Evolve guidelines, Kalam asks information panel:: Information seekers under the RTI Act should know where to get information
Posted by rtiact2005 on October 15, 2006
Evolve guidelines, Kalam asks information panel::
|Information seekers under the RTI Act should know where to get information|
NEW DELHI: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Friday asked the Central Information Commission (CIC) to evolve guidelines for information seekers under the Right to Information Act (RTI). He called upon political leaders, civil services, media, societal transformers and citizens to actively participate in the process to derive maximum benefit out of it.
Inaugurating a function to mark the first anniversary of RTI, Mr. Kalam said information seekers should know where and how to get information, which could be put on the website to avoid repetition. The CIC could run extensive publicity campaigns to inform the citizens about who dealt with what in the Government. Sometimes the information, if sought and understood properly, could lead to improving the functioning of certain institutions.
Drawing attention towards the weaknesses in the country’s democratic system, he said: “Our strength had always lain in overcoming those weaknesses and setting ourselves firmly on the road to higher level of democratic efficiency and progress. In this context, the Right to Information Act has been an important milestone. The Act assures every citizen the right to know what the citizen should, and throws open the system of governance to total transparency and, therefore, inescapable accountability.”
Adequate safeguards have been built in within the Act to ensure that the right was exercisable consistent with the dictates of national security which by no means could ever be compromised. “After all, every right has to have checks built in to prevent its unbridled sway which is sure to lead to the certain failure of the very system.”
Mr. Kalam suggested that every public authority should continuously assess the information needs of the people to ascertain what kind of information was generally requested for by the public. All such information requested for by more than one citizen or a number of times should be uploaded in the CIS website. “When information is available in public domain, the possibility of its misuse diminishes. The authorities will also have to ensure that the applicant does not use the information for purposes other than intended,” he said.
Pointing out that freedom of information was being redefined through the Internet revolution, the President said e-governance had to be friendly to enable seamless access to information and flow of information across the State and Central Governments in the federal set-up. “e-governance system is a means to an end. We need to enlighten citizens to realise the full benefits of the e-governance systems.”