Muhammad Lutful Haq
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Right to Information Act and Record Management System in Bangladesh

Right to Information Act and Record Management System in Bangladesh
Muhammad Lutful Haq

Archives without borders
August, 30th 2010
Peace Palace, The Hague

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    Muhammad Lutful Haq Muhammad Lutful Haq Presentation Transcript

    • Right to Information Act and Records Management System in Bangladesh
    • Introduction
    • Need of Records
      • Records enable and support an organization’s work to fulfill its mission. Records are needed to plan, formulate, implement and monitor policy as well as manage key personnel and financial resources.
    • Need of Records Management
      • Records Management (RM) is the act of caring for records to ensure that they are protected for both administrative purposes as well as to serve as evidence of the agency’s work. RM helps deliver services in a consistent and equitable manner; it also improves office efficiency and productivity.
      • The success of right or freedom of information legislation depends not only on a government’s commitments towards disclosure but fundamentally on an effective records and information management system.
      • access to information (ATI or A to I),
      • freedom of information (FOI),
      • right to know,
      • right to information (RTI).
      • History
      • of
      • Right to Information Movement
      • in
      • Bangladesh
      • ‘ Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’
      • Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 19)
      • “ All powers in the Republic belong to people.”
      • Constitution of Bangladesh
    • Demand was made by
      • civil society,
      • human rights based organizations,
      • media,
    • Date Lines
      • In 1983, Press Council demanded for access to information,
    • Date Lines
      • In 1983, Press Council demanded for access to information,
      • In 1999, a three days seminar was held at Dhaka,
    • Date Lines
      • In 1983, Press Council demanded for access to information,
      • In 1999, a three days seminar was held at Dhaka,
      • In 2002, government formed a Law Commission to prepare a working paper,
    • Date Lines
      • In 1983, Press Council demanded for access to information,
      • In 1999, a three days seminar was held at Dhaka,
      • In 2002, government formed a Law Commission to prepare a working paper,
      • In December 2005, a two days regional conference was organized at Dhaka,
    • Date Lines
      • In 1983, Press Council demanded for access to information,
      • In 1999, a three days seminar was held at Dhaka,
      • In 2002, government formed a Law Commission to prepare a working paper,
      • In December 2005, a two days regional conference was organized at Dhaka,
      • In 2006, NGOs prepared a draft RTI Act,
    • Date Lines
      • In March 2007, draft Act was submitted to the government,
    • Date Lines
      • In March 2007, draft Act was submitted to the government,
      • On 11 th March 2008, government organized a dialogue with civil society, NGOs, academicians and media,
    • Date Lines
      • In March 2007, draft Act was submitted to the government,
      • On 11 th March 2008, government organized a dialogue with civil society, NGOs, academicians and media,
      • On 18 th June 2008, the council of Advisers (Ministers) approved the draft Act,
    • Date Lines
      • In March 2007, draft Act was submitted to the government,
      • On 11 th March 2008, government organized a dialogue with civil society, NGOs, academicians and media,
      • On 18 th June 2008, the council of Advisers (Ministers) approved the draft Act,
      • On 21 st August 2008, RTI Forum was formed,
    • Date Lines
      • On 20 th September 2008, the council of Advisers (Ministers) approved the RTI Ordnance and later signed by the President,
    • Date Lines
      • On 20 th September 2008, the council of Advisers (Ministers) approved the RTI Ordnance and later signed by the President,
      • On 20 th October 2008, the Ordnance was notified in the Bangladesh Gazette,
    • Date Lines
      • On 20 th September 2008, the council of Advisers (Ministers) approved the RTI Ordnance and later signed by the President,
      • On 20 th October 2008, the Ordnance was notified in the Bangladesh Gazette,
      • On 29 th March 2009, the RTI Act 2009 was passed by the parliament members,
    • Date Lines
      • On 5 th April 2009, President gave assent to the Act,
    • Date Lines
      • On 5 th April 2009, President gave assent to the Act,
      • On 6 th April 2009, the Act was notified in Bangladesh Gazette.
    • Date Lines
      • On 5 th April 2009, President gave assent to the Act,
      • On 6 th April 2009, the Act was notified in Bangladesh Gazette,
      • On 1 st July 2009, the Act became effective,
    • Relation between Right to Information and Records Management
      • The RTI Act will only be as good as the quality of the records and other information to which it provides access.
    • More than 70 countries have enacted RTI Act; but only a fewer have also revised or modernized their RM legislations. Thus in many countries acts or rules related to RM are mostly out dated.
    • Records Management in Bangladesh
      • “ Unfortunately, record keeping has long been a low priority in governments around the globe, in both the developed and developing world.”
      • Laura Miller, Canada
      • “ Record Management has had a very low profile in the Bangladesh public sector with consequences for the effective delivery of governmental functions and services, and the ability of the government to introduce sustainable ICT initiatives.”
      • World Bank report
      • Lack of awareness in respect of records at all level,
      • Inadequate storage space for records,
      • No designated manpower for RM,
      • Insufficient or no budget for maintenance of records,
      • No training for the records managers/keepers,
      • Very little support for RM from senior officers/executives,
      • Absence of proper and updated acts, rules, instructions for RM,
      • Statutes and other limitations of National Archives and its ineffectiveness.
    • Records Management in Right to Information Act 2009
      • Information Commission (IC): Information Commission is a 3 member highest national body to implement the RTI Act 2009.
      • Authority: All government and non-government offices funded by public money or foreign aids are called as Authority.
      • Designated Officer: Designated Officer is an officer nominated by his office (Authority) to provide information to people asking for it.
    • Section 5: Preservation of Information
      • (1) In order to ensure right to information under this Act, every authority shall prepare catalogue and index of all information and preserve it in an appropriate manner.
      • (2) Every Authority shall, within a reasonable time-limit, preserve in computer all such information as it thinks fit for preservation in computer, and shall connect them through a country-wide network to facilitate access to information;
      • (3) The Information Commission shall, by regulation, frame instructions to be followed by every authority for the preservation and management of information and all authority shall follow the instructions.
    • Section 13 (5)
      • The functions of the Information Commission shall be as follows namely:
      • (a) to issue directives for the preservation, management, publication, publicity of and access to information by authority;
    • Section 25
      • (11): At the time of taking decision under this section, the Information Commission shall have the following powers namely:-
      • (a) to direct the authority or, as the case may be, the designated officer to take the following steps which are necessary to take under the provisions of this Act, namely:-
      • (iv) to bring changes in the procedures to be followed by the authority in respect of preservation, management or publication of information;
      • …………… …………
      • (e) to classify the information newly by the authority;
      • (f) to interpret any matters relating to the nature, classification, preservation, publication, supply of information in the light of this Act.
    • Conclusion
    • On 14 th July 2010, Chief Information Commissioner pointed out that record keeping is very poor in Bangladesh and there is an urgent need for keeping records digitally.
      • “ Poor record keeping will certainly affect the implementation of RTI Act, but more we apply RTI Act, more improvement we will find in RM.”
      • Mrs. Aruna Roy , India
      • Thank You