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The RTI Legal Regime in Nepal

Right to Information (RTI) has been recognized as a fundamental human right of every citizen around the globe. It has been regarded as a vibrant tool to make an open, transparent and democratic society. In Nepal, for the first time, the Constitution of 1990 guaranteed RTI as a fundamental right but governments did not pay attention to formulate RTI laws to implement the constitutional provision, for many years.

The Interim Constitution, promulgated in 2007 replacing the Constitution of 1990 also guaranteed RTI as a fundamental right. The Article 27 of the Interim Constitution states: "Every citizen has the right to seek and receive information of personal nature or relating to matters of public importance, provided that no one shall be required to provide information which has been declared secret by law."

Following the pressures from non-government sectors, civil society and advocacy groups, including CCRI, government formulated Right to Information Act which was endorsed by Legislature-Parliament in 2007 but it took nearly two years to formulate RTI Regulation 2009.

It has been seven years since the RTI Act came into effect; however its implementation part is still not satisfactory, despite the qualitative change in the RTI scenario in the last four-five years. As per the Act, statutory body National Information Commission (NIC) is working to implement the Act. Though legal and institution infrastructures have been prepared, there is still a need to create awareness at massive level to get the Act fully implemented and encourage the people to use Right to Information.
 

The Need and Significance of RTI Centre

Though there is legal framework that encourages people to use RTI as a tool in their daily as well as professional life, people are yet to be tutored and informed about the procedures of seeking information from Public Agencies. People do not have sufficient information that they have the right to seek any information and it is a duty of Public Agencies to provide information to public and make all their activities transparent and accountable to people.

This Centre itself does not work as Centre providing information of Public Agencies to information seekers but it supports those providing necessary procedural as well as legal requirements to be fulfilled in the process of getting information from Public Agencies. It has a wide range of technical facilities based on modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The Centre is expected to play a crucial role to fully implement the RTI and create an interest and habit among people to seek the information from Public Agencies. It also provides knowledge to general people about the fundamentals of RTI, its importance, significance and application to promote accountability and transparency. There is increasing questions about the accountability and transparency of Public Agencies in Nepal in the recent years, however, people do not have knowledge on how RTI can be a tool for maintaining transparency.
 

Services of RTI Centre

The Centre provides theoretical as well as basic practical knowledge on how to obtain information from Public Agencies in Nepal. The Centre provides procedural as well as legal information including necessary support on drafting of application or appeal to demand the information from Public Agencies. Any individual or organizations facing any difficulties to get information from Public Agencies can approach to Centre and get necessary support. The thrust of centre to equip the ordinary people about the process of getting information as requested.

The available services at RTI Centre
  • Basic and fundamental information about RTI;
  • Identification of public agencies from where information could be sought;
  • Provide knowledge about the classification of information by Public Agencies as stated in the law;
  • Procedural requirements to be fulfilled while seeking information from Public Agencies;
  • Duration/time requirement to get information sought or to file an appeal to National Information Commission(NIC);
  • Support on writing of application demanding information from Public Agency and appeal in National Information Commission;
  • Drafting of application/appeal to the needy people;
  • Consultation and necessary advice about further treatment in case of refusal from Public Agency in providing information demanded;
  • Provide theoretical as well as practical information about RTI to the RTI knowledge seeker; etc.

How to Approach Centre ?

RTI Centre Nepal is state-of-the-art support Centre with wide range of technical facilities including toll-free telephones, fax, email, free SMS service. Trained staffs and lawyer are available at the Centre to provide quality service. Citizens around the country including from the most remote and underdeveloped parts can utilize the service provided by the Centre through ICT.

Individual willing to know about Right to Information and ask information from the Public Agencies but unaware about the process can contact to RTI Centre using the following means of communication.
  • Direct Visit to RTI Centre, located at NIC premises in Koteshor, Kathmandu;
  • Call at Toll Free Number;
  • Send SMS and get more information;
  • Write Email with your concern;
  • Send Postal Mail what service you want receive;
  • Fax your Concern; and
  • Visit website for more information.

Contact Address

1. RTI Centre Nepal (Premises of National Information Commission, NIC)
Paris Danda, Koteshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal
Post Box No: 11020
Toll Free No: 1660-01-70000
Phone: (01) 44601644
Fax: (01) 4601446
SMS: Type "RTICENTRE" or "RIT" and send to 4555
Email: rticentrenepal@gmail.com
Website: www.ccrinepal.org/rticentre

2. RTI Centre, Banke 
Nepalgunj-8, Banke
Phone: (081) 520352
Email: rticentrebanke@gmail.com