Bhutanese Parliamentarian Calls for RTI Law
Mr. Sangay Khandu, a Member of the Bhutan parliament, has called for enactment of a Right to Information law on his blog. He has written that Article 7 of the Constitution adopted by the Parliament on July 18, 2008, guarantees every Bhutanese access to information as a fundamental right. Freedom of press and other forms of media is also explicitly enshrined in the Bhutanese constitution under different clauses. The drafting of a Right to Information legislation had begun as far back as in 2007 much like the Anti-Corruption legislation, before the 2008 national elections. The first sensitization conference on RTI was also organized by the Royal Government in 2009 after it came into power. Since then the Ministry of Information and Communication has made several public statements about the Royal Government’s the draft RTI Bill. We know today that it has now been with the cabinet for sometime. With only two sessions of parliament left before the first parliament completes tenure, its been less than satisfactory with it still not featuring in on the list of legislative priority of the Royal Government.
When there are no known transparent procedures and processes for public to obtain information, people tend to use connections, family, friends, known contacts, acquaintances to obtain these information. While most of these information sharing may not qualify for as insider-trading or corruption, but it also clearly shows the lack of fairness in the way information can be obtained. There is a clear existence of information asymmetry which needs to be corrected in all societies.