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Thread: When will this man wake up and act?

  1. #1
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    When will this man wake up and act?


    As reported by Rahul Mangaonkar of TNN on 19 March 2008:
    Welcome

    When will this man wake up and act?
    State govt’s dithering on GIC staff robbing RTI Act of teeth

    Ahmedabad: The Right to Information (RTI) Act has its origin in the need for survival of the people and their fundamental rights. But the Gujarat Information Commission (GIC), whose job is to enforce the Act, finds its own survival in question with no staff being allocated by the state government six months after it was sanctioned and a backlog of a whopping 3,665 cases to dispose.

    This had prompted RTI activists, led by Magsaysay award winner Arvind Kejriwal of Parivartan and Nikhil Dey of Majdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, to take on the state government at a seminar on RTI here on Monday. They said they are ready to offer their services to run GIC at a token fee of Re 1.

    Activists are peeved at the way the state’s general administration department and the administrative reforms and training department (ARTD) under it, responsible for allotment of staff to GIC, have failed to act.

    TOI had earlier reported how in September last year, the chief minister’s office (CMO) sanctioned the appointment of 35 additional staff for GIC, which started in 2005. Against a total sanctioned strength of 46, the GIC is functioning with just 11, which includes peons and drivers.

    And, the man who could have given GIC the teeth, PK Gera, an IAS officer of 1985 batch, has not shown any willingness to ensure that his department allocates the people. Gera should know, having served at the Central Information Commission in Delhi.

    However, all that Gera has to say is that “it is GAD that is not allotting the staff.” Gera says these staff could be allotted once the two new commissioners are appointed, activists point out that these commissioners too are part of the same GIC. “The 35 additional staff sanctioned are for the new commissioners. Let them take charge and staff will follow,” Gera insists.

    “The staff crunch has only emboldened those officers who do not wish to comply with the RTI regime as they feel that the system has no teeth,” said Kejriwal.

    CAUGHT NAPPING: TOI photographer found administrative reforms and training division secretary P K Gera sleeping while citizens narrated their RTI experiences at a seminar in Ahmedabad on Monday





  2. #2
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    Re: When will this man wake up and act?


    colnrkurup & abhijeet,

    You can also propose the following to the Governors of your State:

    This had prompted RTI activists, led by Magsaysay award winner Arvind Kejriwal of Parivartan and Nikhil Dey of Majdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, to take on the state government at a seminar on RTI here on Monday. They said they are ready to offer their services to run GIC at a token fee of Re 1.

  3. #3
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    Re: When will this man wake up and act?


    As reported by Bashir Pathan in indanexpress.com on 15 February 2009:
    Rights issue: Cases pile up as SIC office faces acute staff crunch

    Rights issue: Cases pile up as SIC office faces acute staff crunch



    Gandhinagar: Two posts of information commissioners are still lying vacant


    The office of the State Information Commission is facing an acute staff crunch. This has now led to the piling of cases related to appeals and complaints received by the Commission from the general public under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

    One of the main reasons for this is the inordinate delay by the state Government in filling up the two Information Commissioner (IC) posts despite the General Administration Department (GAD) having sanctioned them way back in September 2007.

    The government orders sanctioning the two IC posts in our office have not been implemented yet. Most of the states in our country have multi-member Information Commissions with more than one IC. States like Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and even Arunachal Pradesh have anything between four and eight ICs. But Gujarat has none, said R N Das, Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), Gujarat.

    He told Newsline on Friday that it was necessary to have adequate number of ICs in the State Information Commission offices for the speedy disposal of public complaints and appeals. The main role of ICs is to conduct the hearing in such cases on a regular basis. Although I am the State CIC, I have to play the role of an IC too, and conduct public hearings regularly. I dispose off about 80 cases every month, he said.

    Das said the number of RTI applications in Gujarat has been increasing for the last few months. He said this reflects the growing awareness among the people, especially in the rural areas. We have launched concerted efforts to reduce the pending cases, but it could be faster if the government fills up the IC posts and other administrative cadre in the Commissions office, Das added.

    According to official figures, the Commission has a total staff strength of only 20 against the sanctioned figure of 47 in various categories. Of the three posts of Law Officers sanctioned by the government, only one has been appointed in the Commissions office. Similarly, there is a shortage of clerks, stenographers (both English and Gujarati) and other administrative and technical hands.

    Of the total 6,848 appeals and complaints filed with the Commission in the last three years, as many as 3,413 are yet to be disposed of. The number of pending complaints is 2,044, while that of appeals is 1,371. There are several government departments/offices that are found either denying or providing inadequate information to applicants, which force them to file appeals and complaints before the Commission, said a senior official at the State Information Commission.

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