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World Bank recommendations for RTI

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As reported in thestaesman.net on 01 December 2009:

The Statesman

 

World Bank recommendations for RTI

 

BHUBANESWAR, 1 DEC: The World Bank has recommended a high-level steering committee chaired by the chief secretary to oversee the implementation of RTI central monitoring mechanism across government, providing training to public information officers (PIOs) and roll-out of the RTI central monitoring mechanism.

 

Further, as part of capacity building, the World Bank has recommended that the Orissa Information Service (OIS) officers to act as statutory nodal officer and RTI advisors to meet the mandatory requirements as envisaged in the legislation.

 

Appointment of additional commissioners to the State Information Commission (SIC) is also another important observation in the World Bank recommendation.

 

As part of their study on implementing Right To Information in South Asia, the World Bank has highly commended the efforts of Information and Public Relations department in putting in place the RTI central monitoring mechanism, a robust IT intervention for effecting transparency and accountability in the system of governance, claimed a release issued here.

 

“After a thorough evaluation of the System and Implementation process, the World Bank has quoted RTI central monitoring mechanism to be truly impressive, allowing the I & PR department to track requests across the government through all phases from the initial application for information to the response of individual PIOs as well as the status of appeals.

 

The software allows the departments to upload information relating to 17 fields covered by the suo moto disclosure provisions of section (4) (1) (b) of the RTI Act,” the release further pointed out.

 

It may be mentioned here that the I & PR department as the nodal department has evolved all strategies to strengthen the process of RTI Act implementation though the State RTI Implementation Cell formed in the department.

 

Since all exercises emanate and conceptualise by this Cell, the World Bank has further recommended that RTI Cell to be strengthened in the department through additional staffing, budgetary resources, promoting the use of technology to encourage greater awareness, and use of RTI through cellular telephony and electronic media.

 

Meanwhile, a website, www.rtiorissa.gov.in, has been inaugurated here yesterday.

 

Speaking on the occasion, State Chief Information Commissioner Mr DN Padhi stressed on implementation of the RTI Act to root out corruption and sustain the era of transparency and accountability. “While empowering the citizen to increase access to information remaining under the public authority, the tool will certainly be a powerful means to maintain the lofty democratic ideals of the country,” he noted.

 

I & PR secretary Mr RN Dash, who is also the nodal officer, RTI, Orissa emphasised the creation of citizen-centric interface to bridge the gap between the public and government. The department has already moved proposals for restructuring OIS to match with the requirements as envisaged under sections 4, 19 and 25 of the RTI Act, 2005, he pointed out. Among others, I & PR director Mr BP Mohanty; chief monitoring officer, State RTI Cell Mr B Biswal also spoke on the occasion.

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