Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter has asked authorities at the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) to be open with information.
Misa Malawi made the appeal after the directorate was, for the second-year running, given the unenviable Golden Padlock Award for being too secretive.
In the results announced at Malawi Sun Hotel in Blantyre yesterday, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) retained the Golden Key Award.
The research is intended to assess the level of openness of public institutions in the region. This is the sixth year that Misa has conducted research in Southern Africa.
Explaining the criteria used to choose the winner, the 2015 report said all institutions that did not respond to the written requests for information and do not have websites, can easily qualify as most secretive.
Misa Malawi chairperson Thom Khanje said MEC maintained its standard and, like last year, the commission did better in this year’s research. He said the commission’s website and facebook account are well updated.
No official from DRTSS was available to receive the award, but in a telephone interview later, DRTSS public relations officer Chisomo Chibwana said the institution is not impressed with the parameters Misa Malawi might have used.
She said: “We have made some improvements. In your newspaper, The Nation, we have a page where we are updating the public every Wednesday on what is going on. Even reporters when they visit us, they always have the information.”
This year, 10 institutions were assessed. They included Blantyre City Council which scooped 16 points, Blantyre Water Board (BWB) 15 points, Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) nine, Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) eight, DRTSS two, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development two, Ministry of Industry and Trade 14, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development 11, National Aids Commission 12 and MEC 27.