Dear Hon. Member of Parliament,
RTI Bill 2015 – Seven key areas for improvement
Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) is the Sri Lankan chapter of the global movement against corruption and the only civil society organization specifically mandated to combat corruption and promote good governance in Sri Lanka. Since its inception in 1999, TISL has championed the passing of RTI legislation, acknowledging its value in fighting corruption, but also in building trust between citizens and the state.
TISL has throughout the years conducted numerous programmes both at the local and the national level to enhance citizen knowledge on the right to information in order to create grass root level demand. We have also been involved in convening civil society to provide suggestions on the draft RTI bill, many of which we are happy to see in the final cabinet approved bill.
Following examination of the cabinet approved RTI bill, TISL engaged Verité Research, who have a wealth of knowledge and expertise on RTI, to credit the improvements in the final bill and highlight the key areas for further improvement. The attached legislative brief highlights seven key areas for improvement, ranging from mandatory web publication to strengthening whistle blower protection. The legislative brief goes on to provide alternative text, which could be placed into the Bill to remedy the seven issues identified.
TISL hopes the recommendations suggested will be taken into consideration in order to formulate a strong and comprehensive RTI Act. We hope as Members of Parliament you will utilize this trilingual document when debating the RTI Bill in early 2016. TISL is glad of the progress made thus far and is committed to assisting in any way possible to ensure the comprehensiveness, passage and future dissemination of Sri Lanka’s RTI legislation.