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Ralph Frammolino

Fiduciary Relationship Exempton

Question

Ralph Frammolino

Hello, RTI friends. I'm turning to you for advice. I teach at a journalism school and have two students who have been pursuing RTI requests for lists of local teachers with the highest rates of absenteeism in public schools. They found a nonprofit that has accepted government money to do a survey of local schools for a study that lists absenteeism rates by area and school. I had my students RTI the nonprofit for the names of the teachers. After first agreeing, the nonprofit has refused and used several tactics to deny the request. The first is that the actual survey was done by a private subcontractor company (students RTI'd that as well). Now, the nonprofit has responded by saying it can't disclose the names of the teachers because it has a "fiduciary relationship" with the teachers. I'm thinking this is sheer fantasy. I thouht fiduciarcy relationship had to do with a bank or some other financial institution. Can anyone out there steer me to a working definition of "fiduciary relationship" as used under the RTI that would defeat this argument? Thanks for your quick response!:confused:

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jps50

I think sec 8.1.e is invoked. Leave record has nothing to do with it. There are decisions of CIC that leave records of govt servants can be accessed through rti. Pl search CIC. There is no point in arguing with school, they will never accept it. Best way is to file first appeal.

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karira

1. If NGO/NPO has accepted Government Money to do that survey, it is a "Public Authority" (PA) under the RTI Act.

2. You can get the information direct from the NGO/NPO, or the PA which got the survey done (for whom the survey was done). This is because both of them are custodians of the information you wish to seek.

3. "Fiduciary" relationship does not come into the picture anywhere here.

For more details of "fiduciary" relationship/capacity and how CIC interprets it, please see:

http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_30042007_03.pdf

The word “fiduciary”is derived from the Latin fiducia meaning “trust”, a person (including a juristic person such as Government, University or bank) who has the

power and obligation to act for another under circumstances which

require total trust, good faith and honesty. The most common example

of such a relationship is the trustee of a trust, but fiduciaries can

include business advisers, attorneys, guardians, administrators,

directors of a company, public servants in relation to a Government

and senior managers of a firm/company etc. The fiduciary relationship

can also be one of moral or personal responsibility due to the superior

knowledge and training of the fiduciary as compared to the one whose

affairs the fiduciary is handling. In short, it is a relationship wherein

one person places complete confidence in another in regard to a

particular transaction or one’s general affairs of business. The Black’s

Law Dictionary also describes a fiduciary relationship as “one founded

on trust or confidence reposed by one person in the integrity and

fidelity of another.”

4. In any case, attendance and/or leave records of government employees are liable to be disclosed under RTI. Teachers of Public Schools are also public servants. Please see:

http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/8496-information-organisation-about-staff.html

http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/SM-23022009-10.pdf

 

Please ask them to file First Appeal against the order of the PIO. They have 30 days from the date of reply to file a First Appeal.

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Ralph Frammolino

Most excellent! Thanks so much. May I run a draft of the response and appeal by you for additional comment?

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karira

Please upload your draft here and our helpful members will be pleased to guide you further, in case necessary.

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Ralph Frammolino

Unfortunately, had to move too fast for input. We already made the appeal, so just pushed back on the reasons and reaffirmed our intention to appeal and to seek penalties.

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