The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) admitted in the Rajya Sabha that there is no central monitoring mechanism to ensure implementation of its directive on Right to Information (RTI) Act. Replying to a question whether major achievements, significant developments and important events of every ministry and department are being uploaded on their respective websites, the DoPT said only 13% of the Union ministries are either fully or reasonably compliant with the order issued by Cabinet Secretariat on 23 June 2016.
Section 25(1)(c) of the RTI Act obligates the Central government to require all public authorities under its control to publish accurate information about their activities from time to time. This is a statutory mandate. The CIC and abinet Secretariat’s transparency directives are the right steps in this direction. However, the evidence indicates a deficit of both political and bureaucratic will to ensure compliance with this transparency requirement.
The Central government is not committed to developing a mechanism to monitor compliance despite being reminded twice in the Parliament. Perhaps it is time to move the CIC again to issue a binding direction for establishing such a mechanism under the cabinet secretariat or the DoPT.