Right to information is an important pre-requisite for the smooth functioning of a democratic order and good governance. It plays a pivotal role in bridging the gap between the citizens and the state. It empowers the citizens to participate in policy making, planning and implementation processes by making suggestions and pointing out weaknesses in a timely manner for efficient working of government.
In view of the above, right to information was recognized as a fundamental right by Government of Pakistan by including Article 19-A in the constitution in 2010. For smooth execution of this rudimentary right, the Government of Punjab enacted the "Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act, 2013. This act provides an accessible and efficient procedure along with an implementation technique for access to information. The Punjab Information Commission has been established for efficient implementation of RTI Act.
The main objective of RTI Act is to provide for transparency and freedom of information in the Punjab. It provides improved access to information to citizens and make the government more accountable to them. In a nutshell, main purpose of this act is to provide information for people, by people and through people.
Imran Khan as Prime Minister made a historic statement at very outset that "RTI (Right to Information) is future of Pakistan", reflecting his unflinching faith in Transparency as key to eliminate corruption. The landmark judgements of Hon'ble Lahore High Court, Lahore by Mr. Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh in ICA No.77437/17 & by Mr. Justice Mujhahid Mustaqeem Ahmad in WP No.9315/2019 respectively, followed by the constitution of Provincial RTI Implementation Committee, headed by ACS Punjab, are no doubt unprecedented achievements during the nation's journey towards RTI & Transparency.
Punjab Irrigation Department being mindful of its responsibility has taken all the essential steps to ensure RTI Act implementation. A PIO Cell has been established in Central Design Office, Irrigation Department Lahore for smooth functioning of Right to information Act.
Chief Public Information Officer and Public Information Officer on behalf of the department have been nominated for policy decisions, implementation of HOD's Orders and monitoring the PIO Cell's functioning.