Thinking of a Career in Emergency Management?
- BY Nicole Pelette
Sri Lanka enacted a Right to Information (RTI) law in 2016, after years of lobbying and advocacy by various stakeholders. The Sri Lankan RTI Act became fully operational in February 2017. The Act is by and large in line with progressive comparative legislation, and is ranked 3rd in the Global Right to Information rating by the Centre for Law and Democracy. The law creates a key entry point for strengthening transparency and accountability in government, addressing corruption, and ultimately strengthening participatory, effective and equitable governance.
The success of the RTI legal regime would critically depend on the efficient and effective supply of information by public authorities as the main duty holder under the Act. The Act is applicable to public authorities at national, provincial and local levels. Wide responsibilities have been cast on public authorities, including specified tasks relating to specific aspects, which need to be individually or collectively discharged for the successful operationalization of the law.
The Right to Information Commission was appointed in terms of section 11 of the RTI Act no. 12 of 2016 in 2017 to, among others to monitor RTI implementation and compliance by public authorities, issue guidelines with regard to various aspects of implementation and records management, capacity building of public authorities and to hear and determine appeals submitted to it by aggrieved parties.
In terms of section 14 (a) of the RTI Act, the RTI Commission is required to monitor the performance of public authorities, and ensure due compliance of the duties cast on the public authorities under the RTI Act. To discharge this obligation, it is important to conduct proper monitoring of the implementation of the law in terms of both reactive and proactive disclosure of information as well as records management. Effective monitoring depends on the efficient collection and analysis of information on how duties are discharged. The internal reporting mechanism prescribed under Section 10 of the Act obliges public authorities to provide annual reports giving specific information to the Commission to ascertain the level of implementation.
Scope and Objectives
UNDP Sri Lanka is supporting the newly established RTI Commission to implement the RTI law. Towards this end, UNDP Sri Lanka requires the immediate services of a monitoring consultant to provide support to the RTI Commission with their core monitoring functions in order to give effect to and realize the full potential of the law.
The Consultants will report to UNDP’s Technical Specialist on Independence Commissions for contractual purposes and jointly to the Director General of the RTI Commission and the UNDP’s Management and Coordination Consultant on RTI on a day-to-day basis in carrying out the key responsibilities of the assignment.
Given the fluid operational context, the scope, management and reporting arrangements as well as deliverables of this contract may change, save for the requirement of reporting to UNDP’s Technical Specialist (Independence Commissions) for contractual purposes. Any such proposed changes will be discussed in advance with the Consultants, and formally communicated in writing thereafter.
Duties and Responsibilities
The purpose of this consultancy is to provide support to the RTI Commission with their core monitoring functions in order to give effect to and realize the full potential of the law. More specifically, the consultant is expected to:
DURATION OF THE WORK
The duration of this assignment is expected to be over the period 1 February 2019 to 31 August 2019 with the possibility of extension.
Knowledge Management and Learning
Required Skills and Experience
Education: Bachelor’s degree with minimum 2 years.
Language Requirements: Good oral and written communication skills in English as well as Sinhala and / or Tamil are required.