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Meghalaya most RTI friendly; but officials under scanner

Atul Patankar

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Atul Patankar

As reported by DNA - India - Meghalaya most RTI friendly; but officials under scanner - Daily News & Analysis


SHILLONG: Despite being considered the most RTI friendly state, failure of some RTI officials in providing accurate information to the public has irked Meghalaya state information commission (MSIC) that has proposed incorporation of specific items in the confidential record of each official.


"It is absolutely important that the assessment of performances of the officers involved in RTI activities should also find a reflection on the confidential reports of the officers concerned," MSIC said in a report to the state government.


Decisions on all departmental proceedings against officers recommended by the commission should be entered into the service books and records of the officers concerned, it said.


According to MSIC, there were 39 complaints available with it in 2007. Of them 33 per cent were refusals or deemed refusals by public information officers to access the information required, while 31 per cent were related to failure of the PIOs to respond within the prescribed period of 90 days.


MSIC also received 15 complaints this year, the report said and stressed that there was no involvement of the state government with educational programmes and awareness campaigns of the RTI Act.

A total of 492 requests of the 537 were disposed off by PIOs, accounting for 91 per cent of the disposal rate in 2007. Community and Rural Development department recorded the highest disposal rate with 130 cases in 2007.

The penalty during 2007 amounted to Rs 24,250, it said.

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In IAS cadre, there is a requirement of an IAS officer 's satisfactory performance of a tenure as District Collector. This report is generally considered crucial for their further career prospects. This is one of the reason for the District Collector's cautious steps in every actions of theirs. Similarly if it is made incumbant on appropriate officers to hold a term of "Public Information Officer" and its satisfactory performance for further promotion it can make the PIOs more responsible.

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Atul Patankar

It is a very good suggestion, colonel sir! Positive marks may be given to proactive disclosure and initiatives like good website. Also, negetive marks may be given to appeals made against PIO - at least those decided against PIO.


Similar necessity - and marking system - may also be there for Appellate Authority.

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