Male’, Maldives – Information Commissioner Hussain Fiyaz Moosa has said that watchdogs are being trained to monitor all the island councils.
While speaking about the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICOM) budget at todays parliamentary committee reviewing the 2021 budget meeting, Fiyaz said that while island council’s had been decentralized, some of these council were not working up to standard and that they did not release important information to the public, including what gets discussed at council meetings.
Fiyaaz said that his office was working hard to make vital information available to the public and that there are plans to train people who would act as watchdogs for each and every council.
“Training programs will start next month for this program, these trainees can be also referred to as RTI activists. Around 50 individuals have signed up for the program. We plan to have at least one of them for every island” said Fiyaz
Fiyaz told that the RTI activists are to seek information to promote transparency and accountability in local government administrations. Fiyaz also added that he wants this step to facilitate for a more responsible and corruption free councils and that this would also speed up the councils works.
While speaking at the committee meeting, Fiyaz also requested to increase the commissions budget for the upcoming year stating that the current budget allocated for them was not sufficient. He said today that ICOM’s allocated MVR 4 Million budget for 2021 “leaves barely any room to breath”.
But he added that he understands the current situation does not allow for a larger budget but that if other commissions get an increased budget, he wishes for to committee to increase the ICOM budget in the same ratio. He said that if the budget cannot be increased, they will continue work after reducing expenditures.