-Government

  5. Campaign against youth drug use

    LK0028, 2019, Education

  6. open data

    LK0029, 2019, E-Government

  7. Agriculture support policy

    LK0030, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Participation for persons with disabilities

    LK0031, 2019, Land & Spatial Planning

  9. Disability rights bill

    LK0032, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  10. Disaster management planning

    LK0033, 2019, Capacity Building

  11. nationak environmental policy

    LK0034, 2019, Environment and Climate

  12. CEDAW implementation

    LK0035, 2019, Capacity Building

  13. local service delivery

    LK0036, 2019, E-Government

  14. feedback on public bus

    LK0037, 2019, E-Government

  15. implementing UN convention on the rights of the child in a participatory manner

    LK0038, 2019, Legislation & Regulation

  16. Improving public access to preventive and curative strategies to combat Chronic Kidney Disease

    LK0001, 2016, Health

  17. Transparent Policy to Provide Safe and Affordable Medicines for All

    LK0002, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. National Health Performance

    LK0003, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Ensuring transparency and impartiality in teacher recruitment policy and process in Sri Lanka

    LK0004, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Enhance the services of Government Information Center (GIC- 1919) for Inclusive, Transparent, accountable and Efficient Governance, using ICT as enabler

    LK0005, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Promote the Open Data Concept and delivering the benefits to Citizens through ICT

    LK0006, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. National Environmental Act (NEA) Amendments

    LK0007, 2016, Capacity Building

  23. Coast Conservation

    LK0008, 2016, Capacity Building

  24. Flora and Fauna Protection

    LK0009, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Transparent and Accountable Procurement System for Local Authorities in Sri Lanka

    LK0010, 2016, Capacity Building

  26. Local Authority Procurement System Implementation

    LK0011, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  27. Annual Work Plan of the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs to include a transparent and accountable process to implement selected Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Concluding Observations.

    LK0012, 2016, Gender

  28. CEDAW Implementation – Accountability

    LK0013, 2016, Gender

  29. CEDAW – Inclusion

    LK0014, 2016, Gender

  30. Strengthening Women Participation in the political decision making process at the local level

    LK0015, 2016, Capacity Building

  31. Strengthen the anti-corruption framework to increase constructive public participation

    LK0016, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  32. Implement UNCAC

    LK0017, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  33. Coordination among Anti-Corruption Agencies

    LK0018, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  34. Corruption and Money Laundering

    LK0019, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  35. Campaign Finance

    LK0020, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  36. Disseminate Asset Declaration

    LK0021, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  37. Starred commitment The enactment and implementation of the RTI Act

    LK0022, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  38. Proactive Disclosure

    LK0023, 2016, Legislation & Regulation