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Atul Patankar posted a topic in RTI in MediaAs reported at samaylive.com/news on 04 Sept 2009 New Delhi: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Delhi government to put up information on the utilisation of the legislators' development funds on its website. The decision came on a complaint filed by an NGO, Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS), which has demanded that information about development funds should be available in the public domain in compliance with the provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The CIC also issued a show cause notice to S.K.S Yadav, the public information officer (PIO) of Delhi's urban development department, asking why he should not be penalised under the RTI Act. The NGO, which had prepared "report cards" on the performance of all legislators and how they had used their development funds prior to the Delhi assembly polls December 2008, had complained to the CIC that they faced a number of difficulties and delays in obtaining the information. "The PIO, S.K.S Yadav, is guilty of not making any effort to meet the Section 4 requirements (of the RTI Act) even after reminders from the complainant. It also appears that all the information has been provided to him and yet he stubbornly refuses to ensure that this is displayed as per the requirements of Section 4 (of the RTI Act). This is a violation of the RTI Act," RTI activist turned Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said in his order Thursday. Yadav was also directed to ensure that the information is put up on the website of the Delhi urban development department, which is the nodal agency for implementation of the Delhi Member of Legislative Assembly Local Area Development (MLALAD) Scheme, by Sep 15. "Over Rs. 700 crore is allocated under the Delhi MLALAD Scheme over a five-year period, yet the government has not taken any steps to pro-actively inform people about the existence and utilisation of these funds. As a result, these funds are often spent on non-priority works while basic development needs of people remain largely unaddressed," Anjali Bhardwaj of SNS told IANS. "Information accessed using the RTI Act shows that in many constituencies, funds have been allocated for constructing fountains while residents face acute water shortage," she said. "We had just requested the CIC to direct the government that project-wise information about MLALAD Scheme should be put up on the government's website and on boards in each constituency in compliance with the RTI act," Bhardwaj added. She said the CIC order will ensure that development funds are utilised in a "consultative, participatory and accountable manner." "Having access to information on these funds will enable people to meaningfully engage with their legislators to ensure that funds are spent on their area's most pressing development needs," Bhardwaj said. Source: Delhi to put details of legislators' development fund online :: Samay Live
As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 6 Oct, 2010 You will cast your vote from October 21 onwards to elect your representative in Bihar assembly. This is the time when candidates come knocking on your door to seek your support with a smile and a long list of promises. Once the deed is done, you will be saddled with the person elected for a long time to come. Was your choice an informed one last time? Did you assess the candidate thoroughly before you voted? Many of them will be coming to you again. Were their pledges sincere? Or was it all tall promises and fake smiles? The Times of India will empower you this time with the lowdown on your MLA. Now you can hold them accountable. How did they perform in the assembly? Did they reflect your concern and give you a voice? Did they involve you in the development work in your area? Going though the MLA Report Card, you can judge for yourself. Under the MLA Local Area Development Fund, each MLA can spend up to Rs 1 crore on development works in his constituency each year. Did your MLA align this work with your needs and priorities? Or was it to help his cronies? In short, was public money well utilised or wasted? The information has been accessed by NGO Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS), using RTI. SNS, a citizen's group that promotes transparency and accountability in government functioning, has been using RTI to enhance understanding of the role of elected representatives and encourage people to hold them accountable. You can now judge if you really needed those parks when the roads in your colony were crumbling. Or if you got water when you really needed it. And what about the promised `baraat ghar'? Give your MLA a pat if he has performed well. Or tell him to get off and that you cannot be taken for granted. It will clean the system and give you a role in governance. We kick off our new series, MLA Report Card, with an assessment of veteran politician Bijendra Prasad Yadav.