Search This Blog

Friday, August 04, 2006

Local work for transparency rewarded

The Ramon Magsaysay awards recognise outstanding achievement and leadership throughout Asia commemorating the courage and integrity of one of the great leaders of the Philippines .

It might just make some news here that one of Australia's late Fred Hollows’ trainees Sanduk Ruit was the winner of the 2006 award for Peace and International Understanding for his work in placing Nepal at the forefront of developing safe, effective and economical procedures for cataract surgery.

It probably won’t make any news that Arvind Kejriwal of India won the award for Emergent Leadership for his work in pursuing the “right to information movement at the grass roots, empowering New Delhi’s poorest citizens to fight corruption by holding government accountable to the people”.

Kejriwal, an officer with the Indian Revenue Service, founded Parivartan (Change) in 2000 and began a campaign for transparency in the tax department where the payment of bribes was expected as a matter of course.

He subsequently pursued rights under India’s Right to Information Act to obtain reports on public works projects which exposed misappropriations and embezzlement, and forced the government to take action to address high levels of theft in the provision of subsidised rations of wheat and rice for the poor.

Good to see an FOI activist like this get recognition.

It just so happens that the Indian Government is moving to tighten the law to reduce access to internal working documents, including the names of those who make government decisions.

No comments:

Post a Comment