Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Moily panel, govt at odds on RTI curbs

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 18, 2006

Moily panel, govt at odds on RTI curbsAdd to Clippings


BANGALORE: In a major setback to the Centre, the second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) headed by M Veerappa Moily has said that files and notings per se are not confidential and should not be inaccessible to the public unless exempted under Section 8 of the Right to Information Act.

In its first report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Commission has recommended that Para 118 (1) of the Manual of Office Procedure should be deleted as it is totally violative of the RTI Act. The rulebook currently deems file notings to be confidential for the eyes of those within the secretariat.

ARC’s recommendation would be an embarrassment to the Centre at a time when the government is planning to amend the RTI Act to make file notings inaccessible.

“The Manual of Office Procedure was prepared when the RTI Act was not in existence. These provisions are totally violative of the Act and hence need to be brought in conformity with the Act. Notings and files per se will not become confidential and inaccessible unless they are classified as such and are declared to be covered under exemption provisions of Section 8 (1) of the Act,” the ARC said.

“To bring it in conformity with the Act, the provisions regarding unauthorised communication of official information and confidential character of notes/files will have to be amended,” it recommended.

In another recommendation that goes against the proposed RTI amendment, the ARC has said that every government servant should make available to the public or any organisation full and accurate information which can be disclosed under the RTI Act.


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