Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Archive for the ‘Goa RTI’ Category

Authorities asked to appoint APIO, PIO, BY HERALD REPORTER

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 28, 2006

Authorities asked to appoint APIO, PIO, BY HERALD REPORTER

PANJIM, AUG 24 — In an interim order passed on August 23 the Information Commission has asked the public authorities under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, who have not yet designated Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO), Public Information Officer (PIO) and not yet appointed First Appellate Authority (FAA), to do so within two weeks from the date of the receipt of the order.

They have been directed to send copies of the notification to the Department of Information and Publicity (DIP).
Hearing the complaint by a law student, Amar Naik, filed against the DIP the Information Commission (IC) consisting of the State Information Commissioner, A Venkataratnam, and the Information Commissioner, G G Kambli issued several directions to DIP and Government bodies.
In its interim order on August 23, 2006, IC passed stringent remarks against the DIP. Hearing the complaint, the IC on June 26, 2006 had directed the DIP to prepare the list of PIOs, APIOs and FAAs, and notify the same in the official gazette within a period of one month.
It was brought to its notice that order was not complied with in all fairness. Though the DIP submitted the list of public authorities which had designated APIOs, PIO and FAAs, it contained a number of mistakes.
Therefore, the DIP has been now directed to get the information verified as already published in the official gazette and make the corrections wherever necessary within two weeks and re-notify the information in the form of a booklet.
While public authorities which have not yet complied or displayed the details has to do so within a month, and send the copy of the compliance to DIP.
They have been further directed that wherever more than one PIO and APIO are appointed, their jurisdiction be clearly specified within two weeks. And wherever the junior officer or officer with equivalent rank are appointed as FAA in their places senior officer be appointed as FAA.
The DIP Has been asked to file an action taken report on September 29, 2006.


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PIOs appointment as per RTI Act soon: Chief Secy

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 9, 2006

PIOs appointment as per RTI Act soon: Chief SecyNT Staff Reporter


Panaji, Aug 7: The state government will soon appoint public information officers (PIO’s) in various government departments as per the requirements of the Right to Information Act and make known their names and other details by way of advertisements in local newspapers.

This announcement came from the Chief Secretary, Mr J P Singh who was replying to a related question during an interaction on RTI organised by the Goa Branch of the Indian Institute of Public Administration in the city, this evening.

Mr Singh said that the government “would look at the Maharashtra model and adopt it suitably”. He agreed that it was important to identify the PIO’s and make the details available to the common man.

When it was brought to his notice that a copy of the Goa RTI was being sold at Rs 44 a copy as against Rs 2 per copy of the Maharashtra RTI Act, the Chief Secretary who confirmed of having been unaware of the cost promised that the state RTI Act would be soon made available within the Rs 5 price range. “We will also bring out the Act in Konkani and Marathi along with English so that it benefits the people at large,” Mr Singh announced.

“The government,” Mr Singh remarked, “would print leaflets in various languages, as a step to make the people aware.” With reference to the proposal for notings to be withheld, the Chief Secretary observed that matters pertaining to development, economic issues and social matters would have to be made known to the people under all circumstances.

In a lighter vein, the Chief Secretary said that transparency was quite large in Goa. “When a file leaves my office it is known to all in a matter of five minutes. Photocopies of the letters with my notings too are taken,” Mr Singh quipped further adding, “I also get calls minutes before a file reaches my table. Everything is being tracked, it is a good thing I guess.”

The commissioner, Public Grievances Commission, government of India, and former state chief secretary, Mr Baleshwar Rai delivered a talk on ‘Right to Information and Related Matters’ on the occasion.

He highlighted the various points that make the RTI Act a powerful tool in seeking information concerning the public.

The chief information commissioner, Goa, Mr Venkataratnam in his bid to highlight problems faced in implementing RTI in the state informed that the commission was yet to receive any funds, while at the same time no STD phone connection was provided to him to discharge his duties either at home or office.

Mr Venkataratnam maintained that these were essential requirements for the due discharge of the commission’s duties.

Responding to this, the Chief Secretary mentioned that things were now moving for sure and what Mr Venkataratnam was talking of were procedural delays. Mr Singh also agreed to a suggestion from an audience member that PIO’s should be appointed by designation and not by name.

GOACAN member, Mr Roland Martins, speaking on the occasion told the gathering that one had to access the Internet to have details of the RTI Act. “Look at Maharashtra, where things are simpler,” he said. Referring to the reduction in the cost of obtaining information under RTI (from the earlier fee of Rs 100 to Rs 10), Mr Martins charged that a Sanguem resident was recently made to cough up Rs 100 by applying the old Act.

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Panaji: GOACAN Steps up Campaign against Bribe and Corruption

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 6, 2006

Panaji: GOACAN Steps up Campaign against Bribe and Corruption

Sunday, August 06, 2006 8:52:49 PM (IST)



from daijiworld’s special correspondent

Panaji, Aug 6: In continuation of the “Drive against Bribes” campaign, Goa Civic and Consumer Action Network (GOACAN) held its fifth information action near the offices of the Quepem Mamlatdar and the Quepem Municipal Council to highlight the use of The Right to Information Act 2005. Volunteers of the Quepem Civic and Consumer Forum armed with placards focused on the effective use of RTI to put an end to bribery and corruption taking place in various Government Departments.

It may be noted that the “Drive against Bribes”campaign using Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI) was launched in Goa on  July 1by GOACAN which is carrying out awareness cum assistance actions involving consumer volunteers. To promote RTI as a tool to curb demands for bribes in lieu of pending works in Municipal Councils and Village Panchayats, volunteers have been addressing Consumer Forum meetings in various villages of Goa.

The Consumer Forum volunteers participating in the action in Quepem met citizens visiting the various Govt. offices and requested them to take the message to the various villages of the Taluka that RTI can be used as an effective means to deal with pending works in Government Departments which have not been done due to expectation of bribes or sheer bureaucratic delay.

It maybe noted that recently the Civil Supplies Inspector of Quepem Taluka was caught by the Anti Corruption Cell of the Vigilance Department for demanding a bribe from a ration shop owner. The Inspector was subsequently suspended by the Department for Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs pending the completion of the investigation in the criminal case.

The GOACAN action specifically focused on RTI to be used to deal with Essential Commodities such as kerosene, ration and LPG that are being short supplied and for which proper information has not been made available to the consumer.

Since these matters come under the purview of the Department of Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs and cover Kerosene dealers, Ration shops and LPG distributors in the Taluka, information can be sought through RTI applications to the department.

Another area focused on was the use of RTI to deal with the pending applications for Income certificates, ration cards, resident certificates and other documents urgently required by citizens from the offices of the Talathis in their respective villages of Quepem Taluka which can be obtained through applications to the PIO (Public Information Officer) for
an amount Rs. 10-00. The volunteers also explained the unique provision of the RTI Act which provides for inspection of files in Govt. offices by the aggrieved citizens.

The volunteers informed citizens who want guidance in filing RTI applications or would like to provide information on officials demanding bribes, can contact the Quepem Civic and Consumer Forum or write to GOACAN

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Goa INFO commission has no staff and no money

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 28, 2006

E-MAIL: avr@nic.in <avrat40nic.in>

The functioning of the Goa State Information Commission has been commented upon in a section of the press recently. To remove any misunderstanding, the following clarifications are issued:

1. The commission is constituted by the Government in the Information & Publicity Dept,on 02-03-2006.

2. The sate chief information commissioner(SCIC) and the state information commissioner(SIC) are appointed on 27-02-2006 and took oath of office on 21-03-2006.

3. Pending the establishment of its office, which always takes some time, the commission started functioning from the residence of the SCIC hearing appeals and even passed an order dt 29th May 06.

4. With effect from 08-06-06, the commission started functioning from its office at Shram Shakti Bhavan. There are some constraints in its functioning, but the commission does not allow them to come in its way of functioning.

Some of these are:

(i) Non allotment of funds resulting in non drawal of the salary of its employees;
(ii) Inadequate staff like the secretary, registrar, accountant etc; (iii) Non availability of computer/typewriter and telephone.

5. In spite of the above constraints, the commission has taken some important decisions like the following:

(i) The under-trial prisoners, like all other citizens, enjoy their right to information under the Right to Information Act (RTI). They cannot be denied information taking shelter under the exemption clauses as long as the information requested does not impede the investigation or prosecution in which they are accused;

(ii) All Non Govt organizations(NGOs) receiving substantial financial aid from the appropriate Govt are Public Authorities(PAs). No separate notification is required to be issued by the Govt saying so;

(iii) All Public Authorities (PAs) have to issue orders designating the Asst Public Information Officer(APIO) Public Information Officer PIO) First Appellate Authority suo-moto without waiting for any such orders to be issued by the Govt;

(iv) The Govt as the implementing authority of the RTI has to monitor and coordinate the above work which is the subject matter of a complaint before the commission in which case, the Ex-Officio Jt Secretary of the Information Dept was summoned and directed to file an affadavit;

(v) Not giving the information or delaying the information or destruction of records to avoid giving the information by the PIOs, without sufficient reason, will attract penalty of Rs 250 per day payable by the PIO subject to a maximum of Rs 25000 and the burden of proof lies on him. One such case is already before the commission wherein a show cause notice is issued.

(vi) The State Chief Information Commissioner has inaugurated a web page http://egov.goa.nic.in/rtipublic

where information regarding information on RTI can be accessed. Citizens intending to contact the commission can do so at the address mentioned above or contacting by E-Mail. They can also access the web page http://egov.goa.nic.in/rtipublic.

(V.V. Sawant)
Under Secretary to the Commission
Panaji, Dt 22-06-2006

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KNOW MORE ABOUT RTI SERIES The Goa State Information Commission

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 26, 2006

KNOW MORE ABOUT RTI SERIES The Goa State Information Commission

Do GOACAN a favour, circulate this email to your
family members, relatives, neighbours and friends.
Help others be BETTER INFORMED,
The time is come for the people of Goa
KNOW MORE ABOUT The Goa State Information Commission


State Chief Information Commissioner 


Shri A Venkatratnam
(I.A.S. retd)

Office Address
Shrama Shakthi Bhavan,
Ground Floor, Patto PANAJI,
GOA 403401 


Phone     0832-2437880
Mobile     09860287282


Information Commissioner


Shri Gurudas G Kambli
(Goa Civil Services retd)

Office Address
Shrama Shakthi Bhavan,
Ground Floor, Patto PANAJI,
GOA 403401 

Phone     0832-2437908
Mobile     09226342014


State Public Information Officer


Shri V V Sawant
Under Secretary

Office Address
Shrama Shakthi Bhavan,
Ground Floor, Patto PANAJI,
GOA 403401 


Phone    0832-2437880 (O)

For more details visit the website link below



promoting civic and consumer rights in Goa
GOACAN Post Box  187 Margao,  Goa 403 601
GOACAN Post Box  78   Mapusa, Goa 403 507

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Goa board secretary issued show cause for giving false information

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 13, 2006

Goa board secretary issued show cause for giving

false information



– The  Goa State Information Commission (GSIC)  has issued a show cause  notice to  the secretary of  the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary  Education  (GBSHSE) why penalty  of Rs 10000  should not be imposed  on him for  giving false  information to a complainant. “We are convinced  that this is a fit case and inclined to take  up the penalty proceedings under Section 20 of the Right To Information (RTI) Act, 2005” observed GSIC  in response to  a complaint by one Suhas Belekar.

In his complaint filed on June 8, 06 against the secretary of Goa Board, Belekar alleged that he had been given false information which he had sought under RTI Act, 2005. 

Complainant wanted to know whether responsibility of preparing syllabus of the text books of standard I to VII was given to Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Education.  And if yes, under which Act it was done so?

The respondent submitted that responsibility was not entrusted to Goa Board. In consequence complainant submitted that he was given false information —supporting his case with press note issued by the respondent on June 2, 06 describing a procedure for distribution of text books from Standard I to standard XII to the book sellers in which he invited the book sellers to place their order with the Board for the books for classes from  standard I to VII.

The complaint  claimed  that he  had come  across  two  text books for standard VI in Hindi and Mathematics subjects which clearly show that they were  published  by  the respondent  institution, and produced  copies of  both the  documents.

While denying that he  had  given  false  information to the complainant, the respondent argued  that the Board  does not have  the  responsibility  of preparing the syllabus and text  books  of standard I  and VII  as per the legal  provisions of the Act.
He further claimed that the responsibility is that of directorate of education, however he did not say so in his affidavit.
The GSIC held  it is  clear from the  material  supplied  by the complainant  that the respondent is  definitely  responsible for the contents  of the books published by the GBSHSE even for the standard from I to VII . Otherwise, there is no meaning of holding  copy right over the contents of the books and  publishing a warning  that then contents  as well as  price of the  publication  should not be altered without the their permission.

“The legal  provision  of  the  responsibility  for the syllabus  of only  the secondary and  higher secondary  classes does not  exclude  the taking up  of the additional  responsibility  by the Board entrusted to it by  the government  by any other means, be it  administrative  or otherwise,“ stated GSIC while issuing show cause notice to  the secretary of Goa Board returnable by  July 24, 06.

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RTI proving boon to citizens

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 13, 2006

RTI proving boon to citizensNT News Service


Mapusa, July 12: Thanks to the Goa State Information Commission (GSIC), the Right to Information Act is proving to be a real boon to citizens in Goa while at the same time it seems to be a thorn in the side of some government bodies.

Refusing to bow down to unfavourable rulings of the public information officers of some government bodies, several citizens have appealed to the Goa State Information Commission and the Commission has upheld their interests by chastising the errant departments.

The GSIC has passed several orders since its recent inception but probably the most significant order is against the state of Goa itself. The order was passed by the state information chief commissioner, Mr A Venkataratnam and the state information commissioner, Mr G G Kambli on July 7, 2006.

Following a complaint by one Mr Amar B Naik, the GSIC has directed the director of information, who is the ex-officio joint secretary in the department of information and publicity to prepare the list of public information officers, assistant public information officers and the first appellate authorities designated by the government within a period of one month from the date of the receipt of this order or by July 30, whichever earlier.

The GSIC has also directed the director of information to notify the same in the official gazette.

The order follows Mr Naik’s complaint to the GSIC that only a few public authorities have designated public information officers and published manuals containing the ‘suo moto’ information under Section 4(1)(b) of the Act.

Mr Naik also held that some of the public authorities are still struggling with the preparation of list of public information officers including courts, high courts, consumer forums, municipal councils, State Pollution Control Board.

Besides, Mr Naik said that some authorities have prepared the manuals and kept them in their files instead of displaying on the notice boards for the benefit of the citizens.

The GSIC has also directed the director of information to submit a list of public authorities that have not yet designated and displayed the list of their PIOs, APIOs and first appellate authorities.

The RTI, as the act has come to be known, seems to be getting stronger in Goa. But public bodies still show reluctance in parting with information as another case shows. It pertains to a application made by Mr Ashok Menon, assistant divisional officer in the fire and emergency services, Margao.

When Mr Menon applied to his own department for information, the PIO asked him why he wanted the information. Although an applicant is required to give a reason and Mr Menon explained his reason. But the information was denied to him.

The reason cited was that the requested information did not justify public interest and was exempt under Section of the RTI. Mr Menon’s first appeal of June 23 was also rejected by the first appellate authority, which was the director of fire services.

But the GSIC has upheld his request. In its July 7 order, the GSIC has directed the department to provide Mr Menon the information on all the points within 15 days from the date of receipt. There are several other orders chastising public bodies for withholding information or for giving false information, but that is beyond the scope of this Article.

Talking to ‘The Navhind Times’ about the reluctance of public information officers to part with information, the state information commissioner said: “The public information officers are independent officers. They do not need permission of the department head to furnish the department. If they do not furnish the information, the department is liable to be fined. That is a loss to the government.” Mr Kambli said the fledgling legislation is a great boon to the citizens.

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Goa Consumer Network joins ‘drive against bribe’

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 3, 2006



PANJIM, JULY 2 – Goa Civic and Consumer Action Network (GOACAN) has joined the ‘drive against bribe’ using the Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI) as part of the national campaign launched on July 1.
The ‘drive against bribe’ campaign is a massive nationwide awareness-cum-assistance programme that has taken off in 45 cities spread across 15 States to promote the use of RTI as a tool to curb demands for bribes in lieu of pending works in Government departments.
It may be recalled that the RTI Act was passed in Parliament on  October 12, 2005 as a Central Act applicable to all State and Central Government departments and mon-Governmental bodies which are substantially financed by the Government.
For Goa the rules under this Act were gazetted on February 15, 2006 and various departments have in the recent months finalised their Public Information Officers (PIOs) and Assistant Public Information Officers (APIOs) besides preparing their respective information manuals. More recently, the State Information Commission has also been constituted and has started functioning from its office in Panjim.
GOACAN has completed training sessions with Consumer Forum volunteers who will undertake the campaign in their respective villages over a period of 45 days ending August 15. In the first phase,  the campaign will primarily focus on essential commodities which come under the purview of the Department of Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs and will cover kerosene dealers, ration shops, and LPG distributors in various villages as their services impact every family in Goa.
In the second phase, Consumer Forum volunteers will cover the offices of the talathis in their respective villages with a focus on pending applications for income certificates, ration cards, residential certificates and other documents urgently required by citizens and wherein a delay may result in payment of bribes. Consumer Forum volunteers in their respective villages will offer guidance to citizens to draft RTI applications.
Meanwhile, GOACAN will also conduct awareness programmes in various cities as part of the campaign.

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Goa information panel starts functioning

Posted by rtiact2005 on June 22, 2006

Goa information panel starts functioningNT News Desk


Panaji, June 21: The Goa State Information Commission has started functioning at Ground Floor, ShramaShakti Bhavan, Patto Plaza with Mr A Venkatratnam as State Chief Information Commissioner and Mr G G Kambli as State Information Commissioner.

The Goa State Information Commission has been constituted by the state government under the Right to Information Act 2005 to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority.

Every citizens has a right to request information regarding the working of any public authority. The citizen can apply to public information officer of the concerned authority under the Act in writing or through electronic means in English and Hindi or in the official language of the area in which the application is being made, accompanying Rs 10 as fee.Any person who does not receive a decision within the time specified in sub section (1) or clause (a) of sub section (3) of section 7, or is aggrieved by a decision of the central public information officer or state public information officer, as the case may be within 30 days from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of such a decision prefer an appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to the state public information officer in each public authority.

A second appeal against the decision under sub-section (1) shall lie within 90 days from the date on which the decision should have been made or was actually received, with the State Information Commission. Provided that the State Information Commission may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of 90 days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time.

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Posted by rtiact2005 on June 21, 2006

This is amazing. For something useless we waste a lot of money but on something that is crucial and which is needed in the state is ignored. Consider the Right to Information Act where with great fanfare, Goa announced the implementation of the Right to Information Act last October 12, 2005.


Former chief secretary Kiran Dhingra, headed a task force, which was set up by the Government to oversee the implementation of the new Central Act in the State. As per the plan of action, the State administration had been gearing up to put in place the necessary infrastructure, software, database, and the required forms for the implementation of the Act.

In addition the Government was to ensure that all departments appoint information officers and assistant information officers to oversee the dissemination when asked for by the public. Has all that been done?

 Eight months have passed and are citizens getting the requisite information they are seeking within 30 days and if they are not getting it what are the supposed to do? Can they approach the First Appellate Authority or the state information commission?
But considering that the state information commission is operating from a make shift office, with hardly a proper staff and in a position where the Chief Commissioner himself had to type the first order due to lack of staff, speaks volumes about how serous the state government is intent on tackling this issue. And that is only secondary. Consider the case of  Sudesh Kalangurtkar, a bus owner who has been fighting for the past eight months to get the academic qualifications of the Assistant Director of Transport. The reason he has been denied this information is because it’s secret. The educational qualifications secrete. There must be something shady over the entire thing.

If the government does want to show its seriousness in implementing the RIT Act, then it should put all the tools into place including a working office for the Commissioner. Otherwise it just shows it wants to hide something from the people which goes against the basis of the Act.

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