Archives and RTI training at Narandi, 20 July 2014
August 3, 2014, 4:37 pm
Filed under: awareness, Right to information, training

A programme on Archives Management Training was held on 20 July in Narandi Union Parishad. Initiators were Elias Kanchon of Friends of Archives Bangladesh (FAB) and Bangladesh Archives & Right to Information Community (BARTIC) and Sumon of Union Information & Service Centre (UISC). Training was about:

  1. How to support the people using the Right to Information Act (RTI)
  2. How to develop & provide better (local) government services to the people
  3. How to give more value to laws and regulations in the country

A discussion about the development of archives and RTI Act, development of training programmes in ARM, digital archives, networkbuilding (FAB, BARMS, BARTIC etc.), historical awareness concluded the programme. In this discussion were present: MD Shahajahan, secretary at Village Court in Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Ministry, Sumon (UISC), Joy Ahamed (Student) and Ajaed Miha (Student).

Dutch BARM considers these activities as good examples for what several BarmS members, FAB members and BARTICK – members can do in several Union Parishads in Jamalpur, Dinajpur, Bogra, Khulna, Comilla, Rajarhat /Kurigram, etc.

Elias Kanchon on the left

Elias Kanchon on the left

Group (FAB, BARMS, BARTIC) discussion

Group (FAB, BARMS, BARTIC) discussion


Barm Society and Sports archives, news from The Independent
February 27, 2010, 3:24 pm
Filed under: awareness | Tags:

The Independent
26 February 2010

Call to develop sports archive in Bangladesh
Sports Reporter

Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) on Thursday held a seminar at its board room on importance of an sports archive to make a meaningful resource of information, documents and samples of the country’s history.
A Dutch expert on archiving Florus Geraedts read the keynote of the seminar. Eminent sports organiser and an amateur archivist of Bangladesh Lt. Col (retd) Lutful Haq, who has developed a sports archive in Rajshahi by his own effort, also spoke on the occasion.
BOA officials at the seminar showed their interest to set up a sports archive responding to the demand of the time.
International archive expert Florus Geraedts of Nederland welcoming the initiative pointed out the guidelines.
Florus emphasized upon creating the archive considering sports as an inseparable part of the social history of the human being.
“Like the history of the other elements of the society, sports history also requires a careful storage, otherwise it gets tainted and without an ideal archive the bridge between the past and the present is also not created, Bangladesh with a rich tradition of sports requires a high-quality archive and it is possible to create it,” said Florus. Col (retd) Waliullah, CEO of BOA said it is better late than never. “So many years have passed by and a lot of time has been spent but it is important to start, we have taken all the initiatives to set an archive and will ask all the quarters to contribute,” said the CEO.
BOA vice presidents Sirajul Islam Bachchu and Rafia Akter Doly were also present on the occasion.

About the implementation of the Right to Information Act
September 13, 2009, 9:35 pm
Filed under: awareness | Tags:

september 2009
Bangladesh: ARTICLE 19 Launched
Right to Information

‘ARTICLE 19’ has launched a handbook on the 2009 Right to Information Act on
the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, 3 May 2009. Presented in question
and answer form, Proshnottore Thathya Adhikar Ain (Frequently Asked
Questions and Answers on the Right to Information Act) is an easy to read
commentary on the recently adopted Right to Information Act.
Adapted from ARTICLE 19’s legal analysis of the right to information, the Handbook
has been crafted to take Bangladeshi readers through the various international
standards for right to information legislation and to examine the extent to which they
are reflected in the new law.
Inaugurating the launch at the National Press Club, the State Minister for Law, Justice
and Parliamentary Affairs, from the Government of the People’s Republic of
Bangladesh, Qamrul Islam, commented that:
“The right to information is everybody’s right but a lot of people do not even know
that there is such a law. The Handbook is a well written and clearly presented
publication which will provide the general people a better understanding on their
right to information”.
Qamrul Islam added that: “the free flow of information is an important pillar of the
Government’s programme on ‘Digitalising Bangladesh” and the Handbook will make
a valuable contribution toward that goal”.
Other special guests included member of parliament Akram Hossain, head of news,
ATN Bangla, Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, and professor of law Asif Nazrul,.
Reviewing the Handbook Professor Nazrul noted that: “campaigners, activists,
development practitioners, students, teachers, journalists, researchers and general
public will find the Handbook a well researched and an easily accessible text that will
guide them to seek, receive and impart information using the Right to Information
• For more information please contact Tahmina Rahman, Director ARTICLE 19
Bangladesh at or +0171-303-9669.
• ARTICLE 19 is an independent human rights organisation that works around the
world to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression. It takes its name
ARTICLE 19, 6-8 Amwell Street, London EC1R 1UQ
Tel: (+44) 20 7278 9292 / Fax: (+44) 20 7278 7660
Web: / Email:
from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of speech.

See ‘links’ for the right to information act.

BARM Society 2009
February 1, 2009, 7:04 pm
Filed under: awareness, Foundation, meeting, program, training, visit | Tags:


BARM Society 2009

Florus Geraedts of BARM will visit Bangladesh from February 6 – march 29 2009. One of the highlights will be the foundation of BARM Society. The BARM Society is initiated on july 26 2008 in Kuala Lumpur during the ICA congress by Sharif Uddin Ahmed, Lutful Haq, Mahbubur Rahman, Elias Miah, Fazle Mir and Florus Geraedts. This BARM Society’s Steering Committee will have the meeting to launch the BARM Society on 24 February 2009 in Dhaka.

In the meantime the Dutch Archivists Professional Association, Koninklijke Vereniging van Archivarissen in Nederland decided to start a twinning project with the BARM Society and their Norwegian Colleagues in the Norsk Arkivråd.

This webblog is a tool of communication for all BARM-ers, both in Netherlands and particularly in Bangladesh and in near future as soon as possible Norway, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Japan, Philipines.

Right to Information Ordinance, a milestone for Bangladesh
January 25, 2009, 8:22 pm
Filed under: awareness | Tags:

RTI Ordinance in Bangladesh: Speakers tell seminar on Right to Know Day, 2008

Posted 29 September 2008 by bnnrc

in· Access to information · Asia/Pacific · access to information


Dhaka, Bangladesh

Speakers at a seminar on 28 September, 2008 called on all to extend cooperation in implementing the Right to Information (RTI) Ordinance 2008 for the greater benefit of the countrymen.

Welcoming the council of advisers’ approval to the much-awaited ordinance, they said there are several loopholes in the proposed ordinance, which need to be closed in order to ensure maximum disclosure of information.Newly floated Right to Information Forum organised the seminar titled ‘Right to Information: Why at this moment?’ at Brac Centre Inn in the city to mark the International Right to Know Day, which will be observed worldwide on September 28.

The right to information is a constitutional right backed by the UN and the approval of RTI Ordinance is a step towards realising this right, said Mahbubul Alam, a former information adviser who attended the programme as the chief guest.Pointing out that there are many loopholes in the proposed ordinance, he said the ordinance covers up to upazila level, not up to union parishad level.

“We will bring these points to the attention of the elected government,” he said, urging all to continue the movement for the right to information.Terming the right to know the mother of all rights, the speakers demanded that a provision protecting the whistleblowers be included in the RTI law.

AK Mohammad Hossain, joint secretary of the law ministry, said the RTI legislation should have nine guiding principles including maximum disclosure of information, obligation to publish information, open governance, restricting the exemption instances, facilitating access to information and protecting the whistleblowers.

Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh, moderated the seminar presided over by Shaheen Anam, convenor of RTI Forum and executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation which has been working for the enactment of the RTI act.“All of our efforts should now be aimed at proper implementation of the RTI ordinance so that general people benefit from it,” Shaheen Anam said and hoped that the next elected government will endorse the legislation in parliament.

After the ordinance is implemented, corruption will decline gradually and the transparency and accountability will help brighten the country’s image, she said.In his keynote paper, Barrister Tanjib-ul Alam said there are provisions in most existing laws, which support the right to information, but these provisions are not being used.Prof Asif Nazrul, Prof Nazrul Islam, chairman of University Grants Commission, and Badiul Alam Majumder of Shushashoner Jonney Nagorik also spoke at the seminar. Ref: The Daily Star

Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication(BNNRC) is a member of Right to Information Forum.

AHM. Bazlur Rahman-S21BR, Chief Executive Officer, Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication(BNNRC)
& Member, Strategy Council, UN-Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN GAID), House: 13/1, Road:2, Shaymoli, Dhaka-1207 
Post Box: 5095, Dhaka 1205 Bangladesh, Phone: 88-02-9130750, 88-02-9138501, 1711881647 Fax: 88-02-9138501-105



RTI Ordinance 2008 Gazetted in Bangladesh

by Piyas Roy   30 November 2008


The Right to Information Ordinance, 2008 (RTI) came into effect with the government publishing a gazette notification Monday, on 20 October, 2008. However, people will have to wait 90 working days before they can use the law to get information.
Within the 90 working days, an information commission will be formed for proper execution of the law and resolving public complaints regarding information. All preparation for releasing
information under the law would be made within these 90 days.
Even though at first six security and intelligence agencies were kept outside the purview of the ordinance, the gazette shows eight agencies. The agencies are National Security Intelligence,  Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, Defence Intelligence Unit, Criminal Investigation Department of police, Special Security Force, intelligence cell of National Board of Revenue.
The Special Branch of Police and intelligence unit of Rapid Action Battalion were added later. However, if the information is related to corruption and violation of human rights in these agencies, they will have to provide the information within 30 days. The ordinance classifies information which may pose threat to the security,  Integrity and sovereignty of Bangladesh, obstruct law enforcement or incite any offence, endanger public security or impede due judicial process of a pending case, affect any criminal  Investigation, be prejudicial to the special rights of the Parliament, documents including summaries to be placed before the cabinet, or the council of advisers and information relating to discussions and decisions of such meetings. Within 60 days of promulgation of the ordinance all public, autonomous and statutory organisations and other private institutions run on government or foreign funding that have been brought under the new law will nominate an officer-in-charge for each of the unit to provide information. “Appointing authorised officers at government offices requires government orders. We will request all ministries in seven days to issue orders in this regard,” Information Secretary Jamil Osman told The Daily Star. The information ministry will form a five-member selection committee soon to recommend candidates for the job of chief information commissioner and information commissioners to the
president. It will recommend two candidates for each post.
“We will soon prepare our proposal for the selection committee and finalise it after getting the nod from government high-ups,” the information secretary said, adding that his ministry has
commenced a 12-week-long roadmap for implementing the ordinance. A judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, nominated by the chief justice, will head the selection committee that will also have the cabinet secretary as a member. The
Speaker of the parliament would nominate a member each from the treasury bench and the opposition bench and the government would nominate a representative of eminent citizens for the selection committee. The information commission will consist of a chief information commissioner and two commissioners, at least one of them will be a woman. It will have its headquarters in Dhaka
and in case of necessity would be able to establish offices  anywhere in Bangladesh. The information commission will lay down guidelines to be followed by the authorities for publication and publicity of information and obtaining information. Every authority shall prepare and publicize a list of information which will be supplied free of cost, the ordinance says. People will have to apply for information either in writing or through electronic media or
through email and will have to pay fees for applying and for the information where applicable.
However, the authorities may exempt an individual or a class of individuals or any other class from paying such fees. The government in consultation with the information commission and by notification in official gazette may fix the fees and if needed the price of information. The officer-in-charge of providing information upon receiving a request will provide the information within 20 working days. However, if more than one unit or authority is involved, the information will be provided within 30 working days.
If the officer-in-charge fails to provide the information, he will inform the applicant the causes in writing within 10 working days.
If the sought information is linked to life and death, arrest or  release from jail, the officer-incharge will provide the preliminary information within 24 hours. The council of advisers on September 20 gave the final approval to the RTI ordinance. Against the backdrop of a longstanding demand, the caretaker government took the initiative to formulate the RTI as part of its institutional reforms. After an eight-member government formed body prepared a primary draft in February, opinions from different stakeholders were sought before the information ministry submitted it to the cabinet on June 18 when it approved it in principle.