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Friday, November 26, 2010

Debating transparency in Pakistan

Access to information stressed to ensure transparency, good governance
Realizing the importance of transparency in governance and right to information legislation, Individualland- a nonprofit organization held a roundtable seminar on Friday, to promote a healthy debate that can yield positive results.

Participants from number of different organizations like Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Development Assistance Database (DAD), National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) took part in the roundtable.

The participants said access to information was mandatory to ensure transparency, good governance and to curb corruption in the country.

Speakers were of the view that transparency in governance refers to the absence of secrecy and mystery between the government and those being governed. The information shared should not be ambiguous or selective, but complete and correct.

Transparency International Chairman Adil Gillani on the occasion said transparency meant openness. “Government departments need to put all records and information on their websites as it a public property,” he said.

He said NAB was responsible to take action against various scam like sugar crises not the Supreme Court of Pakistan. “Presently there is no governance in Pakistan,” he said.

Individualland Pakistan Executive Director Gulmina Bilal said that transparency in governance not only improved goodwill of the government but all its functionaries.

Gulmina said that Pakistan being a democracy also had this legislation as an integral part of its constitution. However, its implementation was still not up to the mark. At the end it was agreed that better understanding of governance, especially economic governance and transparency are important aspects of successful governments. It was also agreed that consensus between different stakeholders on increasing transparency could only be ensured by proper implementation of the right to information legislation.

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