LAHORE (Staff Report) – Ms. Maggie Schoch, USAID Deputy Director for Punjab, and Mr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ali, Punjab Information Commissioner, witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding Thursday between the Punjab Information Commission, represented by Justice (Retired) Mazhar Hussain Minhas, Chief Punjab Information Commissioner and the Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment (DTCE), under a project supported by USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program.
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Through this 12-month project, DTCE aims to facilitate the use of the Punjab Right to Information Act, 2013, by stakeholders from the government as well as citizens to access sector-specific information in education, health and water, sanitation and hygiene in 5 districts of Punjab.
“I am hopeful that this project will build a bridge between the state and the citizen by developing their respective capacities and understanding on the use of Punjab Right to Information Act, 2013,” said Ms. Schoch in her opening remarks. She added that information disclosure serves as the key to creating more open and democratic societies, combating corruption, increasing accountability, improving efficiency, and promoting good governance.
The year-long project will provide infrastructural and technical support to key government departments; build capacity of government officials and civil society members; hold sector-specific consultative workshops; and conduct experience-sharing seminars at the district and provincial level.