- RTI query reveals banking frauds of ₹ 2.05 Trillion reported in the last 11 years
- 509 per cent rise in cases under child labour law: Study
- The Central Information Commission has allowed disclosure of file notings on the mercy petition of a rape and murder convict, rejecting the government's contention that the records cannot be disclosed as these are privileged documents under Article 74(2) of the Constitution.
- Electoral bonds worth over ₹5,800 crore were bought by donors to fund political parties between March 1, 2018 and May 10, 2019, a Right to Information reply has said.
- Don't pay 500/- for answer sheet now- Supreme Court says if Answer sheet is asked under RTI, RTI Fees will be governed
As reported in thehindu.com on 23 January 2011:
The Hindu : Cities / Chennai : Need to fine tune RTI Act stressed
Need to fine tune RTI Act stressed
While the Right to Information Act was a powerful instrument in the hands of the people, it was time the civil activists became aggressive, G. Ramakrishnan, former State Information Commissioner, said here on Saturday.
Leading a discussion on RTI, organised by non-governmental organisations Amudha Surabi Charitable Trust and The Dawn, he traced the history of the Act and explained its salient features. “The objective of the Act is to provide transparency, curb corruption and ensure accountability,” he explained.
Addressing queries from participants that ranged from refusal or delay in reply from the Public Information Officer to getting responses about private institutions affiliated to a government body,
Mr.Ramakrishnan said that there was a need to fine tune the Act and address the apathy of the staff and the officers in charge.
However, it was as yet unclear whether the proposed amendments would strengthen or weaken the Act.
Lack of methodology
General Secretary of Anti Corruption Movement, Chennai, S.M. Arasu, cited several instances of how his queries to the Information Commissioner remained unanswered and there was no methodology to ensure that answers could be obtained. He called for holding accountable the appellate authority if it do not respond to the queries within a stipulated time. P.R. Kannan, a participant, said he had to forward his query to the appellate authority in the office of the Commissioner of Police as the PIO refused to reply.
To his dismay, he found that his query was forwarded to the PIO by the appellate authority. Only 50 per cent of the activists who sought information under the RTI were successful in getting them, said K. Banukumar, executive director of Fifth Pillar. He said there was need for training the PIOs and the district administration.
The participants called for increasing manpower and training for the government staff and penalising apathetic officers.
As reported by Utkarsh Anand in indianexpress.com on 25 January 2011:
RTI: Northeast Delhi gets transparency officer
RTI: Northeast Delhi gets transparency officer
Setting an example for all public institutions, the Delhi district courts have designated a ‘Transparency Officer’ for one of its districts to ensure institutional transparency and disclosure of information to the public.
District Judge Sunita Gupta has appointed Additional Session Judge Shailender Kaur as the Transparency Officer (TO) for the Northeast district. ASJ Kaur will be the administrative in-charge of the Karkardooma courts with respect to all RTI queries and will also ensure there are no RTI plea is turned away on flimsy grounds by the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO).
The post of Transparency Officer, described as an “administrative arrangement,” is in addition to the PIO and the CPIO, which are statutory posts and form part of the RTI machinery. Apart from helping the CPIO on the norms of disclosure under the law, the Transparency Officer will also be expected to carry out “effective record management, digitisation of records, networking and incremental proactive disclosures”.
The officer will also oversee that records that should already have been in the public domain are suo motu put up on the website so that a person is not compelled to move an RTI plea for them.
Sources have also confirmed to Newsline that other district courts will also designate TOs for the districts under their jurisdiction very soon.
The step has been taken after a circular from the Central Information Commission (CIC) asked all public departments to fall in line with the provisions of the Right To Information (RTI) Act and take proactive steps towards guaranteeing dissemination of information. “Transparency commitments and suo motu disclosures would remain nothing more than vague promises unless these are matched by tangible action through proper record management practices and time-bound disclosure... under (the) supervision and guidance of a senior officer of the public authority,” the CIC circular had stated.
The CIC has earmarked 13 tasks for a TO, asking them to act as the interface between the Commission and the PIOs, as well as between the PIOs and the public.
“He should help set up facilitation centres, where the public can file their requests for information,” the circular added.