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Delhi NGO Parivartan has done a lot of work in implementing the RTI Act in Delhi. One such way is by taking certified samples of cement used to construct roads to expose the corruption in MCD.
By the Constitution: Comptroller and Auditor General of India, CEC, UPSC By law made by Parliament: Central Vigilance Commissioner, Chief Information Commissioner etc. By law made by State Legislature: State Accountability Commission
The provisions for proactive disclosure in the Act are sound. They cover several categories of information and commit public authorities to not just publish information, but also make it accessible. In this section lies the spirit of the RTI Act. In countries with an open information access regimes most information is already out in the public domain. Parivartan PDS: All ration shops should paste on the wall the amount of ration received Records of all ration shops will be open for inspection from 2pm to 5pm on Saturdays I would like to share with the group, a site where information requested by the info seekers is made available on the website. This will save future info seekers the process of asking for information, if it is already asked by some else in the past. Our board member, Sh. Veeresh Malick's requested information ( serial number 21)is available on the site ( product wise details of under recoveries that would be sustained by the Oil Marketing Companies during 2006-07.) The site is that of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. If you click under subject the entire information provided to the applicant is made available. http://petroleum.nic.in/rtiact2005.htm
If a PIO has not already been appointed, a complaint can be made to the State or Central Information Commission APIOs are designated in the district level where there is no senior level officer who can attend to the information requested. There have been suggestions that post offices be used as APIOs from where the requisition can be sent to the relevant Department.
The PIO has to provide information in the manner and form in which it is sought unless it diverts the resources of the PA or be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question (be specific, don’t ask for voluminous information) [Section 7 (9)]
Karnataka SCIC ruling: All Competent Authorities should fix separate amounts for information falling under Section 4 (4). Information available in electronic format shall be made available free of cost or by e-mail. In case a hard copy is required, only the cost price of that publication should be required. For photo copy, not more than Re.1 to be charged for A3 and A4 size.
CCS proposed that the commitment suo motu disclosure be made concrete by means of:Designing a Publication Scheme, Information Assets Register, Availability of publications for inspection, Widely requested information becoming available suo motu, Having a logo for RTI and a RTI link on each Department website. Publication Scheme: A document that lays down the categories of information that a public authority is to proactively disclose. Ideally, this would include a short description pf each category (for easier identification and location of documents), the format (s) in which the information is available, how much it will cost to access and reproduce it and how often the information is to be updated. A publication scheme demonstrates an ongoing commitment to proactive disclosure. It provides a template around which a disclosure regime can function. The nature of PS’s is such that they place a large amount of information in the public sphere and are flexible enough to stretch and cover new information. The information regime remains up-to-date with less official intervention required. A PS can keep a disclosure regime on track without confining it. Publication List: This is a list of documents/publications available from a public authority. Both PS and PL have their own significance and should under no circumstances be considered mutually exclusive. Information Assets Register: This is a document providing details of a department’s unpublished records, what categories of information a department generally handles in addition to a statement of published documents. This will also specify whether the unpublished information is available suo motu, at what charge and in what form.
Right to Information: afundamental human right
What is RTI Act 2005? Central legislation Grants access to information held by a public authority Flows from two fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution: Article 19-Freedom of speech and expression Article 21-Right to life and liberty Enacted: 15 June 2005 Enforced: 12 October 2005
What is information?any material in any form:records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions,advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks,contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, datamaterial in any electronic form, information relatingto any private body which can be accessed by a publicauthorityFile notings: are accessible unless they fall under theexempted category [Section 2 (f), (i) and (j)]
What is a record?a) Document, manuscript, fileb) Microfilm, microfiche, faxc) Reproduction of film or imagesembodied in such a filmd) Any other material produced by acomputer or other electronic devise
Right to information means theright to: Inspect works, documents, records Take notes, extracts, certified copies of documents and records Take certified samples of material Access information in the following forms: printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, videocassettes and other electronic mode [Section 2 (j)]
Who can you demandinformation from? Public Authority:Any institution/authority/body of self-governmentestablished or constituted: By or under the Constitution By any law made by Parliament By any law made by State LegislatureBody owned/controlled/substantially financed; NGOsubstantially financed by government [Section 2 (h)]
Electronic Management of Records Every public authority shall – maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information under this Act and ensure that all records that are appropriate to be computerized are, within a reasonable time and subject to availability of resources, computerized and connected through a network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated [ Section 4 (1)]
Section 4: the spirit of RTI 2005“It shall be the endeavour of every publicauthority…to provide as much information suomoto to the public at regular intervals throughvarious means of communication…so that thepublic have minimum resort to the use of thisAct to obtain information”[Section 4 (1)]http://petroleum.nic.in/rtiact2005.htm
Exempted Information Section 8 of the Act deals with information that cannot be disclosed unless the larger public interest warrants the same Information dating to event/matter twenty years back shall be provided Public interest in disclosure overrides restricting that information
PIOs: Who are they and what aretheir obligations? Public Information Officers are designated in every public authority to provide information to requisitioners Their Duties: Respond to information requests Render all reasonable assistance including reducing requisition in written format If requested information is with another PA, the PIO will transfer the requisition within 5 days and inform the requisitioner immediately[Section 6]
Duties of PIO Respond to a requisition within 30 days: Provide information on payment of fee Reject the requisition with reasons If information concerns life or liberty of requisitioner, respond within 48 hours If the PIO fails to do any of the above within 30 days, s/he shall be deemed to have refused the request [Section 7]
When information is rejected: The PIO will have to communicate to the applicant: The reasons for the rejection The period within which the appeal should be made Particulars of the appellate authority [Section 7 (8)]
Can you ask for partialdisclosure? In case of providing partial access to information: Reasons Names of PIOs who took the decision [Section 10 (1)] If information has been supplied by a third party/ third party treats the information as confidential, the PIO will: Give a written notice to the third party within 5 days of date of request to make a representation Third party will get 10 days to make a representation [Section 11]
Penalty The CIC/SCIC shall impose a penalty of Rs 250/- per day Total amount will not exceed Rs 25,000 Not furnishing information in 30 days Misleading the applicant Providing wrong information Not publishing information suo motu Not computerizing data and uploading on website [Section 18]
How do you request forinformation? Keep the questions short and specific Details of IOs now available on website u/s 4(1) (b) Duty of PA to ensure that the application reaches the correct PIO No need to give reasons for making the requisition No prescribed application format: some PAs have their own form but cannot enforce compliance
Fee that you have to pay: Central Rs 10 has to be deposited along with the application form Rs 2 has to be paid for every page of information sought Actual cost price for any samples or models For inspection of records, no charge for the first hour: but a charge of Rs 5 for every 15 minutes thereafter Actual cost price for paper larger than A3 size Rs 50 for information provided on a diskette For information in printed form, the price fixed for the publication
Fee: Delhi Requisition to be accompanied by Rs 10 payable by cash/demand draft/banker’s cheque to the Accounts Officer: Rs 2 per page created or copied Actual cost or price for models or samples For inspection of records, no fee for the first hour; Rs 5 for each subsequent hour or fraction thereof Rs 50 for information on diskette or floppy For information in printed form, at price fixed for publication or Rs 2 per photocopied extract
Appeals Process: Format Documents Procedure in deciding the appeal Service of notice by the Commission Personal presence of appellant/complainant Order of the Commission
CCS focus: DTP and ICTs forRTI Suggestions for suo motu disclosure of information to DoPT Duty to Publish Index: 37 points of compliance Movement towards suo motu disclosure: Publish frequently requested information Publish information that has been disclosed under the RTI Act