Right to Information – Master key to good governance

TN RTI Update 6 :: July 20, 2006

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 21, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: nityanand jayaraman <nity68@gmail.com>
Date: Jul 21, 2006 9:47 AM
Subject: Re: Update- 20 July, 2006
To: sharadha narayanan <narayanan.sharadha@gmail.com>, Lokesh Ambigapathy < lokesh.ambigapathy@gmail.com>, Guru Subbaraman <guru.subbaraman@gmail.com>, hrf <hrf@md3.vsnl.net.in>, CAG < cag.india@gmail.com>, Varathkanth E <varathkanth@gmail.com>, Dharmesh <shahdharmesh@vsnl.net>, Ramachandran Balachandran < rbalachan@gmail.com>, Sudarshan <sudarshan.suresh@gmail.com>, Navanee Sundaramoorthy < navanee@gmail.com>, Balaji Sampath <balajisampath@gmail.com>, Karuna Muthiah <karuna_muthiah@yahoo.com>, Karen Coelho < kcoelho@email.arizona.edu>, Madhumita Dutta <mdutta@vsnl.net>, malarchi_wrc@vsnl.net, sujatamody@vsnl.net, antibriberycampaign@yahoogroups.com

TN RTI Update 6: 20 July, 2006

Labour Department Urges People Not to Approach Govt for Help
At an interactive session between people and Labour Department officials, Deputy Commissioner Mr. Ravikumar said that no measures had been taken to educate Labour Department staff about the Right to Information Act. He said people with questions regarding the Act should not approach the Department, but enquire with the voluntary organisations conducting the TN RTI camp because the Department had no idea about what the Act entailed. The interactive session between 4 and 6 p.m. was attended by more than 40 people.

Mr. Ravikumar informed people that for the purposes of the Labour Department, the State was divided into nine regions and Chennai, into 3 regions( North, Central and South). Each region had a labour inspector, who was also the Assistant Public Information Officer. The Deputy Commissioner is the appointed PIO, and the Joint Commissioner is the Appellate Authority, Mr. Ravikumar said.
Payment for RTI applications should be made through a DD favouring the Public Information
Officer, Labour Department and the respective region.

The department has not received any RTI application so far.

Mr. Ravikumar additionally clarified that his department officials were the notified authority to check weights and other units of measurement in Ration shops, petrol bunks and other places.  He claimed that his officials also conducted surprise checks often to ensure the proper functioning of the shops.

The Chennai camp at Triplicane witnessed a busy day as more than 150 students of Anna Adarsh College arrived to be trained in the use of the Act. Today was also the day that the Right to Information Act received its first setback. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Union Cabinet approved an amendment which would exempt file notings from the ambit of the Act. File notings are notes made by bureaucrats on official letters and communications detailing their opinions on issues discussed, the reasons for arriving at certain decisions or their misgivings about having to implement other decisions. Exempting file notings will insulate top bureaucracy from public oversight and allow them to continue to function in an arbitrary manner. Right to Information Advocates around the country have committed themselves to fighting this proposed amendment that is to be introduced in the Parliament during the monsoon session beginning in a few days.


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