Freedom of Information Rules notified
ISLAMABAD – The government has notified the Freedom of Information Rules 2004, requiring all public organizations to designate an official to provide information regarding public records to applicants.
After the issuance of the notification on Monday, applicants were eligible to get an attested photocopy of any public record document except information exempted under the Freedom of Information Ordinance.
The applicants, however, would have to pay a non-refundable fee amounting to Rs50 for a 10-page document. Under new rules, public departments needed to appoint a senior officer not below BS-19 in this regard.
If no such official had been designated or in the event of the absence or non-availability of a designated official, the person in-charge of the public body would be considered the designated official.
Rules also required public bodies to ensure the availability of an application form (for seeking the required information) on its website. There is still some information which is exempted under sections 8, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002 or under any other instructions of the government restricting disclosure of information.
The list of exempted category include: noting on files, minutes of meetings, record of banking companies and financial institutions relating to their customers, record relating to defence forces, defence installations or connected information or ancillary to defence and national security.