Egyptian ministries make little progress on making information available to public: Report

Ahram Online , Wednesday 9 Dec 2015

The finance ministry came first among Egyptian ministries in terms of citizens ability to access information access; the ministries of higher education and scientific research scored the lowest

Sherif Ismail
File Photo: Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail (Reuters)

Egyptian ministries have not made noticeable progress on proactive disclosure of information despite a recently launched anti-corruption state initiative , according to a report by an independent rights group.

The Support for Information Technology Center (SITC) has evaluated 24 ministries – including the foreign, finance and justice ministries – in terms of levels of readily availabile information to the public. The SITC also evaluated the efficiency of the websites provided by various ministries.

As opposed to 2014 findings, the ministries surveyed have shown little progress in 2015 with regard to making information available to the public, a right guaranteed by the country's constitution.

The SITC used four criteria to evaluate ministries performance: making the information available, complete, comprehensible and update to date.

The ministries of finance and planning came on top in "proactive disclosure of information," both scoring 42 out of 104 points, compared to 39 and 30 points respectively in 2014, the report by SITC's transparency and accountability department argued.

The ministries of higher education and scientific research scored the worst among the ministries on information availability, both scoring a mere 5 points. 

The report, published on Wednesday, comes a year after the Egyptian government launched a four-year anti-corruption initiative, the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, which has primarily focused on making information available to the public.

On the "digital infrastructure," the website of the Ministry of Culture appeared to have been the finest, scoring 19 points on a 22-point scale, followed by that of the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade (18 points).

The foreign ministry scored a modest 24 points in terms of information availability, as opposed to 18 points year-on- year. The SITC gave the ministry's official website 12 out of 22 points.

The justice ministry scored a meagre 8 in information availability assessment, with the same figure given to its online portal.

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