Governance and Right To Information

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Archive for the ‘RTI’ Category

RTI Act a powerful weapon: Minister

Posted by egovernance on November 19, 2006

RTI Act a powerful weapon: Minister

Staff Reporter

 http://www.hindu.com/2006/11/19/stories/2006111902960500.htm

 


  • Seminars on RTI Act held in 20 districts
  • Information on the Act yet to reach grass root level

     

    NIZAMABAD: Minister for Rural Development D. Srinivas has said that the Right to Information Act (RIA) is a powerful weapon in the hands of both people and media.

    “This Act is very useful to make the administration accountable and to ensure transparency in the administration. You can avail yourself of the Act to get the necessary information from the authorities,” he said while addressing a seminar on Right to Information Act here on Saturday.

    The seminar was jointly conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Press Academy and the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists for the benefit of Urdu journalists of Adilabad and Nizamabad districts.

    Among those who spoke at the seminar were Andhra Pradesh Press Academy Chairman D. Amar, Andhra Pradesh Urdu Academy Chairman Raheemuddin Ansari, Deputy IG Anjanikumar, Collector I.S. Sri Naresh, Mayor D. Sanjay, Commissioner of the Right to Information R. Dileep Reddy and District Congress Committee president G. Gangadhar.

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    Posted in RTI | 3 Comments »

    Rally on Right To Information Act

    Posted by egovernance on November 18, 2006

    Rally on Right To Information Act
    Saturday November 18 2006 00:08 IST

     http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=

    IET20061117134729&Title=Southern+News+%2D+Tamil+Nadu&rLink=0

    KANCHEEPURAM: District Collector Pradeep Yadav today flagged off the Right To Information (RTI) Act Awareness rally, organised by the Federation of Consumer Organisations of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (FEDCOT), at the Collectorate on Friday.

    The Collector also released handbills on Right To Information Act, which were received by the District Supplies Officer N Kuzandhai Velu.

    The handbills contained details of special features of the Right to Information Act 2005, types of information that could be sought from the government agencies, the departments and agencies from which information could be had, how to apply for information, fees to be paid for various information, names of public information officers, time frame for getting information, appeal methods and fine, in case of delay in issue of information to the concerned departments.

    The awareness campaign participants included Vandalur Consumer Rights Protection Organisation, Ayappan Thangal Paranipudur Consumer Rights Protection Organisation, Utiramerur Taluk Consumer Rights Protection Organisation, Madurandagam Taluk Consumer Rights Protection Organisation, Tsunami Law Consulting Committee, Chennai, Manitha Urimaikana Kudimakkal Iyakkam, Kancheepuram, and Kancheepuram District Consumer Protection Organisation.

    Posted in RTI | 1 Comment »

    RTI Act: Kalam’s intervention sought – RTI Activists meet President

    Posted by egovernance on November 2, 2006

    SOME IMPORTANT NEWS ON RTI

     

    RTI Act: Kalam’s intervention sought
    Aditi Tandon
    Tribune News Service

    Chandigarh, November 1
    A group of social activists from Chandigarh has sough the President of India’s intervention in making the Right to Information (RTI) Act more proactive than it presently is.

    At a meeting held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on October 30, representatives of the Burning Brains Society and Citizens Voice, two voluntary organisations active in North India, apprised President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam of some deficiencies in the Act which were marring its unique character. The principal among these are the exclusion of civil society from the Act and lack of uniformity in RTI rules.

    Ever since the Act came into force, institutions and trusts have not been able to use it due to vague interpretation of the “RTI Act” by the Central Information Commission (CIC). The CIC has held that any NGO, a trust, a society or other such institution is not eligible to seek information under the Act. “Such interpretation, ” activists say, is incorrect and illegal.

    Mr Hemant Goswami of the Burning Brains Society clarifies: “In legal terms, all NGOs, trusts and societies can approach the High Court or the Supreme Court for the protection of their fundamental rights. It is strange that they have been denied the right to seek information under the RTI Act.”

    The RTI Act says that only a “person” can seek information and a “person” can file appeal with the Information Commission. Even if that be so, Article 367 of the Constitution demands that “General Clauses Act, 1897” be referred to for any interpretation of the word “person”. According to this Act, “person” shall include any company or association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not.”

    Under the RTI Act, however, this interpretation has been ignored. The representation submitted to the President seeks immediate rectification of the misinterpretation. It also raises the issue of lack of uniformity in RTI rules – something that is defeating the purpose of the Act. Section 27 and 28 of the Act empower “State Governments” and “Competent Authorities” to make their own rules. These provisions are being misused grossly.

    Many states and competent authorities have prescribed fee as high as Rs 500 (instead of Rs 10 as prescribed by the Act) for seeking information. Complicated forms and payment methods to deposit RTI fee have been prescribed, making it impossible for poor and illiterate people to seek information.

    The Delhi High Court has prescribed a fee of 500 for getting information. It has also reduced to Rs 50 the fine on the official who fails to furnish information. The fine under the Act is Rs 250 per day.

    And that’s not all. Some authorities have changed rules to the detriment of the Act. Himachal Pradesh which has several people living below the poverty line has prescribed two complicated forms for seeking information. Not just that, it accepts fee only if the same is deposited in its treasury and three copies of the treasury receipt are deposited along with the two mentioned forms.

    Any issue related to a matter spread over 10 years requires an applicant to submit 10 separate applications, one pertaining to each year and deposit a separate set of forms and fee for each year. Many other state governments like Haryana have enhanced the RTI fee to Rs 50.

    In many ways then the power granted to state government and authorities to frame their own rules under the Act is being misused. The President of India has now promised to look into these and other vital issues the representation raises.


    TIMES OF INDIA NEWS IS AT http://epaper. timesofindia. com/Repository/ ml.asp?Ref= VE9JQ0cvMjAwNi8x MS8wMSNBcjAwMjA1&Mode=HTML&Locale=english- skin-custom

    Social activists raise RTI concerns with President Kalam

     

     

    October 31, 2006: New Delhi: – On the invitation of the President, a five member delegation led by social activist Hemant Goswami met the Indian President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam yesterday.

     

    The delegation discussed issues on RTI reforms and stressed on the need of proper implementation of the “Right to Information” laws. Mr. Hemant Goswami, leader of the delegation informed that the President was very receptive and discussed each issue in full details during the 30 minutes meeting. The President showed keen interest on the suggestion that the whole of India should have the same RTI rules applicable everywhere instead each state making its own rules, Mr. Ajit Tomar, a member of the delegation revealed.

    Five major issues were discussed in the meeting. It was mentioned that some information commissions were wrongly preventing NGO’s from seeking information under the RTI Act. The delegation pointed out that when NGO’s were empowered to move the courts for preventing violation of fundamental rights under part three of the constitution, there was no reason why there should be any restriction on seeking information, especially when legally there was no restriction on NGO’s or AoP’s to seek information.

     

    It was pointed out that the provisions of Section 27 and 28 which empower the “State Governments” and “Competent Authorities” to make their own rules was playing untold bedlam and severely restricting the implementation of the RTI Act. These provisions were being grossly misused by many “Competent authorities, ” “State Governments” and the corrupt bureaucracy/ officers, the delegates informed.

     

    Issues relating to appointment and condition of service of the information commissioners were also discussed. The activists were of the view that no government servant should be selected for the position of information commissioner until three years have elapsed since his/her last assignment with the government. There must be the involvement of the Supreme or the High court chief justice instead of any other minister in the appointment of the information commissioners. On the lines of the Human Rights Act, any person who has been an information commissioner must be ineligible for further government appointment to bring impartiality in selection and decision making of the commission, the activists insisted.


    The present scenario of projecting Information Commissions as courts was incorrect and rather the Information Commissions office should be projected as facilitation centres with minimum procedural hurdles.  Of course the issue of no amendment which abridges the right to information as enjoyed currently under the RTI Act was also discussed.


    Copy of the memo containing issues discussed with the President

     

    BBS/PoI/1006/ 016

    October 30, 2006

    His Excellency A. P. J. Abdul Kalam,

    President of India

    NEW DELHI

     

    ENSURING PROPER IMPLEMENTATION OF RTI ACT FOR

    EMPOWERING PEOPLE

     
    Your Excellency,

    We are thankful to your Excellency for sparing valuable time to listen to the voice of the common man on concerns relating to implementation of the “Right to Information Act 2005.” The intend of every concerned citizen is that the RTI Act should achieve the intended objective of empowering the people by helping inch the nation closer in achieving the goals  enshrined in the Constitution to built an egalitarian society based on Justice, Liberty and Equality.

    We on behalf of the common people of India would like to highlight some of the issues relating to proper implementation of the “Right to Information” for your kind perusal;

    PREVENT EXLUSION OF CIVIL SOCIETY FROM RTI

    In a bizarre interpretation of the “RTI Act” the Central Information Commission has held that any NGO, Trust, Society or any other AoP are not eligible to seek information under the RTI Act. Such interpretation is not only incorrect but also illegal.

    To point out the legal interpretation, it may be mentioned that any NGO, Trust, Society or any other AoP can approach the High Court or the Supreme Court for protection of the fundamental rights as in Part III of the constitution or otherwise. Section 6 and Sec. 18 and 19 of the RTI clearly read that any “Person” may seek any information and any “Person” may file an appeal with the Information Commission. According to Article 367 of the Constitution, for any interpretation the “General Clauses Act, 1897” has to be referred. Section 3 (42) of the General Clauses Act, 1897 reads that “Person” shall include any company or association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not;” (Quoted). Further even Section 11 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 also defines “Person” as “Person—The word “person” includes any Company of Association of body of persons, whether incorporated or not. (Quoted)

     

    It is quite strange that an NGO can approach the Supreme Court for enforcement of rights conferred under the Part III of the constitution but are denied the right to seek information under the RTI Act by the CIC.

    Any attempt to exclude NGO’s and/or Civil Society from the RTI Act shall have a telling effect on achieving the desired ends of the Act. This wrong interpretation must be immediately clarified and rectified.

    UNIFORMITY IN RTI RULES

    The provisions of Section 27 and 28 which empower the “State Governments” and “Competent Authorities” to make their own rules are playing untold bedlam and severely restricting the implementation of the RTI Act. These provisions are being grossly misused by many “Competent authorities, ” “State Governments” and the corrupt bureaucracy/ officers.

    Many States and Competent authorities have prescribed fee as high as Rs. 500/- (Instead of Rs. 10/- as prescribed by the Act) for seeking information. Complicated forms and payment methods to deposit RTI fee has been prescribed which makes it nearly impossible for a common citizen (Especially people living under poverty line or those illiterate) to seek information. For example Delhi High Court prescribes a fee of 500 for seeking information (Rule 10 of “Delhi High Court (Right to Information) Rules, 2006”) and has reduced the fine on delinquent official not furnishing information to Rs. 50/- per day (Instead of the prescribed Rs. 250/- per day in the RTI Act). Similarly the State of Himachal Pradesh which has a large population living in poverty has prescribed two complicated forms “A” and “D” for seeking information and inspecting files. Further Himachal Government accepts fee only if it be deposited in the Himachal Government Treasury and three copies of the treasury receipt are deposited along with the two forms. Further if a subject matter related to a matter spread over ten years then the applicant has to submit ten separate applications, one pertaining to each year and deposit separate set of form and fee for each year. Most other State Governments like Haryana too have enhanced the RTI fee to Rs. 50/- or above in addition to prescribing non-practical and cumbersome rules.

    The power granted to the State Government and Competent Authorities under Section 27 and 28 to frame their own rules must be immediately recalled and uniform rules by the Central Government must only be applicable. People from any part of the country must be enabled to seek information from any other part of the country. “One India” should have “One rule”.

    APPOINTMENT & SELECTION OF THE CIC AND SIC

    The present mode of appointment of the CIC and the SIC as mentioned under Section 12 and 15 is not proper and needs to be changed.

    a.       The three member recommendation committee for the CIC and other Information Commissioners should include the “Chief Justice of the Supreme Court” in place of “a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister,” as mentioned in Section 12(3)(iii).

    b.      The three member recommendation committee for the SIC and other Information Commissioners should include the “Chief Justice of the High Court of the State” in place of “a Cabinet Minister nominated by the Chief Minister,” as mentioned in Section 15(3)(iii).

    c.       No person from the bureaucracy should be appointed as an Information Commissioner unless at-least three years have elapsed since his/her last assignment with the government. The precedence of appointing the relived “Chief Secretaries” as Information Commissioner is detrimental for proper implementation of the RTI Act as many times the Information Commissioners have to listen to appeals against the same officers with whom he/she still enjoys a very emotional or close personal rapport. This often comes in way of passing firm orders and/or penalizing delinquent officials.

    d.      As far as possible young people involved in social activities with a proven track record and who are adequately qualified should be considered for the position of Information Commissioners.

    TERM OF SERVICE OF THE CIC AND SIC

    No Information Commissioner should be eligible for any further appointment under the Government of the State or under the Government of India on ceasing to hold office. To ensure that the members of the commission work in an unbiased manner and do their duty without expecting any future gains/returns for any “favour granted,” including such a condition is must.

    Such a condition is also there in Section 24(3) of “Protection of Human Rights Act 1993,” which reads, ” 24(3): On ceasing to hold office, a Chairperson or a Member shall be ineligible for further employment under the Government of a State or under the Government of India.” A similar condition should be included in the RTI Act.

    NEED TO PROJECT INFORMATION COMMISSIONS AS “FACILITATING BODIES” AND NOT AS COURTS

    Most Information Commissioners are projecting themselves akin “Judges” and “Information Commission Office” as “Court of Law.” This is counter productive and gives an impression of an unfriendly and vexatious system. Such an image is likely to defeat the objective of the RTI Act. Most Information Commissions are also promoting the idea of quoting the earlier decisions of Central Information Commission or the State Commissions as precedence, just as case laws quoted in courts. Our Constitution does not intend to promote such a system and this is the reason that only the “High Court” and the “Supreme Court” have been designated as courts of record and no other tribunal or quasi judicial commission/forum. By promoting a system like that of courts, the distance between the “Commission” and “People” is likely to increase further which would be eventually fatal to the desired objectives. Besides, such a system would also give growth to professionals who are expert in manipulating all such systems and procedure to their advantage.

    QUESTION OF AMENDMENT

    No amendment which abridges the right to information as enjoyed currently under the RTI Act must be allowed to be made. No new organisation should be included in the “Second Schedule” of the RTI Act. All discussions and contemplations regarding any proposed amendment to the RTI Act should be open to public at all times and done only after involvement of the civil society which should be absolutely open and transparent at all stages.

    Your Excellency; we are very hopeful that you will consider our prayer and thereby enable the voice of citizens of India mouthed through us, heard in the higher echelons of power. We also pray that the necessary administrative, legal and other corrective changes as suggested above are considered so that the spirit of the RTI Act and the Constitution of India is protected.

    Thanking you,

    Yours cordially

    Hemant Goswami

    Chairperson, Burning Brain Society

    Convenor, Citizens Voice

    Devender Madan        Ajit Tomar      Poonam Goswami                   Neeraj Chaudhary        

    …. and other concerned Citizens of India

    Telephone: +91-172-5165555, 5185600 E-Mail: info(at)burningbrai n.org
    http://www.burningb rain.org

    Posted in RTI | 2 Comments »

    Officials asked to provide info under RIA

    Posted by egovernance on October 20, 2006

    Officials asked to provide info under RIA
    Friday October 20 2006 13:05 IST

     http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEK20061020024350&Title=

    Southern+News+%2D+Karnataka&rLink=0

    BIDAR: R Suresh, Principal Secretary, Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms asked the officers of all government departments to provide information within 15 days of receiving any query under Right to Information Act.

    Speaking at a public grievances redressal meeting here on Wednesday, he said that officials should visit the spot and take all measures to redress the grievances.

    No case should be under pending for a long time, he said.

    Posted in RTI | 2 Comments »

    INDIA: ‘RTI Act can be misused’

    Posted by egovernance on October 18, 2006

    INDIA: ‘RTI Act can be misused’

    Commissioner admits risk of information abuse, but underlines the Act’s importance under the constitution’s gurantee of freedom of speech and expression

    Times of India
    Friday, October 13, 2006

    http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=55261
    Vadodara — While the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 has ushered in much-needed transparency in the administration and empowered the citizens, several bureaucrats and politicians feel that the act is being misused by many for serving vested interests. In fact, state information commissioner RN Das too admitted that there are chances of the Act being misused.

    However, none, who expressed such fears could come up with a specific case of misuse. “There are chances that the RTI Act might be used by many for settling scores or taking revenge against some person.”

    In that case, some provisions of the Act could prove to be perilous,” said Gujarat transport commissioner and IAS officer KC Mahapatra while addressing the audience at the workshop on RTI Act during the International Mayors Conference in the city on Wednesday. “The Act states that the concerned official cannot question the applicant’s motive for demanding the information,which is strange,” Mahapatra added.

    He found some support from Kolkata mayor BR Bhattacharya, who too criticised the sweeping powers given to the citizens under the RTI Act. “The Act should be modified and the sweeping powers awarded to the citizens must be reduce,” Bhattacharya said. “Several NGOs and powerful individuals misuse the Act, and exploit it for vested interests,” he added.

    Das did admit about the possibilities of the act being misused, but he stated that section 8 of the Act clearly spells out the reasons to deny the information. “Chances are that the act is being misused, but I think some modifications might emerge in future as the act is still in evolution stage,” Das said.

    However, when asked whether he ever received complaints the act being misused, Das said, “I am an appellate authority and I just dispose off the appeals. I never came across such complaints.”

    Meanwhile, he said that the RTI act enacted by Indian government is more comprehensive and best among all other countries who have the Act. “The act has empowered the citizens and it’s as essential as the freedom of speech and freedom of expression granted by the Constitution,” Das added.

    Posted in RTI | Leave a Comment »

    RTI ACT 2005

    Posted by egovernance on October 18, 2006

    This is the html version of the file http://www.mit.gov.in/rti-act.pdf.

    http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:RGS7qf8pl1QJ:www.mit.gov.in/rti-act.pdf+RTI+ACT&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=4

    http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:RGS7qf8pl1QJ:www.mit.gov.in/rti-act.pdf+RTI+ACT&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=4

    Posted in RTI | Leave a Comment »

    RTI – eGovernance :: President Kalam

    Posted by egovernance on October 17, 2006

    Evolve guidelines, Kalam asks information panel
    Hindu, India – Oct 14, 2006
    Pointing out that freedom of information was being redefined through the Internet revolution, the President said egovernance had to be friendly to enable

    Expedite egovernance grid: Kalam
    Chennai Online, India – Oct 14, 2006
    New Delhi, Oct 14: President APJ Abdul Kalam has asked the Government to expedite the Rs 23,000 crore National EGovernance Grid Programme to make the  

    Kalam for fusion of egovernance and RTI
    Times of India, India – Oct 13, 2006
    NEW DELHI: President APJ Abdul Kalam on Friday asked the Government to expedite the Rs 23,000 crore National EGovernance Grid Programme to make the  

    President calls for fusion of egovernance and RTI
    Zee News, India – Oct 13, 2006
    New Delhi, Oct 14: President APJ Abdul Kalam has asked the government to expedite the Rs 23,000 crore national egovernance grid programme to make the  

    Kalam calls for fusion of egovernance, RTI
    NDTV.com, India – Oct 13, 2006
    President APJ Abdul Kalam has asked the Government to expedite the Rs 23,000 crore National EGovernance Grid Programme to make the revolutionary people  

    Posted in Governance, RTI | Leave a Comment »

    WHO HAS FAILED ?:OPEN LETTER TO SHRI WAJAHAT HABIBULLAH

    Posted by egovernance on October 17, 2006

    OPEN LETTER TO SHRI WAJAHAT HABIBULLAH

    Dear Shri Habibullah,

    1.Your patience and tact in dealing with the campaign by RTI
    Activists aimed at “sacking” you was quite admirable.  Same group of
    activists had initiated an on-line campaign to the President of
    India against you. They believe that you are personally responsible
    for non-implementation of RTI. Campaign was aimed at getting maximum
    media exposure. In my opinion, a clearer understanding of the
    complexities in implementation of RTI Act in the public
    administration system in India is required, to fix responsibility
    for its non-implementation.

    2. Implementation is the primary responsibility of public
    authorities under the Central and State Governments. CIC /SICs are
    the Appellate Authorities and oversee the implementation of RTI Act
    by the executive authorities, to submit their report to Parliament /
    State Legislatures. Monitoring and reporting duties of CIC / SICs
    are identical to the Audit Report of C&AG. Traditionally, C&AG does
    not undertake executive responsibilities, as it would interfere with
    his independence as an auditor.

    3. Your critics are putting the entire blame for non-implementation
    on you, ignoring the provisions of RTI Act, which define your role.
    This aspect was also overlooked in the national convention. It may
    be your personal decency that you did not emphasize upon the failure
    of executive, to ward off the personal criticism levied on you.

    4. Main issues relating implementation pertain to Appropriate
    Government and Public Authority. CIC and SICs have peripheral role
    of monitoring and reporting to Parliament / State Legislature. If
    RTI Act is implemented in letter and spirit, it constitutes a major
    administrative reform, leading to higher degree of public
    accountability, transparency and quicker response to the aspiration
    of the people. Only the public authorities can carry out such
    administrative changes. In our administrative set-up, CIC / SICs
    will not be able to make any significant contribution in following
    aspects of implementation, except making recommendations to
    Government and highlighting the non-implementation in their
    reports:

    * Changes in record keeping by public authorities u/s 4(1)(a),
    to make information readily accessible to the citizens.

    * Suo moto disclosure of information needed by citizens, to
    avoid resort to applications under RTI Act.

    * Appointment of CPIO/SPIO and publicity regarding their
    appointment.

    * Departmental instructions by each public authority to
    facilitate the work of CPIO/SPIO, so that each official understands
    his responsibilities under the RTI Act.

    * Educational programs under section 25 are the responsibility
    of the Central and State Government. This is a huge task, which
    cannot be performed without using entire administrative machinery
    available with the Government, including the educational
    institutions. This also requires well-planned schemes and funding by
    the Government.

    * Major stumbling block is the negative attitude of the
    officials towards the RTI Act, who are likely to resist enhanced
    pubic accountability and transparency.

    5. During the first year of implementation, Central and State
    Governments have not been able to fulfill all these legal
    obligations.  Proposed amendments to Section 18 of RTI Act seems to
    be an attempt to pass on the entire responsibility of implementation
    to Central Information Commission / State Information Commissions.
    They do not have the requisite administrative and financial
    resources, at there command. If this amendment to TI Act were
    approved by the Parliament, public authorities would continue to
    ignore their duties regarding implementation.

    6. Whereas the RTI Activists are very vociferous about “file
    notings” aspect of the amendments, they have not made adequate noise
    about the far-reaching consequences of amending section 18.  These
    are complex administrative issues, which were not considered in
    the  “National Convention on One Year of RTI”.

    7. In my opinion CIC and SICs should bring their administrative
    limitations to the notice of Central and State Governments. It is
    essential to emphasize that implementation responsibility of the
    Appropriate Government/ Public Authorities, cannot be imposed on
    them.  On the other hand, there is a need for an effective audit
    mechanism to enable CIC / SICs to conduct an independent review and
    evaluate the implementation of RTI Act by the Public Authorities.
    Report by CIC / SICs to Parliament / State Legislature should not
    totally rely upon the information given by the Government, without
    independent audit scrutiny.

    8. RTI Activists have raised the issue of the “soft approach” of
    CIC / SICs.  Every administrator knows that there are stages where
    soft approach is much better than the “hard approach.”  At he
    initial stages of the learning curve, it is desirable to be soft,
    one can get harder after a certain stage of learning. Although CIC/
    SICs do not have the executive responsibility for implementing the
    RTI Act, their reports to Parliament / State Legislature would
    reflect that every one is at the initial stages of learning curve.
    In view of the Citizen’s demand for punishment to CPIO / SPIO in
    every case of default, there can be a cut-off date for such
    mechanical imposition of penalty.

    9. In the national convention most of the speakers talked about the
    negative attitude of bureaucracy towards RTI Act, but no worthwhile
    practical suggestions have emerged. I would suggest that from the
    year 2007-08 onwards, the Annual Confidential Report of every
    officer should reflect how he / she has contributed towards
    implementation of RTI Act, to motivate them to be more responsive
    towards the citizens.

    10. Attitude of an officer towards the public is a realistic
    indicator of his /her capabilities. Good Officers would  (a) Make
    every possible effort to improve record keeping, (b) Make suo-moto
    disclose information of public interest to avoid public resort to
    RTI Act, (c) Use increased public accountability as a tool for
    administrative reforms, (d) Use disclosure of information under RTI
    Act as an effective tool of preventive vigilance, (e) Use RTI Act to
    ward off undue political pressures, (g) Use the implementation of
    RTI Act as an opportunity for administrative reforms to make their
    organisations more attuned to the requirements of the citizens.

    11. On the other hand Officers of poor administrative ability would
    deny information to hide their inefficiencies. Corrupt officers
    would be very reluctant to disclose information, which would expose
    them.  Attitude of an officer towards RTI Act, which imposes greater
    transparency and public accountability, shows his competence as a
    public servant. Suitable instructions for adding these aspects in
    the Annual Confidential Report of Officers may be considered by the
    Central and State Governments.

    12. This open letter to you is a public document. It is being placed
    on various Internet groups, including the yahoo group “rti4ngo”
    initiated by me, where several administrative aspects of
    implementing RTI Act have also been posted.  Many RTI Activists may
    disagree with me, as hey have publicly held you personally
    responsible for non–implementation of RTI Act. I hope to initiate a
    public debate regarding these practical administrative issues.

    Best wishes for the Second Year of RTI,

    Yours sincerely,

    Dhirendra Krishna
    IA&AS (Retired)
    17.10.2006
    Email: dhirendrakrishna@yahoo.co.uk

    Posted in RTI | Leave a Comment »

    RTI and Times of INDIA

    Posted by egovernance on October 17, 2006

    Section :All That Matters

    Date :Sunday, September 24, 2006

    SUNDAY DEBATE: Should govt spend on self-promotion ads? No

    Source :

    RTI framework.Governments can be narcisitic about ads provided they are open about other forms of information. If ads are first in a chain of information, then governments can issue ads about themselves. But what kind of ads? If ads can substitute for other sources of information and thereby upset the information equilibrium, they should be withdrawn. If they upset the dialectic of desire …

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    Section :Delhi

    Date :Tuesday, October 3, 2006

    HC too has RTI trouble

    Source :TIMES NEWS NETWORK

    RTI) Act 2005 but has managed to notify rules that help in blocking information from applicants.The first hindrance is the application fee. The court charges a whopping Rs 500 per application — 50 times the fee prescribed under RTI Act 2005. There is, however, a discounted price under Delhi High Court (Right to Information) rules 2006 for information pertaining to decisions taken admin…

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    Section :India

    Date :Friday, September 22, 2006

    Is CIC just a paper tiger?

    Source :TIMES NEWS NETWORK

    RTI that bureaucrats fear more than file notings, it is the clause that empowers Central Information Commission (CIC) to impose monetary penalties on them.But in the 11 months since the law came into force, CIC has been rather lenient with erring officials and used the penal provision only twice. While the first penalty order was withdrawn on a review plea, the second has exposed a schism wi…

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    Section :Delhi

    Date :Sunday, September 24, 2006

    Going around in circles over RTI

    Source :TIMES NEWS NETWORK

    RTI) is a breeze, one has been made to believe. Especially in the capital which boasts of being one of the first to introduce it in 2001. We did a reality check and found an entirely different story — running from one desk to another and battling with rules created by babus.It has been a year since RTI Act 2005 is being implemented. We chose Delhi government’s general administration …

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    Section :Editorial

    Date :Thursday, September 28, 2006

    Beyond Politics

    Source :TIMES NEWS NETWORK

    RTIes that have degenerated into guardians of vested interests. Ordinary citizens, cutting across social and political identities, form the backbone of these popular movements that have emerged as the conscience of the polity. It is, perhaps, a coincidence that in the centenary year of satyagraha these action groups are influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s political idiom of non-violence. Civil s…

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    Section :RTI

    Date :Sunday, September 24, 2006

    Going around in circles over RTI

    Source :TIMES NEWS NETWORK

    RTI) is a breeze, one has been made to believe. Especially in the capital which boasts of being one of the first to introduce it in 2001. We did a reality check and found an entirely different story — running from one desk to another and battling with rules created by babus.It has been a year since RTI Act 2005 is being implemented. We chose Delhi government’s general administration …

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    Section :Delhi

    Date :Thursday, September 28, 2006

    This building is only 3 storeys: MCD

    Source :TIMES NEWS NETWORK

    RTI application. And yet, today all its floors are intact. Obviously, the builders and their patrons in the corporation have made their pile and got away.As many as nine times, demolitions were carried out here between February and May last year with MCD claiming extensive action on third and fourth floors. The building mocks all such claims with some action visible only on the fifth floo…

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    Section :India

    Date :Friday, September 22, 2006

    Internet reinvents politics of petitions

    Source :TIMES NEWS NETWORK

    RTI Act or Delhi college teenager Aditya Raj Kaul seeking public support in his fight for justice in the Priyadarshini Mattoo murder case, they have all warmed up to this reinvented form of public advocacy. Niche sites such as petitiononline.com or petitionthem.com provide those with grievance an easily accessible platform and a common rallying ground. The response is huge. petitiononline….

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    Section :India

    Date :Monday, October 16, 2006

    Activist detained before PM’s speech on RTI

    Source :TIMES NEWS NETWORK

    RTI) Act in favour of genuine information seekers, a social activist was detained by the security staff and not allowed to attend the function.Rakesh Agarwal, a member of Delhi-based NGO Nyaya Bhoomi, was taken to Tughlaq Road police station and questioned for an hour before being let off.Incidentally, he was one of the paRTIcipants of the silent protest undertaken by NGOs against the Centra…

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    Section :India

    Date :Thursday, September 28, 2006

    CIC wary of giving info on itself

    Source :TIMES NEWS NETWORK

    RTI watchdog — Central Information Commission — has chosen to shift responsibility to PMO over information on appointments of its commissioners. A request was submitted by a Delhi resident, Vishaish Uppal, who sought information on files and papers related to the appointment of five information commissioners presently in the CIC. CPIO Kamal Dayani and joint secretary in PMO Jawed…

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    Section :India

    Date :Sunday, September 17, 2006

    Ministry refuses Netaji papers to RTI body

    Source :PTI

    NEW DELHI: The home ministry has refused to supply the Central Information Commission (CIC) with copies of documents presented before two panels that enquired into the disappearance of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, saying the records dated back to over 20 years.This was reported by a research group — Mission Netaji — which appealed to the CIC, the apex body under the year-old Right to Infor …

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    RTI leading India towards real swaraj »

    Posted by egovernance on October 17, 2006

      RTI leading India towards real swaraj »

    Posted in RTI | Leave a Comment »