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CIC to focus on transparency and accountability
The Central Information Commission (CIC) was planning to establish an institute, which would focus on ways to bring about transparency and accountability in governance through Right To Information Act.
"CIC was planning to establish an institute for transparency and accountability, the intentions of which have been conveyed to the union government", Central Information Commissioner A N Tiwari told reporters, on the sidelines of a seminar on RTI.
"RTI is not just about citizens right, but also a matter of good governance on part of the government departments," he said.
The commission wanted the government departments to be more forthcoming in publishing information, especially those related to orders, manuals and list of employees.
"This should be more of a natural disclosure as the commission does not want to advise them on this matter," he said.
Responding to a query on misuse of RTI, Tiwari attributed the trend to the ‘evolutionary stage’ of the Act being put into use and said those who were misusing it were only a mere 2-3%.
"Many cases have been solved easily, such as granting of gratuity or somebody being reinstated in job and such pluses, which are more in number, will overtake the minuses," he said.
Tiwari said RTI will be more successful if it was taken to the ‘smallest of people’.
"By interrogating the government, the average man tells the government what was good for it, thus leading the way to better governance," he said. However, spreading the awareness on RTI wrests with the government of India as CIC was only an appellate body.
Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala said that a democracy bloomed only when access to information in public spheres was not curtailed in any way.
"Information enables people keep tab of elected representatives and officials who are supposed to act on their collective behalf," he said while adding accountability and transparency were the two pillars of democracy.
The seminar was organised by the Director General (Training), Department of Income Tax and was attended by high ranked officials and others, including RTI activist and Magsasay Award Winner, Arvind Kejriw.
Bureau Report, Chennai, Oct 25
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