Right to Information – Master key to good governance

RTI could improve governance: PM

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 20, 2006

RTI could improve governance: PM



Posted Thursday , July 20, 2006 at 15:29Updated Thursday , July 20, 2006 at 15:41



New Delhi: The Right to Information (RTI) Act could become a key to improving governance by cutting corruption and ensuring public service delivery goals are met, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday.

Addressing Chief Secretaries of States in Delhi, Manmohan Singh described the act as “an important legal provision to promote accountability, and consequently promote attitudinal change”.

“This act, by promoting transparency, can be a vital instrument for cutting down corruption and ensuring that goals set for improved public service delivery can be met. In a democratic framework, nothing works like popular expectation and public pressure,” he said.

Calling it the “best instrument for enforcing behavioural change”, Manmohan Singh urged the bureaucrats to see it in the right spirit and “utilise it for transforming your governments into citizen friendly bodies”.

The Prime Minister stressed that while the Central Government has the responsibility of framing and managing macro-economic policies, the state governments have the responsibility to deliver the services to the people.

“All public services are paid for by citizens and it is our collective responsibility to deliver these in an efficient, cost effective manner. Good governance is even more relevant at the level of local bodies,” the Prime Minister said.

He called for improving the public interface through simplification of transactions, strengthening accountability, using IT and e-governance tools, and promoting behavioural change in government employees.

These steps are vital, he said, given the large flow of funds to states envisaged to implement key development programmes – the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme, the National Rural Health Mission, the expanded Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the Mid-day Meal Programme and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

“The volume of funds flowing to states today is higher than ever before in the past. It is therefore necessary that these funds get translated into outcomes,” the Prime Minister said.


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