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Is permission of a contracting company required to provide copy of Contract Agreement?


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Dear friends!

 

A contract is signed between a government department/autonomous institution and a private company to provide security guards/housekeeping laborers. The Contract Agreement signed between them is available with both the parties.

 

Does the CPIO require to seek the company's (third party) consent - under Section 11(1) of the RTI Act - to provide a copy of the Contract Agreement to an applicant who requests for a copy?

 

If yes, can the applicant expect to get the reply within 30 days from the date of paying the Rs 10/- ipo?

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Once the contract is signed, the contract agreement is in public domain and can be accessed through RTI without reference to third party u/s 11. There is decision of CIC to this effect and U may search at CIC website. U can also get assistance of following 2 NGOs in Bengaluru who are very active in RTI matters:

MAHITHI HAKKU ADHYAYANA KENDRA

(RIGHT TO INFORMATION STUDY CETNRE)

NEW OFFICE PREMISES

AT NO.54, 17TH CROSS, M C LAYOUT, VIJAYANAGAR

(NEXT TO CANARA BANK, PANCHAVATI HOTEL BUILDING)

BANGALORE 560 040 - Ph. No. 9448704693

mahitihakku@gmail.com

 

JSD PANI, President, Mahiti Hakku Jagruiti Vedike - A group

of RTI Activists, # 168, Chelakere, Kalyananagar, Bangalore 560043, Ph; 080-41616183, 9845309028

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jiwateshwar

Please see the following decision of the CIC

 

Decision No.506 /IC(A)/2007 F. No.CIC/MA/A/2006/00667 CIC/MA/A/2006/00668

Commission’s Decision:

5. The agreements entered into by two or more parties should, in general,

fall under public domain. The parties involved should make suo moto disclosure

of such documents, except the parts dealing with commercial and business

details.

6. In the instant case, the CPIO and the appellate authority have erred, as

they have decided to disclose the document of a third party, even when they did

not obtain concurrence u/s 11 (1) of the Act. They have also not justified their

decision to disclose the document that was submitted in confidence on the

ground of larger public interest. Moreover, the information seeker has not asked

for the document under section 2 (f) of the Act. Hence, the order passed by the

appellate authority is not consistent with the provisions of the Act.

7. However, in the spirit of providing openness in the functioning of public

and private bodies, especially those which have received Govt. support in the

form of tax benefits and/or land at concessional prices for providing social

services, the contract document/or agreement for mutual cooperation and

support should ideally be put in public domain, without any exception.

8. The appellants were accordingly advised, which they agreed. The

documents sought for disclosure should therefore be accessed by any

information seeker. The Section(s) of the document dealing with commercial and

business details, including the modes of transaction, should however be

withheld, lest the disclosure of such information should affect their economic

competitiveness.

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Thanks for the detailed info, jiwateshwar!

 

But, how is "parts dealing with commercial and business details" defined?

There appears to be some ambiguity here.

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