My Country, My Rights, My Responsibilities

Right to Information Act, 2009

The Bangladesh constitution clearly states in Article 7. (1): “All powers in the Republic belong to the people.” But is that the case in reality? As citizens of the country, do we really enjoy that power?

The answer, of course, is a big “no”. So what can we do about it?

How can we establish our ownership of State power?

The only answer to the question is that as citizens we have the responsibility to exercise the rights recognized in our constitution. They will not be established automatically. We have to claim and demonstrate our ownership of them. Our tasks, in this regard, have been made easier by the adoption of the Right to Information Act, in short RTI Act, by our Parliament in 2009.

What are the main objectives of the Right to Information Act?

The basic objectives of RTI law are to ensure that:

* citizens have the opportunity to ask for relevant information from all public authorities –

whether government and NGOs benefitting from public fund and foreign donations – to check

whether they are following established laws, rules and regulations in their work;

* all public offices work in an open and transparent manner;

* all public officials know that they work for and are accountable to the people;

* good governance is established, corruption is reduced and democracy strengthened.

How public authorities are made accountable through RTI law?

* The RTI Act requires that all information, with few well-defined exceptions, that are stored in public offices and/or created in the process of the work of public authorities is made accessible to the citizens.

* All files, papers, documents, reports, books, decisions etc are made available for public scrutiny and review.

* Transparent and people-friendly administration is established to replace the culture of secrecy,

confidentiality and closed-door offices of the past. Leaflet RIB-RTI-WB 2014 - Eng.  16-01-2014- PDF_Page_1

What is the meaning of “Information” under RTI law?

The term ‘information” as used in the RTI law means any matter, materials, written reports of stored in and/or Read more