Application Procedures

How to Submit RTI Application?

You can make the request (in Urdu or English) on a plain piece of paper or use the optional Information Request Form. In your request, you need to write the following: 

  • The name of the public body concerned
  • Details of the information you are asking for
  • You can also state the form in which you want the information (e.g. paper document, CDs) or if you simply want  to inspect the documents at the public body’s office
  • Your name and address/contact details

You should address your request to the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the concerned department, and submit it by post or by hand.

Each public body is required to appoint Public Information Officers, as required by the law. Their job is to handle RTI requests and assist citizens in making RTI requests.

If you are not able to write your RTI application (due to illiteracy, disability, or difficulty in explaining the information you want), the Public Information Officer (PIO) of concerned department will assist you. 

To submit your complaints online, please click here.

Tips for Preparing RTI Application

The wording of your RTI request can make a big difference to how successful you are in getting the information you want. Follow these tips:

  • Try to make your request simple, clear and precise. The more specific your RTI request, the easier it will be for PIO to find the information you want
  • As a general guide, avoid subjective questions (e.g. seeking explanations or opinions) and stick to more fact-based and objective questions
  • Don’t ask for different information in the same RTI request.  Submit separate requests for different types of information

The following examples show how you can choose the wording in your request to ensure a positive response: 

Specificity

Don’t ask open-ended questions, like ‘How much does the government spend on foreign trips for ministers?’ The PIO could be confused about: ‘Which ministers? – all of them, some of them; ‘Over what time period? – the past year, since the elections, and so on. Instead ask, ‘How much was spent on the visit to Malaysia in June 2013 by the Minister of Education and his entourage? This is much more specific and thus easier to find.

Objectivity

Don’t ask ‘Why is my application for 'X' allowance taking so long?’ Since this could be subjective and open-ended, but rather ‘What has happened to my application for reimbursment of medical bill?’ – getting this information will enable you to see where your application has been held up.

Requests per Department and Type of Information

Don’t ask ‘How many permits has the District Government issued for butchers in the last fiscal year and how much is the District Government spending on water supply?’ in the same RTI request, since these are different types of information and relate to completely different departments. It would be better to submit two separate RTI requests for this information.

Sample RTI Application

Possible Actions

The Public Information Officer (PIO) can take following actions on your RTI applications:

  • Provide you the information you requested (in the format you asked for) along with a certificate (dated, stamped and signed by PIO) stating that the information is correct
  • Inform you in writing if the information you requested cannot be provided because it is exempt under the Punjab Transparency and RTI Act (or some other reason, e.g. it cannot be found)
  • Inform you if your requested information is with another public body. In such cases, the PIO has to transfer your request to that public body and inform you in writing
  • Inform you in writing if your requested information is with another public body but he doesn’t know which one.  It will then be up to you to try and find the relevant public body

You will get information as per the following timelines:  

Tasks

Responding to RTI Requests
Timeline
Responsibility
Within 14 working days of receipt of application
Public Information Officers
Additional 14 days if needed to search for records or consult another party
Applicant will be informed in writing
   
Responding to Urgent RTI Requests(if life or liberty of a person at stake)  
Timeline Responsibility
Within 2 working days of receipt of application Public Information Officers