ECONOMYNEXT – About a quarter of Sri Lanka’s ministries and public authorities made at least ‘moderately satisfactory’ disclosures under the Right to Information Act with informative websites, a survey has found.
In terms of content disclosure 77 percent were ‘moderately unsatisfactory and only 23 percent were moderately satisfactory, according to a survey conducted by Verite Research, a Colombo-based think tank.
The survey covered 29 ministries and the President’s and Prime Minister’s offices.
In terms of usability 25 public authorities scored in the ‘moderately unsatisfactory’ band and only 6 public authorities scored in the ‘moderately satisfactory’ band.
The public authorities with the highest overall composite scores were: the Ministry of Agriculture (57%) and the Ministry of Public Administration (53%).
The survey covered the period from 1 December 2022 to 31 December 2022.
“You can’t have a government that represents you not willing to share the information minimally on what it is doing on your behalf, and for the country, and for the future of the country,” Nishan de Mel, Executive Director of Verité Research said.
This survey showed an improvement from 2017, where in terms of proactive disclosure versus regulatory obligations the ‘moderately unsatisfactory’ segment shrank from 72 percent to 48 percent.
In comparison to 2017, there had been a slight improvement in overall composite scores. “When we compare the numbers in 2017, there has been some improvement, because in 2017, all the public authorities scored less than 40 percent,” Talayaratne said.
The public authorities with the lowest content disclosure scores were the President’s Office (17%), the Ministry of Technology (15%), and the Prime Minister’s Office (13%).
However the President’s Office scored higher on not having a language bias by consistently disclosing information in all three languages. (Colombo/Sep05/2023)