Short introduction of Access to Information Commission:
Afghanistan has approved access to information law in 18/10/2014. this law recognizes the rights of citizens to information in all institutions. This law has been indorsed after the amendment of M. Ashraf Ghani the president of Afghanistan in 3/3/2018. Access to Information Commission has started its work officially after introduction of newly hired members in December 30, 2018. this law is ordained in the light of article 50 of Afghanistan constitution and facilitated access of all citizen to information. based on the criteria and investigation of international institutions, Center for Law and Democracy, Law of Access to Information got the first position in the international ranking.
based on the Access to Information law, all citizens of the country can demand information in institutions. Since its creation, Citizens have used this law in order to promote their capacities and self-empowerment in the process of participation and decision making.
All government institutions under Access to Information law are obliged to provide information either actionably through communicating tools, or reactional through demands of demanders.
Access to Information Commission is created based on the article 18 of Access to Information law and has five members. These members have been assigned based on the decree NO 106 of his excellency M. Ashraf Ghani, president of Afghanistan in 22/11/2018. this commission has a secretariat to conduct all its administrative and executive affairs.
Strategy of the commission:
Based on terms of reference, monitoring the right of Access to information is the core issue of the authority and working area of the Access to Information Commission. The strategy of commission is to ensure access to information of all citizens in close collaboration with government institutions, civil society and media.
Vision of Commission:
Consolidation and support of right of access to information and to make accountable government institutions that can pave the ground for easier access of information caused by transparency, participation, decreasing of administrative corruption, improvement of accountability and open governance.
Mission of the Commission:
Policy makers create legal and clear frame works based on the international procedures in order to ensure the right of access to information. public sectors allocate necessary resources to create solutions and promote the capacity of their employees in order to provide information to people on time and appropriately. Civil society and media, with actively using of the access to information law can find the necessary information for their advocacies and public awareness. And the donors will understand that by supporting the initiatives of access to information right, is compulsory for other rights of people. In this case, Access to Information Commission as an experienced institution and the only expert reference, with ideas and research-base entity, is the supporter institution of access to information and acting against the in charges and those righteous for access to information.
Duties and Responsibilities of the Commission:
1- Oversee application access to information process from the respective institutions and the manner in which information is provided.
2- Assess applicants’ complaints.
3- Demand documents from information offices of institutions, if required.
4- Provide appropriate advice to information applicants and institutions
5- Evaluate reports of information offices of relevant institutions.
6- Present annual report of activities of the Commission to the President and the National assembly and publish such reports.
7- Promote the culture of access to information in the country through conducting educational programs.
8- Raise public awareness about the activities of the Commission.
9- Publishing of the decision of the Commission.
10- Monitor implementation of the provisions of this law.
11- Approval of the relevant procedures and guidelines.
12- Setting of minimum standards regarding the manner in which institutions are required to manage their information.
13- Perform all functions mentioned in this law.
Main Goals of Access to Information Law:
1. Protect the right of all natural and legal persons to access information from institutions.
2. Ensure transparency, strengthen the culture of provision of information, promote people’s participation in good governance, ensure accountability in the conduct of institutions, and combat corruption.
3. Observe article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in consideration of article 3 of the Constitution of Afghanistan.
4. Regulate the process of requesting and providing information.