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nmalik100 posted a topic in RTI Act CircularsHello, I haven't seen the text of the PM's executive order that ministries publish RTIs processed post Nov 2014. But the UIDAI certainly isn't following it, they haven't posted any RTIs received in 2014 (and the ones they have published are a small subset of what they get. They certainly are putting up the ones they want to.) What does that executive order cover, and is the UIDAI bound by it?
karira posted a topic in RTI in MediaUnfolding Aadhaar Scam: Importantpages missing from UIDAI contracts - Part1 After refusing to share contract documents for years, the UIDAI finally provided it under the RTI Act, with important pages missing In the matter of Right to Information (RTI) application, on 14 October 2014, Vijay Bhalla, Deputy Registrar, Central Information Commission (CIC) wrote a letter on behalf of Sharat Sabharwal, Information Commissioner, CIC to Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) & Deputy Director, UIDAI. The letter states, “I am directed to convey that you should, within two weeks of the receipt of this order, provide to the Appellant thelimited information i.e. financial quotation/ price by the third party firms inthe subject tender as disclosure of it would not inflict any harm to thecompetitive position of third party firms at this stage when the contracts have already expired.” The RTI application was filed seeking a complete copy of the contract UIDAI signed with L1 Identity Solutions for Biometric Technology, on 24 August 2010 and a copy of thecontract UIDAI signed with Accenture for Biometric Technology, on 1 September 2010. Responding to this letter, Subrata Das, the CPIO & Deputy Director, UIDAI wrote to theRTI Appellant on 22 October 2014 in compliance with the CIC decision on the second Appeal hearing dated 30 September 2014. UIDAI’s letter reads, “The requisite letter in compliance with the CIC decision is as under: (i) financial quotation/ price quoted by Accenture Services Pvt Ltd is Rs2.75 (inclusive of taxes) as a unit price for Enrollment Allotted Transaction for De-duplication Services (ii) financial quotation/price quoted by L1 Identity Solutions Operating Company Pvt Ltd is Rs2.75 (inclusive of taxes) as a unit price for Enrollment Allotted Transaction for De-duplication Services This reply implies that for each of the 100 crore Indian residents targeted forAadhaar enrolment, the taxpayer through the central government will have to incur the cost of Rs2.75 to the companies in question. This is significant because this is not a one-time cost but each time de-duplication of Aadhaar number is done, the cost will be incurred. Besides other gnawing concerns about an assault on human rights, national security, economy and sovereignty, this is yet another case of foreign companies withholding transfer of technology from developing countries. It is also relevant to recall that two US based corporations, HP and IBM, had challenged UIDAI's tender processes. They had objected to their technical disqualification. TheRs2,000 crore contract for UIDAI's tender for managed service provider was won by Wipro Technologies. The Economics Times had reported on how the UIDAI tender process was unfair.” Notably, the 'Strategic Vision on the UIDAI Project' document that was prepared and submitted to the processes committee of the Planning Commission (set up in July 2006) by Wipro Ltd (consultant for the design phase and programme management phase of thepilot UIDAI project). It is noteworthy that the decision of Sharat Sabharwal, Information Commissioner, CIC and the letter of UIDAI furnishing "Limited Financial Information" is contrary to theoriginal order of Sushma Singh, the Information Commissioner, CIC dated 21 October 2013. Mr Sabharwal’s order appears indulgent towards the UIDAI and the foreign companies in question. The sequence of events in this regard is quite germane for understanding the issues at hand. The Biometric Service Providers, namely, Satyam Computer Services/Sagem Morpho, L1 Identity Solutions and Accenture Services had responded to UIDAI’s Expression of Interest (EoI) and submitted their tenders for accepting the projects on thebasis of fulfilling the following clauses: a) The prime respondent should have an office in India in the form of a Registered Office. b) If the prime respondent does not have a Registered Office, then it should have a Branch office, Representative Office, Sales Office, or an office of its subsidiary company in India for the purpose of submission of the expression of interest response. c) If the prime respondent is unable to meet the stated conditions, it shall submit a declaration/confirmation stating that it shall have Registered Office in India for the purposes of signing contracts with the UIDAI. But in its letter dated 21 July 2011, the UIDAI stated that “There is no means to verify whether the said companies/ organizations are of US origin or not. As per our contractual terms and conditions, only the companies registered in India can bid.” If that is indeed the case then the UIDAI will have no means to verify whether Sagem Morpho and later L1 are of French origin or not. Subsequent RTI applications forced UIDAI to share contract agreements with these companies, which clearly stated their countries of origin. This establishes that the UIDAI did have the means of verifying the foreign origin of the companies in question. It indulged in misrepresentation of facts with impunity. If the letter of 14 October 2014, Vijay Bhalla, Deputy Registrar, CIC is read with the interim order of Sushma Singh, Information Commissioner, CIC dated 26 July 2013, it become abundantly clear that UIDAI had raised the issue of Third Party’s trade secret and propriety information and the same was responded to by the author in writing. The order reads: “The appellant’s representative filed written submissions before the Commission, which inter-alia states that denial of information is not in public interest. The people of India have a right to know the details of the contracts issued by an Authority set up under an order of the Executive and the Authority claiming to act on behalf of the Government of India, entering into contracts with private firms, both foreign and Indian. Since the contracts are paid from Government funds and the project for which the contracts have been given pertained to the collection and processing of personal information of every person residing in India, including the citizens, the people have a right to the said information.” In her order, she asked the UIDAI to provide “written submissions, justifying non-disclosure of the information sought by the appellant under the provisions of Section 8 (1) (d) of the RTI Act.” The matter was scheduled for hearing on 10 September 2013. On 10 September 2013, UIDAI failed to provide the “written submissions, justifying non-disclosure of the information sought by the appellant under the provisions of Section 8 (1) (d) of the RTI Act”. UIDAI realized that it does not have any defence under the said RTI Act for denial of information. It submitted a letter (No. F.2013/096/2012-RTI-UIDAI) dated 10 September 2013 to Sushma Singh, Information Commissioner, CIC. On 10 September 2013, the author attended the hearing at the Central Information Commission (CIC). Shirish Kumar, Assistant Director General (ADG), Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and Shalic Das, ADG, UIDAI, were also present during the hearing, wherein the CIC sought an explanation from the UIDAI about their refusal to share a copy of all contracts given to biometric technology companies, namely, L1 Identity Solutions and Accenture. To which the UIDAI “submitted before the Commission that the copy of the said contracts can now be provided as the contracts have now expired.” The UIDAI gave a written submission to the CIC (No.F12013/096/2012-RTI-UIDAI) stating that "contractual obligation with respect to BSP's (Biometric Solution Provider) contracts had expired. Therefore, UIDAI has no objection in sharing the following contract details :- a) Copy of contract of UIDAI with L1 Identity Solutions for Biometric Technology; and b) Copy of contract of UIDAI with Accenture for Biometric Technology". Taking this submission into account, Sushma Singh, Information Commissioner, CIC gave her final order saying, “In view of the above, the Commission hereby directs the respondent (UIDAI) to provide a copy of the two contracts to the appellant within two weeks from the receipt of the order.” This order demolished the reasoning behind the claim of UIDAI for denial of contract agreements of these foreign companies. UIDAI had stated that “The information relating to the referred contracts cannot be disclosed as per clause 8.1 (d) of RTI Act, 2005” in its letter dated 7 May 2012. Following the hearing, the author met Shirish Kumar, ADG, UIDAI at their office in Jeevan Bharti Building, New Delhi who gave me copies of the contract of UIDAI with L1 Identity Solutions for Biometric Technology and Accenture for Biometric Technology. After examining the contract agreement with regard to the Accenture for Biometric Technology, the author noticed that the first 237 pages of the contract agreement were in order but after that there is a one pager titled Annexure J Technical Bid Technical Bid as submitted by Accenture Services Pvt Ltd but the Technical Bid document is missing. After that there is a one pager titled Annexure K Commercial Bid Commercial Bid as submitted by Accenture Services Pvt Ltd but the Commercial Bid document is missing. With regard to the L1 Identity Solutions for Biometric Technology, the author noticed that the first 236 pages were in order, but a one pager titled “Annexure I Non-Disclosure Agreement as submitted by L1 Identity Solutions Operating Company Pvt Ltd” is missing. After that there is a one pager titled Annexure J Technical Bid as submitted by L1 Identity Solutions Operating Company Pvt Ltd., which is missing. After that there is a one pager titled Annexure K Commercial Bid as submitted by L1 Identity Solutions Operating Company Pvt Ltd., which is missing. This compelled the author to write to Shirish Kumar, ADG, UIDAI about the “Missing Pages from the contract agreement of UIDAI and foreign biometric technology companies, CIC Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/003157,” asking him to share the missing papers. It was/is evident that although the CIC asked the UIDAI to share a copy of the contracts, it chose to violate this order and shared truncated and selected parts of the contact agreement. Shirish Kumar responded on 20 December 2013 claiming, “There are no missing pages in the two contracts…Some of the pages in the above contracts have only references of Annexures. The annexures J&L w.r.t Accenture Service Pvt Ltd mentioned Technical Bid and Commercial Bid. The annexures I, J, & K wrt to L-1 Identity Solutions Operating Pvt Ltd mentioned-non disclosure Agreement, Technical Bid and Commercial Bids.” The very next paragraph of his letter revealed the inconsistency of his claim. He further stated, “As per Confidentiality Disclosure statement, the document contains confidential information of the above firms and they have requested not to disclose the information outside UIDAI or be used for purposes other than the evaluation of their business capabilities. Secondly, this being third party information, the firms were requested for their comments, wherein they had declined to share their documents with any applicant.”
karira posted a topic in RTI in MediaAadhaar: Once allotted, you can never cancel it, reveals RTI While Nandan Nilekani, former chairman of UIDAI, is busy fighting his election, he has left behind a dubious record of keeping the Aadhaar holdersin the dark regarding access to their biometrics and other personal details by any private or public agency Now, it is from the horse’s mouth. The office of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has admitted that information regarding biometrics and other personal details of Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identification (UID) number, to any outside agency cannot be revealed to the holder unless it is requested by the government. In addition, once you have been allocated the UID number, there is no way to delete or cancel it, which means you cannot opt out of it. More shocking is that Aadhaar was never used to authenticate subsidies for the LPG cylinder. It was just used as an identifier for the bank. The second appeal was heard In a Central Information Commission (CIC) Sharat Sabharwal’s office on 13 March, 2014, wherein he stated that although the RTI applicant, CJ Karira had filed a requisition under Section 7 of the RTI Act, which requires the PIO to give information within 48 hours; the requisition does not specifically come under this section. However, his order stated: “…we took this appeal up for consideration out of turn as the answers of the public authority to the queries of the Appellant in the instant case may be of interest to a large number of UID card holders, who may have similar apprehensions as the Appellant regarding sharing of the data provided by them to the UIDAI for obtaining a UID card.” Karira, co-convener of India Against Corruption (IAC) filed a RTI application on 27 September 2013 seeking information regarding sharing of his Aadhaar data to outside agencies. He also asked for certified copies of the agencies with whom the data has been shared and procedure to delete one’s name from the UID register. Not having received a reply from the CPIO, he filed an appeal to the First Appellate Authority (FAA) on 13 November, 2013. The FAA did not conduct any hearing or pass any order. On 23 December 2013, the CPIO gave him partial and wrong information, particularly regarding the query of whether details of his UID number was shared with any agency. Karira stated to the FAA that the “information provided by the CPIO vide his letter dated 23 December 2013, was ‘incomplete and incorrect’, because HPCL and the State Bank of Mysore had his UID number and got the same authenticated through UIDAI, while the CPIO had stated in his reply that his data had not been shared with any entity outside the UIDAI.” Karira again asked for “complete and correct information free of charge; imposition of penalty on the CPIO under section 20(1) of the RTI Act for the delay in provision of information; a warning to the FAA to dispose of appeals to him within the stipulated time limits under the RTI Act; departmental action against the CPIO and the FAA under the relevant rules and regulations and; a direction to the public authority to arrange training on RTI matters for its concerned officials.” Having failed to get the required information and to request action against delay of information, Karira went in second appeal with the CIC on 15 January 2014. The CIC order observes during the hearing on 13 March, 2014, “… it is seen that three of his queries related to the requests… for authentication/ confirmation/ matching of any of his data held by the UIDAI, the details of the persons or entities asking for such authentication etc. and certified copies of requests for such authentication and replies by the UIDAI..” “The CPIO had stated in his reply dated 23 December 2013 that Karira’s data had not been shared with any entity outside the UIDAI. Karira has submitted that this information was misleading, because he had given his UID number to his gas agency and bank in connection with provision of subsidy on supply of cooking gas cylinders.” “UIDAI stated that the use of the UID number, provided by the Appellant to his gas agency and bank, was for the limited purpose of ensuring that the person being provided the gas cylinders and subsidy was the same. It did not involve authentication/ matching by those agencies with the data held by them.” The shocker is about the procedure to surrender one’s Aadhaar number. The order observes: “Two of the queries related to the procedure by which a UID number holder could surrender his UID number and card and get his data erased from the data base of the UIDAI. The CPIO informed the Appellant vide his letter dated 13th and 16 January 2014 that as on date, there was no such procedure adopted by the UIDAI to delete the UID number from the UID database. The last query in the RTI application sought information regarding the non-UIDAI entities/ persons, who have access to his personal/ demographic/ biometric data held by UIDAI or with whom UIDAI has shared such data. “…The CPIO stated that data would be shared only on a formal request by the State concerned through the Nodal Departments for the delivery of welfare and public services and schemes of the Government. Karira submitted during the hearing that a declaration in the application for UID number obtains the consent of the applicant for such sharing of data. The Respondents stated that such consent is not mandatory, but optional.’’ The CIC also ordered that UIDAI should have adequate number of CPIOs and FAAs to ensure that all applications are disposed off within the relevant time frame. According to CIC, “…there had been a surge in the RTI applications to the UIDAI through the online RTI portal since August-September 2013, and as many as 480 applications were received between August & November 2013…We are surprised that a public authority such as the UIDAI, with widespread public dealings, should have thought it fit to have only one CPIO until recently.” Reacting on the CIC order, RTI activist Maj Gen SCN Jatar (retd) said, “It is shocking to note that Aadhaar is not used to authenticate LPG gas subsidies. It is only an identifier for a bank and the OMC to ‘match’ the number; there is no way to delete an UID number once allocated; there is no way to delete the biometric and other details of a citizen who wants to "opt out" of Aadhaar; there is no record maintained of who Aadhaar data is shared with and; there is no record maintained of who Aadhaar data is shared with!’’ Attached is the order from the CIC… C J karira vs UIDAI.pdf
I am B.Srinivas applied for Aadhaar card at Bhagyanagar colony, kukatpally,Hyderabad on 30/05/2011 along with my wife. My enrollment no. & date ,time are 1111/15264/00433, 30/05/2011,15:00:33 and my wife's enrollment details are 1111/15264/00434,30/05/2011,15:13:31. All my neighbors who applied for aadhaar card at the same time when we applied, got their cards one and half month back. I want to know what happened to our aadhaar cards & How much time still it takes to issue aadhar cards. With regards, B.Srinivas