Outgoing state information commissioner Rev. Dr. Pongsing Konyak equated the Nagaland State Information Commission (SIC) as a role model for all public authorities, seeking to promote open and participatory government, curb corruption, enhance transparency in all government departments.
Rev. Dr. Pongsing, who had served as state information commissioner for the last five years, said this in his farewell speech March 14.
He called on the need for bureaucrats to make a paradigm shift from their “deep-rooted culture of secrecy” and let go of “long standing hidden practices and rigid attitude”.
He stated that in modern democracies, citizens had the right to know about the affairs of the government elected by them and about policies formulated by the latter, aimed at public welfare. Maintaining that officers in public offices should not feel threatened when citizens approached them with a request, Pongsing said rather they should cooperate with the information seekers.
He also said citizens, at the same time, should not use RTI as a weapon to victimize or harass officers in public authorities.
Terming his service at SIC as a “great learning experience” and stating he learned to be “transparent and honest” by working in this commission, the outgoing commissioner expressed gratitude to all for their cooperation and support during his tenure.
He also extended appreciation to state chief minister Neiphiu Rio for giving him the opportunity to serve as the SIC. On his future plans, Rev. Dr. Pongsing stated he had few openings for international ministry, as well as opportunity for ministry at regional and national levels. He, however disclosed that he was to decide and that he was praying for God’s guidance.