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Poll: Should Annual Confidential Report of Officials be disclosed under RTI?

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Thread: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act

  1. #377
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    NK Agarwal
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    The point under discussion is pivoted around 3rd party information (what ever it may be), now what we have to consider is - Is an ACR a personal information of a 3rd Party ? for which the PIO need to invoke Section 11 of the RTI Act-2005. Now, unless the PIO and/or the Appellate Authority invokes Section 11 of the Act, the CIC would have no problem in allowing disclosure of information – am I correct on this understanding?

    Another point is, if a decision of the Apex Court or an OM does not explicitly bar disclosure of ACRs to 3rd Parties, it cannot be assumed to be so. thnks



  2. #378
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    Dr. S.Malhotra
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    The question of access to third party therefore does not arise.
    I think you should phrase it "The question of access to third party therefore DID not arise." If a point did not arise , it would neither be safe nor desirable to draw any inferences on that . Even a mere passing reference in a case does not become a case law .

    I can not agree that CIC will ignore DB Judgment by HC of Kerala , atleast the Common Law hierarchy agrees to this principle ,

  3. #379
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    Let us not get confused - the recent OM of DOPT on ACRs relates to the process (cycle) of completion of ACRs for the period of ACRs before it reaches finality. Here the question before us is seeking certified copies of ACRs (final) of others by an Applicant/Appellant under RTI Act-2005 and the PIO/FAA invoking Section 11 to deny the information because he labels an ACR to be a Personal Information supplied by 3rd Party.

  4. Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Pathak View Post
    What is contained in confidential reports is undoubtedly ‘personal information’ about that employee. The ACRs are protected from disclosure because arguably such disclosure seriously harm interpersonal relationship in a given organization. Further, the ACR notings represent an interaction based on trust and confidence between the officers involved in initiating, reviewing or accepting the ACRs. These officers could be seriously embarrassed and even compromised if their notings are made public. There are, thus, reasonable grounds to protect all such information through a proper classification under the Official Secrets Act.
    "Gone are the days where the spirit of writing ACR is being followed properly. Now-a-days the inefficient officers oiling their bosses and getting good ACR at the cost of performed ones. When these oiled officer seats at top, imagine the fate of organization. This can be compared with Anna insisting for strong Lokpal. CIC judgement no CIC/SG/A/2011/000464/12432 dtd 18-May-2011 has put the matter very clearly about the disclosure of ACR and this should be adopted as a rule. even the HoD of the organization supports his juniors at the cost of the employees. To be frank there is no system of proper governance in most of the organizations and the employees are frustrated. ACR should be based on the facts and performance not only biasness of Reporting/Reviewing officer"

  5. #381
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    As reported by Garima Tyagi of IANS in newkerala.com on 15 Jan 2012:
    Plea to make officials' appraisal reports public [newKerala.com News # 145027]

    Plea to make officials' appraisal reports public


    By Garima Tyagi, New Delhi, Jan 15 : The performance appraisal reports of government staffers, officially known as the Annual Confidential Report (ACR), may not be confidential anymore, with a petition before the Delhi High Court seeking to make them available under the RTI Act in "public interest".

    The petitioner -- RTI activist R.K. Jain -- has raised the question whether performance appraisal reports of a government employee relating to his public duty can be termed as his "personal information" and whether their disclosure will infringe on his privacy.

    According to a circular issued by the ministry of personnel and public grievances in 2007, "an ACR contains information about the character, capability and other attributes of the officials, disclosures of which to any other person would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy".

    ACRs are the basis on which the officials' increments are based. Officials are rated as "extraordinary/very good/good/poor". In order to be promoted, the assessee would have to earn an "extraordinary" or "very good" thrice.

    Stating that under Section 8(1)(j) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, only personal information is exempted from public disclosure, the petitioner argued that ACRs do not come under this category.

    A single bench judge of the Delhi High Court had in December 2011 dismissed the petition and held that ACRs are the personal information of the public servant concerned and thus cannot be made public under RTI.

    The petitioner, who is also the editor of the Excise Law Times, challenged the earlier order, adding that "larger public interest warrants disclosure of all ACRs, when required under RTI Act".

    Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, argued: "The ACRs contain no personal information of the officer concerned, except date of birth, date of joining government, employment code, job qualifications and courses attended during the period which is merely routine data about the officer and available otherwise as well."

    The division bench of Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Shah Endlaw will decide on the plea Feb 7, 2012.
    Twitter: @cjkarira

  6. #382
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    NK Agarwal
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    Reading the Guidelines, OMs etc. that govern the writing and purpose of ACRs make it amply clear that ACRs contain information related to public duties performed by a Govt. Official and its disclosure does not infringe on privacy of an individual unless it is not factual on “some” accounts whether it is the so called personal details related to his cadre, posts, pay scale, leave etc. ( that I have mentioned in my previous posts) or the appraisal of his public duty/performance done by the reporting, reviewing and accepting officers. ACRs have to be written objectively and dispassionately, which more often than not is not done.Hence, its disclosure only can reveal whether an ACR has been written objectively and dispassionately. An honest ACR has nothing in it that can be misused by “others” against the official or the officers who have written it. Disclosure of ACR would serve a larger public interest as it would check the abuse of ACRs by corrupt officers. thnks
    Last edited by nk agarwal; 16-01-12 at 12:19 PM. Reason: corrections

  7. Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    Dr. Pathak, are you sure DoPT has dissolved supersession on the basis of 'Outstanding' remarks in APARs. If so, then i would like to know the O.M. number of the order. As far as disclosure of remarks in APARs is concerned, i feel it should be disclosed to the concerned official at least. The reason is simple. There are Govt servants who work sincerely, deal with works which only their superiors are supposed to deal with and at the time of reporting Reviewing officer overrules remarks of reporting officer, just to settle scores with the officer. There are instances when reviewing officers even direct reporting officers to write good CRs of their cohorts.

    consider a case, where a reporting officer gives Very Good or outstanding remarks to a person and the reviewing officer without even consulting reporting officer strucks off the same and changes it into 'Good'. Is this not wrong? This amount to adverse remarks only because others with very good or outstanding will supercede the concerned officer.

  8. #384
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    Re: Disclosures of Annual Confidential Reports (ACR) comes under Official Secret Act


    Dear Mr. Chandu Palekar,
    much has already been siad on the issue and the info is available in this long thread.
    you can download the APAR OM from the DOPT site and can also consult the swamy publication of ACRs - latest volume.
    The no-supersession OM of DOPT came out in 2002 and can also be downloaded from DOPT site.
    thnks



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