Section 9 of the RTI Act No. 12 of 2016 mandates the Minister responsible for an infrastructure project to disclose project information. The information should be proactively disclosed for foreign and locally funded projects exceeding USD 100,000 and LKR 500,000 respectively, at least three months prior to commencement. The disclosures are to be made under 5 broad categories: project details, rationale and beneficiaries, budget and financial details, approvals and clearances, and procurements and contracts.
Despite the Right to Information (RTI) Act’s proactive disclosure requirement, only 18% and 25% of information required to be disclosed on large-scale infrastructure projects were proactively disclosed online in 2022 and 2023 respectively, according to Verité Research.
The information, when available online, was mostly available in English – even though the RTI Act mandates disclosure in Sinhala and Tamil, with English required only if feasible. In 2022, 18% of the information was available in English, but only 5% in Sinhala and 4% in Tamil. This trend continued in 2023, where 25% was available in English, with only 8% in Sinhala and 8% in Tamil.