Right to Information – Master key to good governance

CIC whips sloppy ministries

Posted by rtiact2005 on June 17, 2006

 CIC whips sloppy ministries

BUREAUCRATS LOVE to throw the rulebook at people.

But the babudom is apparently not doing too good a job of upholding the law.

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has recently ticked off central government departments for violating a basic provision in the right to information law that requires public authorities to make pro-active disclosures.  An analysis by the CIC last month demonstrated that nearly half of the 60-plus ministries and departments in the central government had not done well on this count.

This, the CIC’s missive to the departments to upload these details on the RTI portal (rti.nic.in) said, was “in clear violation of the RTI Act 2005”.

The CIC was not impressed with those who did upload the pro-active disclosures either, noting that they weren’t taking the trouble to update this information base. The information law had drawn up a 16-point list and required public authorities to publish details pertaining to them. Besides, it expected departments to keep on putting additional information in public domain on its website.  

It was assumed that if public authorities proactively put out information in public domain, it would not only push transparency levels a notch higher but over a period of time, also reduce the number of requests public authorities would have to handle. But eight months down the line, nothing of the sort happened.

The commission is coming round to the view that it needs to deal with non-compliance of the provisions with a heavy hand to send a message down the line.

It was in this context that a MCD deputy commissioner was recently penalised for not passing on information to a RTI activist.


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