Information Disclosure Initiative

Information Disclosure Initiative

matiThe Matikata Union Parishad of Godagori Upazila in Rajshahi has a total population of 55,345. In this Union Parishad around 45% are hardcore poor and 132 are disabled for various reasons.

According to Local Government Law (Union Parishad 2009), the Union Parishad is supposed to ensure free flow of information for the people. Objective of this is to ensure people’s involvement in Union Parishad. Union Parishad is supposed to make available information for the people such as on services of Union Parishad in detail, conditions of existing or deliverable services and how much time is needed to get those services. This is called Citizen Charter. As part of this, Matikata Union has been making available information on their services since 2011. Union Parishad is now able to know people’s demand, opinion, advices and complaints through this service. Information available within this service include details of all the services, fees for getting these services, conditions for availing the services and benefits from the expected services, time when these services are delivered, citizens’ responsibilities on these services, assurance of service delivery, resolution of complaints related to services delivery and consequences of violating the Citizens Charter, etc. Matikata Union Parishad is implementing this activity by utilizing instruments like Ward Meeting, Open Budget Meeting, Budget Evaluation Meeting, Union Parishad Notice Board, Bill Board, Web Portal, Loud Speaker (Miking) and Religious Leaders.

A five-member information disclosure committee led by UP member Md. Khairul Islam has been helping to provide information according to the people’s demand. The UP is registering the names, addresses as well as requirements of people coming for taking information services in a register book. In this register book are mentioned as notes the information which is not available at the UP as well as the particular information people come here to seek. The information disclosure committee provides suggestion to the UP after evaluating that register.

The UP has taken an initiative to inform people about its activities through ward meeting, open budget meeting, notice board, bill board, web portal, miking, etc. Regular courtyard meetings are being held for letting people know about the information services. Tax statement and outstanding dues are displayed on the UP notice board on monthly basis. Two third voters are participating in each ward committee.

People are seeking justice in the village court where on an average 20-25 people are taking necessary services in a day. Availability of all inputs contributed to increasing people’s interest on this UP. Matikata UPLA (Union Parishad Learning Academy) has been conducting different trainings also. This academy conducts training for UP leaders and officials.

The UP has been providing information as per the requirement of local people and govt. departments. Availability of information has made a trusted relationship between the UP and people. There is a mechanism to know people’s requirements list them accordingly. After collecting, the necessary information is provided to the people.

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