As reported in deccanchronicle.com on 28 October 2008:
Inefficiency leads to success
Hyderabad, Oct. 27: The "performance" of the State Information Commission depends on the "non-performance" of the Public Information Officers. For every unsatisfactory answer that the PIOs provide to an applicant, a petition is filed at the respective department.
This usually elicits another unsatisfactory answer and the applicant then inevitably files a petition at the commission. Along with this, the commission also gets general complaints which can be lodged under Section 18(1). Thanks to the inefficiency of PIO’s, the commission got 31,964 applications in 2007, while it got only 8,864 applications in the first year of its functioning.
Most PIOs provide incomplete or vague answers to questions of applicants and sometimes no answers at all. And the officials of the commission do not seem to be too unhappy at this. If PIOs get very efficient there will be no raison d’etre for the existence of the commission. When asked about this, one Information Commissioner quipped: "If all information is provided, we would be left with no applications. Complainants who fail to get relevant answers from the PIOs approach us." Significantly, there is a provision to penalise PIOs for not providing the correct and required information.
As per rules, they can be asked to pay a significant amount as fine for not giving relevant details. But this is rarely done. When an applicant queried the commission on how many PIOs had been acted against for such omissions, it replied that action was taken against only one PIO so far. Obviously, the commission does not want the PIOs to get too efficient.
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