What is contained in confidential reports is undoubtedly â€˜personal informationâ€™ about that employee. The ACRs are protected from disclosure because arguably such disclosure seriously harm interpersonal relationship in a given organization. Further, the ACR notings represent an interaction based on trust and confidence between the officers involved in initiating, reviewing or accepting the ACRs. These officers could be seriously embarrassed and even compromised if their notings are made public. There are, thus, reasonable grounds to protect all such information through a proper classification under the Official Secrets Act.
RTI turns ACRs into APARs
After ACRs (Annual Confidential Reports), were ordered to be disclosed by the Gujarat Information Commission (GIC), under RTI, instead of the expected jubilation amongst ranks, most officers' preferred to wait, speculating on the government's reaction.
The reaction was quite unexpected.The Centre's Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), notified the 'All India Services (Performance Appraisal Report) Rules, 2007'. Thereby, ACRs are now APARs (Annual Performance Appraisal Report), and IAS, IPS, IFS officers, across the country would have full access to them.
DoPT was earlier against disclosing ACRs. Their stand was supported by the Central Information Commission (CIC). DoPT's hand was forced by GIC's order.Government officers are after all nothing but public servants.
While as citizens first, Babus find the door open to their right to know how they have been assessed, however it has its flip side too. Now the citizen too can learn how efficient these public servants are and who assessed them. Maybe Babus seeking their ACRs at GIC did not foresee this, but this possibility cannot be ignored. The wall of secrecy has now been brought down. Babus in Gujarat have unwittingly done a favour to their brethren across the country.
Times of India, Ahmedabad
This is real good decision in favour of citizens.
Now we will know who works and who doesn't