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May 21 , 2011

A public information system for transparency in Pakistan


Government must be transparent to the people if it is to serve them well. This book offers a plan to create transparency in all government operations with the use of available technologies. The plan is primarily for Pakistan but any developing country may adopt it with modifications.
The book describes how every home can have a personal computer with Internet connection. It explains how, with the help of the District Government, every district can have a radio station, a television channel and a daily newspaper, for access to public information and to create effective interaction at local level between the people and the government. Government can also make information accessible by providing copies of records on request, even of secret ones after declassification. It emphasizes that every citizen has a right to get a satisfactory reply to every inquiry or complaint. It suggests how people’s elected representatives can monitor performance of government officials. (The author has a separate book on the subject, “A monitoring system for Local Governments in Pakistan,” available as Kindle edition). The book gives a comprehensive form, to be filled in by every candidate for a public office or a government job, to tell all about himself. The plan suggests how government can take money out of elections, making it possible for even middle class candidates to contest. A truth commission is proposed to gather all facts for posterity about major events in the history of the country.
The book provides comprehensive drafts of two laws, one on freedom of information and the other on national archives.

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