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Sri Lanka

Increase Use of RTI (LK0026)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Sri Lanka Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry in charge of implementing the Right to Information Act

Support Institution(s): Ministry in charge of Public Administration & Management; Ministry in charge of Home Affairs, Ministry in charge of Information Technology; Right to Information Commission, Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) TISL and other engaged CSOs

Policy Areas

E-Government, Marginalized Communities, Public Participation, Right to Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Pending IRM Review

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Increase the use of Right to Information (RTI) among citizens and improve public authorities' response to RTI implementation by 2020
1st March 2019 – 31st August 2021
Lead implementing agency/ actor Ministry in charge of implementing the Right to Information Act
Commitment description
What is the public problem that the commitment will address? Access to information is a constitutional right of the people of Sri Lanka. Citizens have the ability to use the Right to Information Act (RTI) to seek information from public authorities on the services they are entitled to and the progress of complaints, have their grievances redressed quickly without any need for paying bribes, and to hold public institutions accountable. Due to limited awareness, however, the number of citizens making RTI requests is still low. An issue leading to public sector opacity is that records are not maintained in a systematic and accessible manner. Proactive disclosure of certain categories of information is a mandatory requirement under the RTI Act, but it is also one of the most poorly implemented provisions of the Act.
What is the commitment? The purpose of this commitment is to enhance opportunities for citizens to file RTIs and improve responsiveness of public authorities to such requests and thereby contribute towards improving service delivery, exposing corruption and fostering participation in decision-making.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem? The Ministry will establish an online disability friendly RTI request portal with 50% of public authorities listed. Having such online request portal run by the government, where many public authorities are listed, will increase accessibility to citizens, including disabled persons. E-record management systems will be introduced in 50% of public authorities. Introducing e-record management would require the digitization of available information, which will in turn lead to greater accessibility to the people. An accelerated awareness raising programme will be conducted with the intention of increasing the proportion of people using RTI and increasing public authorities’ response to RTI both proactively and in response to RTI requests. The Ministry will conduct awareness-raising programmes for the public in each Grama Niladhari division. As a result of such programmes, the Ministry expects an increase in RTI requests filed in those areas compared to previous years. The Ministry will also work with 15 public authorities to spearhead compliance with the mandatory proactive disclosure provisions of the RTI regime.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? This commitment addresses the values of access to information as it strengthens the provisions of the current RTI Act. It enhances public participation as it shifts the role of citizens from being mere spectators to that of being active participants in the process of governance. It also promotes public accountability as citizens can evaluate and determine whether public authorities are delivering the expected results.
Additional information The commitment will strengthen the operation of Right to Information Act No. 12 of 2016. It is in line with Sustainable Development Goal No. 16 and will also complement proposed National Anti-Corruption Strategies.
Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable Start Date: End Date:
1. A disabled-friendly online RTI request portal will be established by the Ministry with the support of Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) /other contracted entities with 10 public authorities enlisted initially, and with 50% of all public authorities enlisted and accessible by end of NAP period. The Ministry will conduct testing for user and disability friendliness, prior to the launch of the portal. The portal will track gendered data on RTI usage on the portal. March 2019 December, 2019
2. E-record management system is developed and introduced to 10 public authorities. The number of public authorities will be increased to 50% of all public authorities by end of NAP period. March 2019 February, 2021
3. There is a 50% increase in RTI requests made over the previous year, and information given, by 30th August, 2019 based on RTI Commission Annual Report; 75% on top of 2019 baseline, by 30th August, 2020. A summary data sheet will be available for public access by the Ministry. March 2019 February, 2021
4. Ministry in consultation with citizens and engaged CSOs will guide 5 selected Divisional Secretariats, 5 District Secretariats and 5 Ministries each NAP year, to continually make available proactive information as per Regulation 20 of Gazette No. 66/2004 (mandatory) on their respective websites and physical premises on a monthly basis. The names of these public authorities will be made publicly available each year. March 2019 February, 2021


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