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BSNL WEST BENGAL rti rejected


code88

Question

code88

My query was the following...

Please supply me the following information with respect to Tender Works concluded and Awarded by your public authority and/or Executed and/or being executed and/or pending execution: Particulars of Information sought:

(1) Certified copy of the list of all works finalised and work contracts awarded by your public authority during the period from Jan 01,2019 To Dec 31, 2019.

(2) Certified copy of all Letters of Acceptance of tender offers for all works for which tenders were finalized and work contracts awarded by your public authority during the period from Jan 01, 2019 to Dec 31,2019.

(3) Certified copy of the list of Contract Agreements indicating description of works, entered by your public authority with contractors in respect of works contracts awarded during the period from Jan 01, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019.

(4) In case Letter of Acceptance of Tender offer issued by your public authority, but Contract Agreement is not executed, please supply reason on record for not executing Contract Agreement with the Contractor.
 

REPLY--------

It was rejected on the basis of 8(1)(e).

 

Is that even correct?

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Prasad GLN

CPIO has not applied his mind while denying information.

8 1 (e) Information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.:

Tender documents/work contracts by any stretch of wild imagination is not information held by BSNL on behalf of any contractor, and their activity and work contracts are in larger public interest that is never exempted under RTI Act.

But to me it appears that seeking such One year work contracts BSNL West Bengal is not fair.

They can reject the information stating Sec,8 (1) (a) (d) as the communication net work should be confidential in a sensitive state like West Bengal.  The tenders state the steps or machinery to be used etc., and while all other telcom companies made an exit from the country, due to strong fundamentals with great difficulty BSNL is surviving somehow.   I am afraid that seeking such sensitive information will certainly weaken their status and they can not expose sensitive information.

However, as you have started a process go for First Appeal but I am sure that it is not possible to get such sensitive information of entire state by a citizen without demonstrating larger public interest.

 

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Prasad GLN

Communication is highly sensitive and this is the only reason BSNL was lagging behind as other private telcom companies compromise for cheap Chinese./Korean/Taiwan where hacking is not difficult.  BSNL never use such hardware of enemy country.  Entire world suspects Chinese telcom products.  The importance is on technology adopted  in a state like West Bengal.  There are several disruptive activities in the state and the blame goes on enemy countries and migrants from border countries.

,It is my only apprehension  and  it can only be decided by BSNL/CIC as the entire state of West Bengal BSNL  telcom network information and operations in one year  is being solicited by a citizen and when  some contractors in India can resort to compromise due to pressures/money and several other things.

Those who seek information seek it openly and always keep transparency and accountability in operations and once if citizens himself hide their identity and seek that  vast information without any idea of putting into logical conclusion of such vast data., the very purpose of RTI is defeated.  Information is not for information sake and it should be put to logical conclusion.  CIC must consider this though objective and reasons are unknown in RTI Act.

 

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code88

Ok sir. I understand. I did not think it that way for sure. Now I can image the cause of denial. I shall remember this. And thanks Sir.

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Prasad GLN

Though outsiders are not concerned with the objective of your seeking such information, when you state your occupation and need for that information yourself, then it may  appear fair.

But, what I understand (general/vague) on this issue is after giving VRS to their employees, BSNL has outsourced the services and is at present running with bare skeletal staff.  I believe that there should have been a well laid down policy, and enough powers were delegated for outsourcing as per the uniform policy.

You can get a general idea on oursourcing contracts once you get the copy of policy/orders/notification.

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Sunil Ahya

Kindly file a first appeal on the basis of the CIC decision attached herewith this post. You will also get material to draft the grounds of your first appeal from this CIC decision.Fiduciary_FB-10022009-01.pdf

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code88

FAAs decision:

 

Contracts define term and conditions between BSNL and contracting parties according to which contractors benefit from BSNL. Thus BSNL is trustee and contractors are beneficiaries in a fiduciary relationship.

 

Hence denied information.

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Prasad GLN
Posted (edited)

You can take two steps.

 

1.File Fresh application to same CPIO seeking information as follows:

Subject on information sought for:  FAA has stated:"Contracts define term and conditions between BSNL and contracting parties according to which contractors benefit from BSNL. Thus BSNL is trustee and contractors are beneficiaries in a fiduciary relationship."  RTI enactment 2005-  Supreme court /CIC defined fiduciary relationship , but no where this weird confirmation from FAA that the relation between contractor and department was stated as fiduciary relationship.   Even Central Vigilance Commission uploads such contracts. Such decision to what amounts Fiduciary relationship enclosed.  

Information solicited.:Please provide such copy  laid down orders/ notifications /precedent/any decisions that BSNL is a trustee and contractor is a beneficiary and as such there exists  fiduciary relationship exclusively to BSNL alone, and information in between BSNL and contractors on public works qualify for exemption under RTI Act.

2. Then after hearing from CPIO  go to Second appeal before CIC.

Second appeal can be filed within 90 days from date of receipt of FAA orders.  The second RTI and FA process can be completed within 70 days, then you can go for second appeal for both RTI together.

Edited by Prasad GLN
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Prasad GLN

GO for second appeal to CIC and statein Grounds for appeal:  Tender information is not held in fiduciary capacity.  CPIO confirmed that  there is no clarification on record  that tender information is held in fiduciary capacity by BSNL in any of their  record.  Without any valid ground, CPIO assumed that tender details are held in fiduciary capacity, denied information though tender details are not held in fiduciary capacity.

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