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> PILDAT moves Ombudsman for MNAs Attendance Data; invokes Freedom of Information law after Assembly refuses data

March 22, 2013


March 22; PILDAT has invoked the Freedom of Information law and sought support from the Federal Ombudsman to receive attendance record of MNAs from the National Assembly of Pakistan.


PILDAT, which has been carrying out citizens assessment of Parliamentary performance since 2002, recently sought from the National Assembly of Pakistan the complete record of attendance of each Member of the National Assembly for the term ending in 2013. The National Assembly secretariat, however, declined to share the required information maintaining that the attendance record of MNAs “does not constitute a public record under section 7 of the Freedom of Information Ordinance, 2002.”


PILDAT filed a complaint before the Ombudsman of Pakistan maintaining that attendance of Parliamentarians does not constitute ‘excluded information’ under section 15-18 of the FOI 2002 and that PILDAT, as an indigenous organisation by Pakistani citizens, has the right to know the commitment and dedication of the Members of the Parliament towards their legislative duties for which they were elected through an electoral process.


PILDAT believes that now that the voters are about to choose their MNAs and MPAs for a new term, it is important for them to know the performance of their representatives during the past 5 years.


PILDAT has also pointed out that the daily attendance of all members of Indian Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha is posted on their official website.


Based on PILDAT’s complaint, the Ombudsman, has now officially sought a response from the National Assembly Secretariat.