Jump to content

Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google

Is the decision of Government to conduct review of RTI is good?  

45 members have voted

  1. 1. Is the decision of Government to conduct review of RTI is good?

    • Yes
    • No

Recommended Posts

  • Super Moderator

As reported by Seema Chishti in indianexpress.com on 22 April 2008:

IndianExpress.com :: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google


Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google

Govt asks PwC to study efficacy of RTI, wary activists launch own study backed by grant from Google Foundation


NEW DELHI, APRIL 21: The Department of Personnel and Training has decided to get international accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers to study the efficacy of the Right to Information (RTI) Act as it marks its third year on October 13. The RTI Act has been showcased by the UPA Government as one of its key achievements.


Suspicious that this study could end up helping babus instead of citizens, leading RTI activists, including Aruna Roy and her Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) and Shekhar Singh and his National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) have launched their own alternative study.


They have formed RAAG (RTI Accountability and Assessment Group) which will examine what they call “the RTI regime.” Significantly, Google Foundation has stepped in to make this study possible by offering $250,000 as an initial grant.


RTI activists, using foreign funds themselves, say they are not worried about money from a foreign source, but are annoyed at the way, a “foreign organization” (Pricewaterhouse) with “little or no expertise in the manner in which RTI works in India” is being asked to assess the efficacy of RTI.


Said Roy, formerly a member of the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council and among the earliest campaigners for a Right to Information law: “The process itself adopted by the government to select such an agency for such a key audit, and the record so far of the DoPT makes us wary of the study. There is little point in just opposing it all, so we are doing our own study. All the material we collect in order to draw our conclusions will be available publicly, and then let us have a debate.”


Activists say they are worried the government, under pressure from bureaucrats, might use this study to cut back or restrain certain freedoms available under RTI. Says Shekhar Singh: “The government is only looking at the problems it faces because of the RTI making the bureaucracy answerable, and how they may have to amend the Act to ensure that applications are not too long, not vexatious or filed for frivolous purposes. How we look at RTI is completely different.”


The survey being planned by these groups will also involve the Centre for Studies of Developing Societies (CSDS which also does election surveys) and the Tata Institute for Social Service (TISS).


RAAG also hopes to get assistance from the Nehru Memorial.


Last week, DoPT hosted a seminar where Pricewaterhouse Coopers presented its Project Progress Report to members of the Central Information Commission and representatives from the State Information Commissions of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, UP, Maharashtra and Orissa, and some Public Information Officers from these states.


Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said he was consulted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers when it was finalising the project report. He says: “Their earlier proposal did have some weak points. It was too urban-centric, for instance. I have asked them to take into account the RTI’s immense impact on rural India.” Asked about the parallel study, he said: “Activists are welcome to do their own study...Why are they angry with DoPT for getting active? Earlier, it was just the CIC and the activists, with the DoPT taking a passive role, at least now they are active and are taking interest in the functioning of the Act.”

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • karira


  • sidmis


  • colnrkurup


  • opsharma


  • Super Moderator

I had a hearty laugh after reading this !

Whom are DoPT and the activists trying to fool ?


First make citizen aware of the Act.

Train PIO's / AA's

Then encourage people to use the Act.

Then remove the impediments to the operation part of the Act.

Then make sure that all the Sections of the Act are obeyed and implemented.


As per various news reports and threads in this forum:


- There are still PA's who do not have PIO's and AA's

- There are PA's where there are no boards

- A vast majority have not even implemented Sec 4

- No Government has done anything about Sec 26

- A vast number of even the urban educated majority do not know about the Act

- The Act has not even been translated in all the languages listed in the first schedule of the constitution


After doing all that make a "survey".


DoPT has not even implemented Sec 26 as yet. They have not removed the controversial note on "file notings" from their website. They do not listen to CIC orders and recommendations. Are we fools to believe that if they themselves are not following the Act, they will implement PWC's recommendations ?


If Google is funding the RTI Activists to the tune of US$ 250,000 (approx Rs 1 Crore), I am sure PWC's bill will be much much much much higher than that.


Doesn't anyone in the Government ever read the newspapers, browse the Internet, read CIC/SIC decisions or even visit RTI India - Complete Online Community Portal for Right to Information ? Or is it that all of these are considered so biased and PWC is holier than the holy cow ?


This is simply a "commission" generating exercise thought off by our politicians, bureaucrats and activists.


I can "smell" elections in the air.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Super Moderator

Editorial in indianexpress.com on 23 April 2008:

IndianExpress.com :: In the sunlight


In the sunlight

RTI cannot be judged by those it is meant to take on


The Right to Information (RTI) Act, enacted after decades of civil society pressure, is one of the biggest achievements of this government. In its brief life so far, it has unearthed some scandals, delivered some answers, embarrassed some officials and held out the promise of some shift in power relations between the government and the governed.


Now, the Department of Personnel and Training wants to audit RTI achievements, and has roped in PricewaterhouseCoopers to prepare a report card. RTI activists point out that this situation is rife with irony — that the legislation that is meant to wrest accountability from government officials should be judged by an agency handpicked by the officials themselves. And so, RTI campaigners have decided to do their own calculations and assess the act with support from a variety of research institutions. The underlying question is not about “foreign funds” or foreign agencies like PwC. In fact, the activists’ study is being bankrolled in part by the Google Foundation. Google is openly committed to transparency (although its own dossier on individuals could do with some exposure), and there is no doubt that a citizen survey backed by solid research is infinitely more meaningful than the government’s exercise. RTI activists worry, rightly, that the PwC study could be used to undermine the achievements of the movement, and hobble its hard-won freedoms.


The crucial point is that the government and the people naturally come at RTI from different directions; this adversarial dynamic is built into the very nature of the legislation. While the government would view RTI through the lens of disruption and inconvenience — the extent to which “frivolous petitions” hold up official functioning or impose excessive curbs on the bureaucracy — the citizens’ perspective would be diametrically different, premised on the belief that a truly participatory democracy rests on public access to information, and these logistical gripes (whether motivated or not) should not be allowed to detract from the greater good of maximum transparency. So both the government and the activists should formulate their own assessments, and we, the people, must be especially vigilant against any possible rollback of the little liberations that RTI has enabled.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

Do we need companies like PWC etc to study efficacy of RTI? This is all useless waste of public money and perhaps exercise to curtail RTI effect by making it more complicated. What we require is honest and sincere implementation of the act in true spirit and letter. Govt as usual does not want to see ground realities.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators

The review is a good decision and we all must get together in whatever capacity we can to accomplish the survey. Critical review must be accompanied during progress of the survey and after submission of report, to help in effective methodology and transparent report.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Super Moderator
The review is a good decision and we all must get together in whatever capacity we can to accomplish the survey. Critical review must be accompanied during progress of the survey and after submission of report, to help in effective methodology and transparent report.


Can you please explain why it is such a good idea ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Super Moderator

Members and guests can just google for "delhi jal board pricewaterhouse" and go through the web pages that appear in the list.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is not a good descision of the govt.

its time to file RTI application on the TOR for the said firm and what the govt wants to achieve.

the activists should ask for a participatory assessment of the RTI by conducting a psycho-social audit of this act.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with karira that this is a ruse to scuttle RTI in whatever possible way. If the govt is serious, Invite suggestions from the public and hold open seminars with RTI activists and any body who is interested. Govt can also involve upbhokta sangthan activists.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Super Moderator
I agree with karira that this is a ruse to scuttle RTI in whatever possible way. If the govt is serious, Invite suggestions from the public and hold open seminars with RTI activists and any body who is interested. Govt can also involve upbhokta sangthan activists.


Please do not misunderstand me.

I am not against any survey.

All I am questioning is whether it is the right time to survey the efficacy of the RTI Act.


slchowdhary, here I am with 17 RTI applications pending at various stages - ALL for just getting the PA to put up a board giving details of PIO/AA. If even that has not been done, what is the big point doing a survey ?


I can assure you that the total exercise (DoPT and the RTI Activists) will not cost less than Rs 5 Crores. As a layman, that means for me, either:


50,000 boards with PIO/AA details (@ Rs 1000 per board)

10,00,000 user guides in different languages for RTI novices (@ Rs 50 a booklet)

1428 Desktop Computers (with printers) for SIC/CIC (@ RS 35,000 a computer)

2000 RTI camps in various Villages (@ Rs 25,000 a camp)


Now what is better ? To do a survey or do any of the above things ?


You can decide for yourself.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

The other day our hon'ble PM was unhappy at corruption problem when he spoke in a seminar of Justices and CMs. He should strengthen RTI rather than finding ways to dilute it. If really govt. is serious about containing corruption [which I doubt!], it should implement simple ways to forcefully and sincerely implement RTI. Statute in books is only first step. We have reams and reams of laws in the books, but the ground realities are totally different. Govt machinery cannot stop corruption. Its only empowered public [through RTI etc] that will reduce the problem to a great extent.It is only common man that is vicitim of corruption. Give him the authority and he will fight his own battle. Some misuse will be there, but every law [or any other thing]has this problem.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators

If anybody of you get hold of the terms of survey, objectives and methodology to be adopted, it would be wiser.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In 'HOME" Last post is listed as Today, 9.47am by Kushal. There is no such post. Lats is by Kushal 25.04.08 08.12PM. How come?

Link to post
Share on other sites

As this thread is with 'Poll', it will show the last post as 'last poll submitted' rather than the last post. So anytime somebody votes it the thread will bump. :)


Good way to keep the thread alive ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Power to Review one's own orders in inherant in every judicial proceedings. There are various conditions stipulated. Order 47 CPC deals with "Review"

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Super Moderator

Editorial in organiser.org

Organiser - Content


Probing RTI efficiency


The government decision to hire a multinational company to check the efficacy of the Right to Information (RTI) Act has raised the hackles of many, especially the activists who campaigned for it. Touted as one of the biggest achievements of the UPA government, the RTI has managed to ruffle some neatly set feathers in bureaucracy, the unaccountable rulers in the government.


The government’s choice of the verifier for the effectiveness of RTI—MNC Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) is being viewed as an effort to curtail some of the provisions in the Act. The RTI Act was passed after much wrangling between the government and the activists who were working for it. Fixing a fee for filing petitions under the RTI was one of the most contentious issues. Now RTI is being used by people to elicit all kinds of information from the government, especially those relating to delays and arbitrary concessions being given by various departments to favour a few.


Recently a man in Orissa got relief from the court after he proved that the Forest Department was unduly delaying and denying him permission to cut certain number of trees on his land to raise money for his son’s education. The department had given similar sanctions on a larger sale for industrial houses and business propositions. This information he obtained by repeated petitions under the RTI.


It is such incidents that are causing much consternation among the ruling elite, namely the bureaucrats. By getting a survey done by an MNC, the department can cite various reasons, including the ‘holy cow’ of national security to deny citizens access to information locked in government files. It may be remembered that the setting-up of RTI in itself was one of the ‘redress’ mechanisms suggested by the international monitory institutions under their Country Strategy for India. Hence their interest in the efficacy of the scheme and its scope for manipulation is understandable.


But what is not acceptable for many is that while there are any number of institutions in India who have expertise in conducting such surveys, why should an MNC be involved and that too one which has next to nil experience in similar areas. The purview of the PwC seems to be to locate the problems RTI poses to the administration.


The PwC is expected to come up with suggestions on how to make it more ‘effective’ from the bureaucrat’s point of view and not from the citizens’ point of view. Piqued by the move, the RTI activists have launched their own independent survey. But then this is also not devoid of foreign intervention.


The Google Foundation has offered an initial grant of $250,000. It might only be a business proposition in the sense that Google blogs would become the medium for the survey. But one cannot help wishing that the survey and study were clear of outside interference.


Despite the restrictions, even in a limited way, RTI has become an effective instrument for determined citizens to nettle the government. At least now the officialdom is lawfully bound to respond to questions and complaints, which earlier regularly found their way into dustbins. And that is why it is necessary to safeguard its efficacy and not allow the government to take back on the sly what it gave in a grand gesture, albeit grudgingly.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...



Government of India

Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions

(Department of Personnel & Training)

New Delhi, the 22nd May, 2008

Subject: 'Understanding the Key Issues and Constraints in Implementation of the RTI Act'

: Comments on Approach and Methodology of the Study.

A Study on the above subject is being conducted by Pricewaterhouse

Coopers Pvt. Ltd. A detailed report on the approach and methodology to be

adopted for the Study is attached.

Comments on the approach and methodology being adopted for the Study

are invited from the various stakeholders at the following e-mail addresses:



i. sarkardk@nic.in

ii. nilaya. varma@in.pwc.com

*~~~ (Zoya c.B.)

Under Secretary to the Govt. of India

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

1 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Understanding the”key issues and

constraints” in implementing the RTI Act

Approach and Methodology*

*connectedthinking ΠωΧ

2 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

2 PricewaterhouseCoopers

List of Abbreviations

Name Description

APIO Assistant Public Information Officer

AA Appellate Authority

CIC Central Information Commission

DoPT Department of Personnel and Training

IT Information Technology

MIS Management Information System

NGO Non Governmental Organization

PA Public Authority

PIO Public Information Officer

PSU Public Sector Undertaking

RTI Right to Information

SIC State Information Commission

TNA Training Need Assessment

ToR Terms of Reference

3 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

3 PricewaterhouseCoopers


S.No Topics Page No.

1. Introduction 4

2. Approach and Methodology for conducting the assignment 6

We need to provide a small para here to say why this report (as a stand

alone) has been prepared

This document provides an overview of the objective of the study that has bee n

mandated by DOPT to PricewaterhouseCoopers. An important element of the assignment

is to seek the views of the information provider and information seekers under RTI. The

document summarized our methodology for conducting the study.

4 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

4 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Son 1


5 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

5 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Project Background

In order to promote, transparency and accountability in administration, Parliament passed “Right

to Information Bill, 2004 on 15th June, 2005, “The Right to Information Act” was notified in the

Gazette of India on 21st June, 2005. The “Right to Information Act” has become fully operational

from 12th October, 2005. so as to enable a citizen of India to secure access to information

under the control of Public Authorities.

After the Act came into existence, it has become evident that there are many anticipated and

unanticipated consequences of the act. These have manifested themselves in various forms.

While some of the issues pertain to procedural aspects of the government others pertain to the

capacity aspects. Hence, there was a need to evaluate the implementation of the Act based on

actual data and information

With the above context, DoPT, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pension,

Government of India has engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for assessing and

evaluating the Act with specific reference to the key issues and constraints faced by the

“Information Providers” and “Information Seekers”.

The scope of study would include review of the experience of the central and state governments

in implementing the RTI Act, review of the experiences of various categories of information

seekers, Diagnosis of the situation, suggest the nature of interventions to be made and prepare

an action plan for implementation of the recommended changes.

For the study, the Consultants i.e. PwC are also required to hold several stakeholder

consultations including Public Authorities, PIOs, Appellate Authorities, SICs & CIC under the

Information Provider category and common people, disadvantaged groups & CBOs / NGOs /

Activist Groups and media under the Information Seeker Category.

Activities planned in the study

The activities planned under the study include

1. Analysis and categorization of information sought under RTI Act in select states of the

country, including the Central Government.

2. Design a methodology to identify those states that need to be studied in detail for the

understanding the implementation related experiences.

6 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

6 PricewaterhouseCoopers

3. Preparation of a state-wise ‘State of RTI act implementation matrix” for the selected

states indicating the compliance with the key expectations of the Act.

4. Workshops at different stages of the project which include

a. Workshop1: Envisioning workshop to discuss the project outcomes for effectively

designing the field visit and survey

b. Workshop 2: Interim Finding and Interim Solution after field study and survey to 2


c. Workshop 3: As-Is findings workshop to discuss the findings of the field visits to

five states and overview of possible interventions to address the key issues.

d. Workshop 4: National Workshop - Recommendation on implementation and

capacity building plan

5. Since the study involves analysis of the all the factors facilitating and hindering the

implementation of the RTI Act in entirety across the country, there is a need to take up a

sample that is adequate and representative. International Market Research Bureau

(IMBR) which offers a full spectrum of customised research services is apart of the study

and is involved in designing of the survey methodology. Based on discussions with key

stakeholders and secondary research, it has been proposed to take a large sample of

more than 5000 across 5 States to provide a confidence level of 93-95% and an error

level of 5-7%.

6. The survey will have break-up of information seekers from Urban / Rural areas and also

optimal coverage of various target groups such as common people, CBOs, NGOs and

Activist groups. Further, it will be ensured that marginalized classes across various

socio-economic classes are also adequately represented. This includes people below

poverty line, uneducated (illiterate), socially backward including tribal and women.

7. Analysis of the data on experiences of the providers and seekers of information to lead

to identification of generic problems, which need to be resolved.

8. The diagnosis to be shared and debated with the various stakeholders in a structured

manner for ratification and revision, where required.

7 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

7 PricewaterhouseCoopers

9. Based on the diagnosis and feedback from the Stakeholder workshop preparation of the

report with specific recommendations on the structural, institutional, procedural,

infrastructural and technological, and people related changes.

10. Preparation of a detailed action and capacity building plan at the central and state

government levels and for the RTI division and the Central Information Commission and

State Information Commissions in line with the recommendations.


8 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

8 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Section 2 Approach and


9 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

9 PricewaterhouseCoopers

There are a number of approaches available for a Government seeking to review the effectives

of its policies and initiatives. Approaches that are more systemic and collaborative in nature

typically achieve greater impact and results. After evaluation of the objectives and requirements

of the engagement, we propose to adopt our tested and proven performance improvement

approach for providing the overall guidance to the engagement. This approach consists of

distinct phases tightly integrated to achieve the targeted outcomes envisaged for this


For reviewing the implementation of the RTI Act, it is important to approach the information

seeker groups and information provider groups in a different manner. The information seekers

(being a large group with varied interest and involvement in RTI implementation), customized

assessment tools have to be deployed. Likewise, for the information providers, a different range

of tools and methodologies have to be leveraged to assess more accurately and effectively.

Within each of the groups, our work is going to be divided across 5 work streams, namely:




Communication / awareness

Information availability and accessibility

The overall approach to the engagement is presented in the figure overleaf. The detailing of

each of the tasks within the approach is provided subsequently.

10 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

10 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Redesign of RTI


Assessment of

current status of







Road plan and

detailed phase



Measures and


1.0 Engagement Roadmap and Detailed Phased Plan


We will be designing an inception report detailing the engagement roadmap with activities and

timelines within two weeks from the start of the engagement. The following activities are

included under this stage:

Project kick-off

Mobilization of the resources

Preparation and finalization of a full and comprehensive plan for the engagement

Determination of all necessary review considerations

11 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

11 PricewaterhouseCoopers


We aim to work closely with DoPT and other stakeholders to produce a comprehensive plan


Project Inception Report

Detailed project plan incorporating activity schedules, work products, planned deliverables

and other key outputs

Communication plan with all internal and external stakeholders

Key project assumptions/risks and role definition

Presentation of some of the key issues/challenges based on secondary research


In past engagements, we have found it extremely useful to commence the process with a

Project Kick-off Meeting - completed) involving the client and other key stakeholders. This

meeting is focused on reviewing and evaluating objectives and underlying assumptions,

determining priorities, discussing risk factors and identifying communication requirements.


We will be using the MS Project Office application for designing the project plan with key

deliverables and associated timelines.

2.0 Assessment of Current State of RTI Implementation


We will capture the existing information, processes and systems associated with the current

implementation of the RTI Act. The assessment will involve the analysis of existing processes,

policies, documentation, and organizational alignment through discussions with representatives

from information seeker and information provider groups. As this stage of the engagement, it is

essential to cover as wide an audience as possible, as this will help define the basis against

which the change interventions can be defined. The following activities are included under this


Study of the process of implementation – information request to information provisioning

12 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

12 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Evaluation of the legal rules in the RTI Act governing its implementation process

Needs Assessment of the information providers vis-à-vis RTI implementation

Organizational review for effective institutionalization of the RTI Act

Review of public awareness about the right to information access and ways and means to

exercise this right

Understand the information needs of the citizens by interviewing both the applicants and

non users of RTI


The following approach will be taken for assessing the current state of implementation of the

RTI Act:

Visits to various sampled PIOs and other government offices to study the current process

of implementation of the RTI Act

Review of actual statistics of RTI Act implementation taken from select public authorities

Conducting meeting and focus group discussions amongst the information seeker groups

vis-à-vis citizens, media, non-governmental organizations

Workshops with associated public authorities to understand the issues and constraints in

implementing the RTI Act

Study the institutional structure for the RTI Act implementation and also the legislation to

identify the possible areas to be targeted for interventions

Some of the key information areas that would be covered during the survey are as follows:

a. Awareness and information availability related satisfaction

Adequacy of the number of sources on which information is available

Extent of information made available

Comprehensiveness of information

b. Accessibility related satisfaction

Responsiveness: Speed of service and problem/ complaint resolution

Number of visits required

c. Personnel related satisfaction can be captured through the survey conducted with the

information seekers. The survey instruments will be designed to capture the following


Knowledge of the personnel

Helpfulness and cooperation

13 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

13 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Availability of key officials for instant resolution of queries and complaints

Promptness and clarity in communication

Time taken to resolve query

d. Usage related satisfaction

Response time

Hassle free mechanism


We propose to adopt a two-fold approach to address the objectives of the project

Module I: Exploratory


Module II: Quantitative


This module consists of 2 parts:-

Part – 1: Secondary Research

Help in selection of states

where quantitative survey

needs to done

Part – 2: Qualitative Research

To determine the experience and

satisfaction of information

seekers on an individual basis

Help in developing an exhaustive

list of expectation criteria

This module would aim to:-

Determine the experiences of

various categories of

information seekers

Identifying the types of

problems faced by these

information seekers

Determining the level of

satisfaction of information

seekers with the service

rendered by various

information providers

14 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

14 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Module I: Exploratory Research

This module consists of the following two parts:

Part – 1: Secondary Research

Various journals, websites, literature, directories would be referred for generating initial

information on the subject and also for facilitating collation of the information with respect to

various states. Also, it would help us in determining the level of Government interactions

(Governance) in a particular state, the number of PSUs in various states, number of applications

received through the RTI Act, etc.

Part - 2: Qualitative Research

This part consists of conducting in-depth interviews with information providers/seekers:

These interviews would be conducted in order to gauge an understanding from the

perspective of various information providers

Conduct Focused group discussions with the information providers

Conduct a Workshop with key stakeholders to understand the requirements

This would help us in preparing a more descriptive research instrument (questionnaire)

for the part 2 of this phase

The list of service providers may include

a. PAs – Public Authorities

b. PIO – Public Information Officer

c. AAs – Appellate authorities

d. Nodal Agency

e. SIC – State Information Commission

f. CIC - Central Information Commission

g. Exempted Institutions

Module – II: Quantitative Research: Face-to-face interviews with information seekers:

1. An adequate representation of information seekers will be taken:

a. Common People

b. Disadvantaged groups

c. CBOs

d. NGOs

e. Activist Groups

f. Media

2. Well-trained interviewers would conduct the interviews across these categories

15 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

15 PricewaterhouseCoopers


We propose a three step approach for sampling purposes:

Level 1: Selection of states

The selection of states where the quantitative research will be conducted would be done on the

basis of the following parameters:

a. Population of the state / capital

b. Level of industrialization in that particular state

c. Extent of computerization / usage of IT in various state departments

d. Per Capital Income

e. Rural Population

f. Extent of RTI Implementation

g. Regional Spread

The above parameters have been chosen to include citizen base from varied backgrounds in

terms of education, income etc. The level of industrialization and computerization in government

departments has been considered to understand its impact on the effectiveness of RTI

implementation. In addition the importance of including rural and disadvantaged groups has

also been taken into consideration

The following steps shall be followed for selection of states:

States will be divided in terms of their population levels

Then literacy rates would be taken for all the states and compared against the population

The states would be divided and selected as having high, medium or low literacy levels

Next step would be to compare the per capita income of various states

The states would be selected as having high, medium and low per capita income with

respect to the population of these states

Following that we will compare states on the basis of population of disadvantaged groups

and urban population

The details on the selection of states have been provided overleaf

16 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

16 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Selection of states – Literacy level vs. population

Selection of states – Disadvantaged group vs. population


High Medium Low

> 50 million 10 - 50 million



High Madhya Pradesh Jharkhand, Orissa

Mizoram, Arunachal

Pradesh, Nagaland,

Meghalaya, Tripura


Rajasthan, Tamil

Nadu, West Bengal,

Uttar Pradesh

Haryana, Punjab

Sikkim, Manipur,

Himachal Pradesh,


Low Andhra Pradesh,

Bihar, Maharashtra

Jammu and Kashmir,

Chhattisgarh, Assam,

Kerala, Gujarat,




High Medium Low

> 50 million 10 - 50 million



> 70 %

Tamil Nadu,

Maharashtra Kerala

Mizoram, Goa,

Tripura, Himachal

Pradesh, Uttaranchal

63.5 - 70%

Madhya Pradesh,

West Bengal, Andhra


Chhattisgarh, Haryana,

Punjab, Gujarat,


Sikkim, Nagaland,


Uttar Pradesh

Jammu and Kashmir,

Assam, Jharkhand,


Arunachal Pradesh,


17 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

17 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Selection of states – Per Capita Income vs. population


High Medium Low

> 50 million 10 - 50 million

Per Capita


> Rs. 23000 Maharashtra Haryana, Punjab,

Gujarat, Karnataka

Manipur, Himachal


Rs. 14800 - Rs.


Madhya Pradesh,

Tamil Nadu, Andhra

Pradesh, West


Jharkhand Sikkim, Arunachal


Uttar Pradesh

Chhattisgarh, Assam,

Kerala, Orissa,


Selection of states –Urban population vs. population


High Medium Low

> 50 million 10 - 50 million




Tamil Nadu,


Haryana, Punjab,

Gujarat, Karnataka

Mizoram, Goa,

Meghalaya, Tripura


Rajasthan, Madhya

Pradesh, Andhra

Pradesh, West

Bengal, Uttar


Jammu Kashmir,

Jharkhand, Kerala Manipur, Uttaranchal

Low Bihar Chhattisgarh, Assam,


Sikkim, Arunachal

Pradesh, Nagaland,

Himachal Pradesh

18 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

18 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Selected States

Factors Uttar

Pradesh Maharashtra Andhra

Pradesh Orissa Meghalaya Assam

Population High High High Medium Low Medium

Literacy level Low High Low Medium Low Medium

Per Capita


Low High Medium Low Low Low


groups Medium Low Low High High Low



Medium High Medium Low High Low


region North West South East North –

East North – East

Based on discussions with the key stakeholders in the Project kick off-meeting and the above

parameters the following five states are proposed to be taken up for field study


Andhra Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh



It may be noted that detailed discussion will be taken from Information providers and

seekers in these five states but as part of the process of information gathering we would

be writing to all the States/UTs for collecting basic information for analysis. As part of

this process, we would also create a feedback forum on the RTI portal to seek large

feedback from all stakeholders.

Level 2: Selection of locations within the States

19 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

19 PricewaterhouseCoopers

The selection of location for quantitative survey within each state would be done on the basis of

the following parameters:

a. The state capitals would be one of the obvious choices because many of the

Government departments are located there

b. locations with a mix of 70% of rural and 30% of urban population

c. The number of RTI applications received across various departments

Level 3: Division of sample within each location

We propose stratified random sampling technique for selecting respondents for the

quantitative survey. The division of sample within each city would be done on the basis of the

following parameters:

a. An adequate break-up of information seekers from Urban / Rural areas

b. Optimal coverage of various target groups such as common people, CBOs, NGOs and

Activist groups. Further, it will be ensured that common people of various socioeconomic

classes are also adequately represented

c. Type of government departments for which RTI applications are received (ministries

and departments, semi-government organizations and PSUs)

The adequate break up of the sample into above categories shall be done proportional to the

percentage of each category in the data of stakeholders provided by DoPT/nodal


Sample Size:

We propose to conduct the survey in two stages:

Stage I: We propose to conduct 400 interviews per selected state (5 States in total) in addition

to a minimum of 40 in-depth interviews overall across various stakeholders (information

providers). The above sample size has been arrived at assuming a confidence interval of 95%

and accuracy level of 5%.

The exercise would be broken up in two parts. In the first part, we would cover two states and in

the second part three states. After the first part, inputs from the client would be sought based

on the findings of the same and the necessary modifications would be made for the second part.

The following approach will be taken for finalization of the sampling and survey methodology

Getting database of various stakeholders from the client (Database to be provided by

various CICs, SICs, Nodal agencies, etc.)

Finalizing the hypothesis (through issues identified from secondary research)

Discussion with Focus Group

20 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

20 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Preparation of the questionnaire (Structured and un-structured)

Administering questionnaire for 30% Urban Population and 70% Rural Population

S.No Categories Number

1. Common people 270

2. Disadvantaged people / groups 90

3. CBOs, NGOs and Activist groups 40

Total 400

Stage II: To measure the awareness on the people on the RTI Act we propose to conduct a

random sampling of 5 citizens staying in close proximity of the 400 people to be interviewed. A

total of 1000 interviews/listing will be conducted for measuring the awareness of the RTI Act. A

point to note here is that this way of finding out the awareness of the RTI Act would have some

bias as we would be covering only those places where people have applied for RTI Act.

However, keeping in mind the broader requirements of the study we would follow the above

method for gauging the awareness of the RTI Act.

However, to check out the awareness of the RTI Act we would have to cover a very large

sample. Then percolating down to the people who have knowledge about the Act and finally the

people who have made use of the act would result in a lot of effort going to waste as the

awareness itself about the Act would be less 10%. In such a scenario we would not be able to

adequately depict the whole picture regarding the implementation and effectiveness of this Act.

Therefore, for the purpose of this study, we should conduct interviews with only those

stakeholders who have made use of the RTI Act. This would help us in giving us a better

understanding on the state of implementation of this act, the various barriers in seeking

information, the experience and the satisfaction level of the people who have made use of the

Act. This could be discussed with different stakeholders during the focused group discussion

and envisioning workshop.

However, the sample size this is just an indication. The final sample size across all the above

categories would be decided only after getting the database of RTI applicants from the client

and discussions with key stakeholders during focused group discussions and envisioning


21 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

21 PricewaterhouseCoopers

3.0 Benchmarking of the Good Practices


We will study the good practices implemented within and outside India to conduct a

benchmarking exercise with respect to the existing implementation of the RTI Act. We will

identify the key learning’s from the national and international experiences and incorporate it in

the recommendations.


Benchmarking will be conducted using the following approach:

Defining the parameters to be used for benchmarking

Determining the selection criteria to identify countries to be benchmarked

Conducting a secondary research supported by proprietary database of PwC

It will be ensured that the countries that are being benchmarked will have some commonality

and relevance to the federal structure and also the policy provisioning as done in India.

Based on the initial discussion, Mexico and Canada have been chosen. The study of good

practices would not just be limited to countries outside India but would also include good

practices of RTI implementation within India. For example the RTI call centre used in Bihar

will also be studied. The citizens in Bihar use the call centre for applying for information under

the RTI.

4.0 Redesign of RTI Implementation approach


This stage is designed to capture and clarify the future needs of the RTI Act implementation.

Completing this stage is likely to involve a similar number of people as the current assessment

stage and will run in parallel with it in order to accelerate the identification of improvement

opportunities in the RTI implementation. This stage will capture the following:

Preparation of a state-wise ‘State of RTI act implementation matrix” for the selected states

indicating the compliance with the key expectations of the Act.

22 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

22 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Envisaged objectives of the RTI Act’s implementation

Description of how the redesigned implementation process may look like and the

associated service levels

Summary of the proposed intervention measures to enhance the effectiveness of the RTI


Roadmap to build awareness and educate the general public on the use of RTI Act

Capacity building plan to impart training and relevant skills to the government personnel

to effectively implement the RTI Act


Discussion with key stakeholders( Information provider and Information seeker) on the

assessment results

Process redesign for the implementation including revision of customer interfaces such as

forms and formats

Workshops with relevant stakeholder groups to understand the pros and cons of various

draft intervention measures

Organizational and legal study to ascertain the possible improvement opportunities

Needs Assessment to identify the capacity gaps in the information providers group

Based on the survey conducted and discussions with the key information providers we will try

and identify the impediments that exist for the provider and seeker for accessing the

information. The following matrix may be used for designing the state-wise RTI implementation


E.g. State 1: Andhra


Available Accessible Affordable

Information seeker


Information Provider


Based on the matrix, we propose to design the appropriate measures to overcome these

constraints. These various measures would be with respect to capacity building efforts at the

institutional, organisational and individual levels.

23 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

23 PricewaterhouseCoopers

5.0 Recommended Measures and Initiatives


The purpose of this stage is to firstly ascertain the gap between the current way of

implementation and the envisaged way of implementation, and then dovetail it with the

international best practices to identify actionable measures to be undertaken for enhancing the

effectiveness of the RTI Act’s implementation.


The source of inputs for identifying improvement opportunities in the existing RTI Act

implementation requires process redesign as well as organizational alignment.

The key analysis criterion is the requirements of the activity from the provisioning and seeking

perspectives. To locate non-value-adding activities:

first identify the owner/beneficiary of the activity

identify what that beneficiary needs from the activity or expected outcome of the activity;


what constitutes a satisfactory result (in terms of quality, cycle time and flexibility)

Determine whether the activity satisfies the expected outcome requirements. If it does

not, does another activity result into the expected outcome of the activity

Root Cause Analysis

Once current processes have been documented and analyzed for

value added ratios, PwC shall identify the root causes of

problems and non-value adding activities in processes.

Identifying the root cause of process dysfunction enables to

ensure that the process redesign solves the root cause, rather

than simply addressing a symptom of a problem that will occur

again. It also allows us to determine how many processes are

affected by a single root cause. The more process problems a

root cause creates, the higher priority it is for being addresses quickly and effectively.

A systematic analyzing cause and effect relationships to identifying the potentially

fundamental causes of problems

24 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

24 PricewaterhouseCoopers

Cause and Effect Diagram are drawn to sort out and relate the interactions among the

factors affecting a process

Define the major categories of possible causes. Draw a branch for each major category.

Factors to consider include:

o Methods

o People

o Measurements

o Training

o Information Systems

o Environment etc..

Rework Considerations

If the draft recommendation does not satisfy the requirements, PwC shall continue to work with

the client project teams to arrive at the acceptable and desirable outcome. Some ideas to

support these iterations include in the following:

Conduct workshops with the key stakeholders to re-valuate the issues and constraints

based on which the recommendations were designed.

Design an implementation plan which is feasible to be implemented and can be achieved

within the desired time frame of the client

Introduce reforms in the procedures and technology which will help in timely information

dissemination to the information seekers.

Determine if the performance targets are appropriate and if they should be changed. PwC

shall discuss with department officials as to why changes are needed.

Design recommendations for improving in the areas of structural, institutional, processual,

infrastructural and technological, and people related changes

Design the capacity building requirements for effective enforcement of the RTI Act.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Eagle's Eye: RTI review underway


As Reported in Central Chronicle, June 19, 2008


The accounting firm will review RTI implementation in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa- report of Ravleen Kaur

An 85-year-old lady was having problems getting her passport. She needed it to go and live with her children abroad. The status, the website showed, was delivered.


Visits to the passport office yielded little results. "We helped her draft a right to information (RTI) application. When the department concerned was informed of the application, she got the passport immediately," says Shekhar Singh of National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI), Delhi. But not all RTI applications are as smooth and appeals against disclosures are common. The RTI Act, which came into existence three years ago, is now undergoing a review of its performance. Here too, the issue has triggered a debate on the agency conducting the appraisal.


The department of personnel and training (DoPT) under the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has commissioned international accounting firm PriceWaterhouse Coopers the responsibility to review the RTI Act 2005.


Activists say the study may end up protecting government officials. They are conducting a parallel study on how far the RTI has been able to keep up its mandate of providing timely response to "citizens requests for government information".


The accounting firm will review RTI implementation in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa.


"It will study whether the act has reached the grassroots or is just being used in urban areas. It will look into problems that information officers and seekers face and how the act can be streamlined better," said K G Verma, director RTI, DoPT.


Among the criteria for selection of the consultant was that the agency should have carried out such studies elsewhere. Although the firm has no such record, it qualified the financial and technical bids, indicating it has the means to conduct such a study. NGOs had also competed for the tender, says a DoPT official. "But their concept paper was very weak and they did not seem to have enough manpower to conduct the study," said another DoPT official.


NGOs are conducting their independent study under the banner RTI Accountability and Assessment Group, which comprises organizations such as the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), NCPRI, Devdungri, Rajasthan, National Campaign for People's Right to Information, Delhi, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Delhi, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and Centre for Studies of Developing Societies, Delhi. MKSS was among the organizations that spearheaded the RTI movement in the mid 1990s.


"Our study is not in response to the government's study but it just happened to have the same timing. The objectives of both studies are similar but methodologies are different. Given the government's track record, our suspicion is they will subtly try to weaken the act. Besides, the agency involved is an accounting firm, so we can't be sure of how much they will be able to find out at the village level," Singh told Down To Earth.


Their study will cover 10 states and finish by October. A national survey of 20,000 people will be conducted where villagers will be asked to frame RTI applications on a subject and responses of public authorities concerned will be noted. Similar methodology will be followed in urban areas as well. Specific sectors such as media and institutions including high courts and the supreme court will be studied on how they have internalised RTI. Public Information officers (PIOs) and chief information commissioners of states will also be interviewed.


"Systemic changes in governance are happening gradually. For instance, officials are scared if they do something under political pressure, they know they are answerable to the public. The enthusiasm for the act is there and it will go up. But there are certain issues of implementation that need to be addressed," said Singh.


Appeals top the list and are among the major deterrents for people to use RTI Act. Besides, these take time.


Only one case (of appeal) is cleared in a day in Andhra Pradesh and in Kerala, just 50 cases were disposed of in 2007, says Arvind Kejriwal of Parivartan, the NGO that used RTI to expose public distribution system scam in Delhi. "Waiting time for appeals in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh is more than three years and in Delhi, it is up to a year. Information commissioners are killing the act.


-Down to earth feature



Link to post
Share on other sites

I still feel that time is not yet ripe for a Review of the RTI Act. One can review it only after the Act has been made fully functional. The present effort appears to be part of ground clearance to dig the grave of RTI Act.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
  • Super Moderator
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Tell a friend

    Love RTI INDIA- Online RTI? Tell a friend!
  • Members

    • Sunil Ahya
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
    • Total Posts
  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use & Privacy Policy