denial of contract details on grounds of confidentiality
I had applied under RTI to a central government authority for details of a contract they have executed with a private software company. I was only interested in the commercial and contractual terms, and not any technical information. However, the authority has denied to me a copy of the contract using clause 8(d) of the RTI, which relates to protecting third party confidentiality.
What would be the best way to frame my query in reply so that I get the contractual/commercial terms of the contract and the method with which it was awarded without falling into clause 8 (d)? Note that I am not interested in the software specifications or any intellectual property details?
A contract with a Public Authority cannot be categorised as ‘confidential’
after completion. Even if some confidentiality is involved, public interest in a
matter of the nature of the present case will warrant disclosure. Had it been a
case of quotations, bid or tender or any other information prior to conclusion of a
contract, it could be categorized as trade secret, but once concluded the
confidentiality of such transactions cannot be claimed. Any public authority
claiming exemption must be put to strictest proof that the exemption is justifiably
rejected once again despite directions from appellate authority
Well, despite the order by the concerned department's appellate authority directing the concerned officer to either provide to me the information sought or else make a reasoned order stating why it cannot be provided under clause 8 (d) of the RTI Act, the Department has reiterated its denial of the information without any reasoning at all, merely stating "the case has been reconsidered and the earlier decision is reiterated".
I presume my only recourse is now a second appeal before the CIC. Is this correct? If so, is there any time limit within which I need to file the appeal?