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RTI Bill Exempts Security Agencies PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 March 2009

The government is likely to pass the right to information bill keeping intelligence and some law enforcing agencies exempt from obligation to provide certain facts to public and media.

The parliamentary standing committee on the information ministry has recommended that at least eight agencies not be bound by the law.

The eight are: National Security Intelligence, Directorate General Forces Intelligence, Defense Intelligence agencies, Criminal Investigation Department, Special Security Force, the intelligence cell of the National Board of Revenue, Special Branch and the intelligence cell of Rapid Action Battalion.

But the agencies will have to disclose information relating to corruption or human rights violations.

The standing committee chairman Obaidul Quader presented the report in parliament on Sunday.

The recommended bill awaits passage.

The right to information ordinance of the previous caretaker government had similar content.

The committee, which was authorised to bring changes, made few.

It made a slight change to section 7 of the law, which said some authorities might not provide information if it went against the country's interest.

It added a provision saying any authority could deny information subject to the approval of the proposed information commission.

The government will set up an information commission which will work to guarantee information from public offices.

If the proposed bill is passed, all government and non-government agencies will be bound to provide information in line with the law to any citizen.

Parliament passed the Bangladesh Flag Vessels (Protection) (Amendment) Bill, 2009. Shipping minister Afsarul Amin proposed; the bill was passed by voice vote.

Source: bdnews24.com

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