The Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) has ordered the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) to release the names of candidates who failed the written examination for the job of Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue Judicial Members (BS-21).
The directions were issued after an applicant filed a complaint against the FPSC Chairman with the Pakistan Citizens’ Portal in November 2021.
One of the candidates for the position, Waheed Shahzad Butt, accused the official of withholding important information in order to “give flagrant privileges to criminals of the nation.”
Butt had also sought information from the Appellate Authority under Article 19A of the Constitution, and after being rejected, he filed a complaint with the PIC under the Right to Information Act of 2017.
The Information Commission, in ruling on his complaint, noted that, despite the fact that the term ‘personal privacy’ is not defined in the statute governing the right to access information, the sanctity of personal privacy must be preserved.
The commission defined personal privacy as “the CNIC, phone number, bank account number, address, or any other information relating to the individual’s family.”
Personal privacy, according to PIC, does not include the details of tests, interviews, or the merits of competitions or examinations.
“The essence of the law is transparency in government operations.” Its goal is to ensure that the people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan have access to public records so that the government may be held responsible to the people,” it stated.
According to the PIC, enabling people access to information would not only promote their participation in public affairs, but it would also lower the likelihood of corruption, nepotism, abuse of power, and inefficiency in government.
The commission decided that the appeal should be accepted for the reasons stated above.