05-03-2008 09:37 AM
What are the duties of a Public Information Officer, PIO?
PIO shall deal with requests from persons seeking information and where the request cannot be made in writing, to render reasonable assistance to the person to reduce the same in writing.
If the information requested for is held by or its subject matter is closely connected with the function of another public authority, the PIO shall transfer, within 5 days, the request to that other public authority and inform the applicant immediately.
PIO may seek the assistance of any other officer for the proper discharge of his/her duties.
PIO, on receipt of a request, shall as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within 30 days of the receipt of the request, either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in S.8 or S.9.
Where the information requested for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty-eight hours of the receipt of the request.
If the PIO fails to give decision on the request within the period specified, he shall be deemed to have refused the request.
Where a request has been rejected, the PIO shall communicate to the requester - (i) the reasons for such rejection, (ii) the period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred, and (iii) the particulars of the Appellate Authority.
PIO shall provide information in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the Public Authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question.
If allowing partial access, the PIO shall give a notice to the applicant, informing:
- That only part of the record requested, after severance of the record containing information which is exempt from disclosure, is being provided;
- the reasons for the decision, including any findings on any material question of fact, referring to the material on which those findings were based;
- the name and designation of the person giving the decision;
- the details of the fees calculated by him or her and the amount of fee which the applicant is required to deposit; and
- his or her rights with respect to review of the decision regarding non-disclosure of part of the information, the amount of fee charged or the form of access provided.
- Iinformation sought has been supplied by third party or is treated as confidential by that third party, the PIO shall give a written notice to the third party within 5 days from the receipt of the request and take its representation into consideration.
- Third party must be given a chance to make a representation before the PIO within 10 days from the date of receipt of such notice.