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ICOM orders Male' City Council to disclose salary information

Mariyam Malsa
21 January 2021, MVT 21:15
Information Commissioner Officer Hussain Fiyaz Moosa during a previous press conference. PHOTO: AHMED AWSHAN ILYAS
Mariyam Malsa
21 January 2021, MVT 21:15

The Information Commissioner's Office, on Wednesday, ordered Male' City Council to disclose its salary information within a period of seven days in response to a request.

Information Commissioner Hussain Fiyaz Moosa issued the ruling at a public hearing held after the City Council refused to reply to a request for information placed by a citizen.

During the hearing, City Council representative demanded which regulation mandated the disclosure of private details in response to queries from citizens.

In response, Information Commissioner Fiyaz cited Article Section 37 of the Right to Information Act, which includes employees' remuneration details among the list of information that state institutions are stipulated to disclose proactively on an annual basis. He also noted that salaries issued by the government could not be considered private information.

After the City Council representative maintained his stance that state institutions did not have to oblige information requests from citizens within a certain period, Commissioner Fiyaz highlighted Section 7 of the RTI Act, which asserts that requests for information must be granted within a maximum of 21 days, while an extension of 14 days is applicable if the information can only be provided after undergoing extensive research or situations in which the requested volume of information is significant enough to impede the institution's functioning.

Information Commissioner Fiyaz expressed dismay that the City Council seemed unaware of the provisions of the RTI and suggested that ICOM hold a session for the members.

Following the ratification of the RTI Act in 2014, Male’ City Council has yet to declare their remuneration details, despite being mandated to annually disclose this information.

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