AUGUST 14, 2008 Freedom Forum, the leading organization in the Right to Information (RTI) movement in Nepal, welcomes the formation of National Information Commission (NIC) however it came into existence after 10 months of the promulgation of much-awaited Right to Information Act-2007 and, at the same time, expresses dissatisfaction regarding the time, formation process and persons appointed in the post of commissioners of NIC.
The Nepal government has on April 22, 2008 decided to appoint Binaya Kumar Kasaju as the chief commissioner and Shree Acharya and Sabita Baral as commissioners of NIC.
It is the matter of dissatisfaction since the process of the formation of NIC does not involve transparency and maturity on the part of the government. The government has underestimated the essence and importance of the commission as it has formed it long after the Act came and on the other, appointed commissioners do have no specific knowledge and distinct experience on RTI movement and nor are they from the judicial administration background.
Likewise, the commissioners have been made based on their political affiliation which significantly raises the question of its independence, effectiveness and efficiency. The Forum is suspicious towards the competence and performance of the commission on the way to implementing RTI thereby guaranteeing freedom of information to all Nepalese people.
The Forum also demands that the details of the property, association, capability and other details of the commissioners to be made public before taking up any responsibility in this regard and extends wishes to the newly-formed commission that it could execute necessary works accordingly.
Tara Nath Dahal
May 27, 2008