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Thread: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google

  1. #17
    C J Karira
    Blog Entries
    Rep Power

    Probing RTI efficiency

    Editorial in
    Organiser - Content

    Probing RTI efficiency

    The government decision to hire a multinational company to check the efficacy of the Right to Information (RTI) Act has raised the hackles of many, especially the activists who campaigned for it. Touted as one of the biggest achievements of the UPA government, the RTI has managed to ruffle some neatly set feathers in bureaucracy, the unaccountable rulers in the government.

    The government’s choice of the verifier for the effectiveness of RTI—MNC Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) is being viewed as an effort to curtail some of the provisions in the Act. The RTI Act was passed after much wrangling between the government and the activists who were working for it. Fixing a fee for filing petitions under the RTI was one of the most contentious issues. Now RTI is being used by people to elicit all kinds of information from the government, especially those relating to delays and arbitrary concessions being given by various departments to favour a few.

    Recently a man in Orissa got relief from the court after he proved that the Forest Department was unduly delaying and denying him permission to cut certain number of trees on his land to raise money for his son’s education. The department had given similar sanctions on a larger sale for industrial houses and business propositions. This information he obtained by repeated petitions under the RTI.

    It is such incidents that are causing much consternation among the ruling elite, namely the bureaucrats. By getting a survey done by an MNC, the department can cite various reasons, including the ‘holy cow’ of national security to deny citizens access to information locked in government files. It may be remembered that the setting-up of RTI in itself was one of the ‘redress’ mechanisms suggested by the international monitory institutions under their Country Strategy for India. Hence their interest in the efficacy of the scheme and its scope for manipulation is understandable.

    But what is not acceptable for many is that while there are any number of institutions in India who have expertise in conducting such surveys, why should an MNC be involved and that too one which has next to nil experience in similar areas. The purview of the PwC seems to be to locate the problems RTI poses to the administration.

    The PwC is expected to come up with suggestions on how to make it more ‘effective’ from the bureaucrat’s point of view and not from the citizens’ point of view. Piqued by the move, the RTI activists have launched their own independent survey. But then this is also not devoid of foreign intervention.

    The Google Foundation has offered an initial grant of $250,000. It might only be a business proposition in the sense that Google blogs would become the medium for the survey. But one cannot help wishing that the survey and study were clear of outside interference.

    Despite the restrictions, even in a limited way, RTI has become an effective instrument for determined citizens to nettle the government. At least now the officialdom is lawfully bound to respond to questions and complaints, which earlier regularly found their way into dustbins. And that is why it is necessary to safeguard its efficacy and not allow the government to take back on the sly what it gave in a grand gesture, albeit grudgingly.

    Twitter: @cjkarira

  2. #18

    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google


    Government of India
    Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
    (Department of Personnel
    & Training)
    New Delhi, the 22
    nd May, 2008
    Subject: 'Understanding the Key Issues and Constraints in Implementation of the RTI Act'
    : Comments on Approach and Methodology of the Study.
    A Study on the above subject is being conducted by Pricewaterhouse
    Coopers Pvt. Ltd. A detailed report on the approach and methodology to be
    adopted for the Study is attached.
    Comments on the approach and methodology being adopted for the Study
    are invited from the various stakeholders at the following e-mail addresses:

    ii. nilaya.

    (Zoya c.B.)

    Under Secretary to the Govt. of India

  3. #19

    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google

    1 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Understanding the”key issues and
    constraints” in implementing the RTI Act
    Approach and Methodology*

    2 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    List of Abbreviations
    Name Description
    APIO Assistant Public Information Officer
    AA Appellate Authority
    CIC Central Information Commission
    DoPT Department of Personnel and Training
    IT Information Technology
    MIS Management Information System
    NGO Non Governmental Organization
    PA Public Authority
    PIO Public Information Officer
    PSU Public Sector Undertaking
    RTI Right to Information
    SIC State Information Commission
    TNA Training Need Assessment
    ToR Terms of Reference
    3 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    S.No Topics Page No.
    1. Introduction 4
    2. Approach and Methodology for conducting the assignment 6
    We need to provide a small para here to say why this report (as a stand
    alone) has been prepared
    This document provides an overview of the objective of the study that has bee n
    mandated by DOPT to PricewaterhouseCoopers. An important element of the assignment
    is to seek the views of the information provider and information seekers under RTI. The
    document summarized our methodology for conducting the study.
    4 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Son 1
    5 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Project Background
    In order to promote, transparency and accountability in administration, Parliament passed “Right
    to Information Bill, 2004 on 15th June, 2005, “The Right to Information Act” was notified in the
    Gazette of India on 21st June, 2005. The “Right to Information Act” has become fully operational
    from 12th October, 2005. so as to enable a citizen of India to secure access to information
    under the control of Public Authorities.
    After the Act came into existence, it has become evident that there are many anticipated and
    unanticipated consequences of the act. These have manifested themselves in various forms.
    While some of the issues pertain to procedural aspects of the government others pertain to the
    capacity aspects. Hence, there was a need to evaluate the implementation of the Act based on
    actual data and information
    With the above context, DoPT, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pension,
    Government of India has engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for assessing and
    evaluating the Act with specific reference to the key issues and constraints faced by the
    “Information Providers” and “Information Seekers”.
    The scope of study would include review of the experience of the central and state governments
    in implementing the RTI Act, review of the experiences of various categories of information
    seekers, Diagnosis of the situation, suggest the nature of interventions to be made and prepare
    an action plan for implementation of the recommended changes.
    For the study, the Consultants i.e. PwC are also required to hold several stakeholder
    consultations including Public Authorities, PIOs, Appellate Authorities, SICs & CIC under the
    Information Provider category and common people, disadvantaged groups & CBOs / NGOs /
    Activist Groups and media under the Information Seeker Category.
    Activities planned in the study
    The activities planned under the study include
    1. Analysis and categorization of information sought under RTI Act in select states of the
    country, including the Central Government.
    2. Design a methodology to identify those states that need to be studied in detail for the
    understanding the implementation related experiences.
    6 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    3. Preparation of a state-wise ‘State of RTI act implementation matrix” for the selected
    states indicating the compliance with the key expectations of the Act.
    4. Workshops at different stages of the project which include
    a. Workshop1: Envisioning workshop to discuss the project outcomes for effectively
    designing the field visit and survey
    b. Workshop 2: Interim Finding and Interim Solution after field study and survey to 2
    c. Workshop 3: As-Is findings workshop to discuss the findings of the field visits to
    five states and overview of possible interventions to address the key issues.
    d. Workshop 4: National Workshop - Recommendation on implementation and
    capacity building plan
    5. Since the study involves analysis of the all the factors facilitating and hindering the
    implementation of the RTI Act in entirety across the country, there is a need to take up a
    sample that is adequate and representative. International Market Research Bureau
    (IMBR) which offers a
    full spectrum of customised research services is apart of the study
    and is involved in designing of the survey methodology. Based on discussions with key
    stakeholders and secondary research, it has been proposed to take a large sample of
    more than 5000 across 5 States to provide a confidence level of 93-95% and an error
    level of 5-7%.
    6. The survey will have break-up of information seekers from Urban / Rural areas and also
    optimal coverage of various target groups such as common people, CBOs, NGOs and
    Activist groups. Further, it will be ensured that marginalized classes across various
    socio-economic classes are also adequately represented. This includes people below
    poverty line, uneducated (illiterate), socially backward including tribal and women.
    7. Analysis of the data on experiences of the providers and seekers of information to lead
    to identification of generic problems, which need to be resolved.
    8. The diagnosis to be shared and debated with the various stakeholders in a structured
    manner for ratification and revision, where required.

    7 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    9. Based on the diagnosis and feedback from the Stakeholder workshop preparation of the
    report with specific recommendations on the structural, institutional, procedural,
    infrastructural and technological, and people related changes.
    10. Preparation of a detailed action and capacity building plan at the central and state
    government levels and for the RTI division and the Central Information Commission and
    State Information Commissions in line with the recommendations.
    8 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Section 2
    Approach and

    9 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    There are a number of approaches available for a Government seeking to review the effectives
    of its policies and initiatives. Approaches that are more systemic and collaborative in nature
    typically achieve greater impact and results. After evaluation of the objectives and requirements
    of the engagement, we propose to adopt our tested and proven performance improvement
    approach for providing the overall guidance to the engagement. This approach consists of
    distinct phases tightly integrated to achieve the targeted outcomes envisaged for this
    For reviewing the implementation of the RTI Act, it is important to approach the information
    seeker groups and information provider groups in a different manner. The information seekers
    (being a large group with varied interest and involvement in RTI implementation), customized
    assessment tools have to be deployed. Likewise, for the information providers, a different range
    of tools and methodologies have to be leveraged to assess more accurately and effectively.
    Within each of the groups, our work is going to be divided across 5 work streams, namely:



    Communication / awareness

    Information availability and accessibility
    The overall approach to the engagement is presented in the figure overleaf. The detailing of
    each of the tasks within the approach is provided subsequently.

    10 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Redesign of RTI
    Assessment of
    current status of
    Road plan and
    detailed phase
    Measures and
    1.0 Engagement Roadmap and Detailed Phased Plan
    We will be designing an inception report detailing the engagement roadmap with activities and
    timelines within two weeks from the start of the engagement. The following activities are
    included under this stage:
    Project kick-off

    Mobilization of the resources

    Preparation and finalization of a full and comprehensive plan for the engagement

    Determination of all necessary review considerations

    11 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    We aim to work closely with DoPT and other stakeholders to produce a comprehensive plan
    Project Inception Report

    Detailed project plan incorporating activity schedules, work products, planned deliverables
    and other key outputs

    Communication plan with all internal and external stakeholders

    Key project assumptions/risks and role definition

    Presentation of some of the key issues/challenges based on secondary research

    In past engagements, we have found it extremely useful to commence the process with a
    Project Kick-off Meeting - completed) involving the client and other key stakeholders. This
    meeting is focused on reviewing and evaluating objectives and underlying assumptions,
    determining priorities, discussing risk factors and identifying communication requirements.
    We will be using the MS Project Office application for designing the project plan with key
    deliverables and associated timelines.
    2.0 Assessment of Current State of RTI Implementation
    We will capture the existing information, processes and systems associated with the current
    implementation of the RTI Act. The assessment will involve the analysis of existing processes,
    policies, documentation, and organizational alignment through discussions with representatives
    from information seeker and information provider groups. As this stage of the engagement, it is
    essential to cover as wide an audience as possible, as this will help define the basis against
    which the change interventions can be defined. The following activities are included under this
    Study of the process of implementation – information request to information provisioning

    12 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Evaluation of the legal rules in the RTI Act governing its implementation process

    Needs Assessment of the information providers vis-à-vis RTI implementation

    Organizational review for effective institutionalization of the RTI Act

    Review of public awareness about the right to information access and ways and means to
    exercise this right

    Understand the information needs of the citizens by interviewing both the applicants and
    non users of RTI

    The following approach will be taken for assessing the current state of implementation of the
    RTI Act:
    Visits to various sampled PIOs and other government offices to study the current process
    of implementation of the RTI Act

    Review of actual statistics of RTI Act implementation taken from select public authorities

    Conducting meeting and focus group discussions amongst the information seeker groups
    vis-à-vis citizens, media, non-governmental organizations

    Workshops with associated public authorities to understand the issues and constraints in
    implementing the RTI Act

    Study the institutional structure for the RTI Act implementation and also the legislation to
    identify the possible areas to be targeted for interventions
    Some of the key information areas that would be covered during the survey are as follows:
    a. Awareness and information availability related satisfaction

    Adequacy of the number of sources on which information is available

    Extent of information made available

    Comprehensiveness of information
    b. Accessibility related satisfaction

    Responsiveness: Speed of service and problem/ complaint resolution

    Number of visits required
    c. Personnel related satisfaction can be captured through the survey conducted with the
    information seekers. The survey instruments will be designed to capture the following

    Knowledge of the personnel

    Helpfulness and cooperation

    13 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Availability of key officials for instant resolution of queries and complaints

    Promptness and clarity in communication

    Time taken to resolve query
    d. Usage related satisfaction

    Response time

    Hassle free mechanism

    We propose to adopt a two-fold approach to address the objectives of the project
    Module I: Exploratory
    Module II: Quantitative
    This module consists of 2 parts:-
    Part – 1: Secondary Research
    Help in selection of states
    where quantitative survey
    needs to done

    Part – 2
    : Qualitative Research

    To determine the experience and
    satisfaction of information
    seekers on an individual basis

    Help in developing an exhaustive
    list of expectation criteria
    This module would aim to:-

    Determine the experiences of
    various categories of
    information seekers

    Identifying the types of
    problems faced by these
    information seekers

    Determining the level of
    satisfaction of information
    seekers with the service
    rendered by various
    information providers

    14 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Module I: Exploratory Research
    This module consists of the following two parts:
    Part – 1: Secondary Research
    Various journals, websites, literature, directories would be referred for generating initial
    information on the subject and also for facilitating collation of the information with respect to
    various states. Also, it would help us in determining the level of Government interactions
    (Governance) in a particular state, the number of PSUs in various states, number of applications
    received through the RTI Act, etc.
    Part - 2: Qualitative Research
    This part consists of conducting in-depth interviews with information providers/seekers:
    These interviews would be conducted in order to gauge an understanding from the
    perspective of various information providers

    Conduct Focused group discussions with the information providers

    Conduct a Workshop with key stakeholders to understand the requirements

    This would help us in preparing a more descriptive research instrument (questionnaire)
    for the part 2 of this phase

    The list of service providers may include
    a. PAs – Public Authorities
    b. PIO – Public Information Officer
    c. AAs – Appellate authorities
    d. Nodal Agency
    e. SIC – State Information Commission
    f. CIC - Central Information Commission
    g. Exempted Institutions

    Module – II: Quantitative Research: Face-to-face interviews with information seekers:
    1. An adequate representation of information seekers will be taken:
    a. Common People
    b. Disadvantaged groups
    c. CBOs
    d. NGOs
    e. Activist Groups
    f. Media
    2. Well-trained interviewers would conduct the interviews across these categories
    15 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    We propose a three step approach for sampling purposes:
    Level 1: Selection of states
    The selection of states where the quantitative research will be conducted would be done on the
    basis of the following parameters:
    a. Population of the state / capital
    b. Level of industrialization in that particular state
    c. Extent of computerization / usage of IT in various state departments
    d. Per Capital Income
    e. Rural Population
    f. Extent of RTI Implementation
    g. Regional Spread
    The above parameters have been chosen to include citizen base from varied backgrounds in
    terms of education, income etc. The level of industrialization and computerization in government
    departments has been considered to understand its impact on the effectiveness of RTI
    implementation. In addition the importance of including rural and disadvantaged groups has
    also been taken into consideration
    The following steps shall be followed for selection of states:
    States will be divided in terms of their population levels

    Then literacy rates would be taken for all the states and compared against the population

    The states would be divided and selected as having high, medium or low literacy levels

    Next step would be to compare the per capita income of various states

    The states would be selected as having high, medium and low per capita income with
    respect to the population of these states

    Following that we will compare states on the basis of population of disadvantaged groups
    and urban population
    The details on the selection of states have been provided overleaf

    16 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Selection of states – Literacy level vs. population
    Selection of states – Disadvantaged group vs. population
    High Medium Low
    > 50 million 10 - 50 million < 10 million
    SC / ST
    High Madhya Pradesh Jharkhand, Orissa
    Mizoram, Arunachal
    Pradesh, Nagaland,
    Meghalaya, Tripura
    Rajasthan, Tamil
    Nadu, West Bengal,
    Uttar Pradesh
    Haryana, Punjab
    Sikkim, Manipur,
    Himachal Pradesh,
    Low Andhra Pradesh,
    Bihar, Maharashtra
    Jammu and Kashmir,
    Chhattisgarh, Assam,
    Kerala, Gujarat,
    High Medium Low
    > 50 million 10 - 50 million < 10 million
    > 70 %
    Tamil Nadu,
    Maharashtra Kerala
    Mizoram, Goa,
    Tripura, Himachal
    Pradesh, Uttaranchal
    63.5 - 70%
    Madhya Pradesh,
    West Bengal, Andhra
    Chhattisgarh, Haryana,
    Punjab, Gujarat,
    Sikkim, Nagaland,
    < 63.5 % Rajasthan,, Bihar,
    Uttar Pradesh
    Jammu and Kashmir,
    Assam, Jharkhand,
    Arunachal Pradesh,
    17 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Selection of states – Per Capita Income vs. population
    High Medium Low
    > 50 million 10 - 50 million < 10 million
    Per Capita
    > Rs. 23000 Maharashtra Haryana, Punjab,
    Gujarat, Karnataka
    Manipur, Himachal
    Rs. 14800 - Rs.
    Madhya Pradesh,
    Tamil Nadu, Andhra
    Pradesh, West
    Jharkhand Sikkim, Arunachal
    < Rs. 14800 Rajasthan, Bihar,
    Uttar Pradesh
    Chhattisgarh, Assam,
    Kerala, Orissa,
    Selection of states –Urban population vs. population
    High Medium Low
    > 50 million 10 - 50 million < 10 million
    Tamil Nadu,
    Haryana, Punjab,
    Gujarat, Karnataka
    Mizoram, Goa,
    Meghalaya, Tripura
    Rajasthan, Madhya
    Pradesh, Andhra
    Pradesh, West
    Bengal, Uttar
    Jammu Kashmir,
    Jharkhand, Kerala Manipur, Uttaranchal
    Low Bihar Chhattisgarh, Assam,
    Sikkim, Arunachal
    Pradesh, Nagaland,
    Himachal Pradesh
    18 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Selected States
    Factors Uttar
    Pradesh Maharashtra Andhra
    Pradesh Orissa Meghalaya Assam
    Population High High High Medium Low Medium
    Literacy level Low High Low Medium Low Medium
    Per Capita
    Low High Medium Low Low Low
    groups Medium Low Low High High Low
    Medium High Medium Low High Low
    region North West South East North –
    East North – East
    Based on discussions with the key stakeholders in the Project kick off-meeting and the above
    parameters the following five states are proposed to be taken up for field study

    Andhra Pradesh

    Uttar Pradesh



    It may be noted that detailed discussion will be taken from Information providers and
    seekers in these five states but as part of the process of information gathering we would
    be writing to all the States/UTs for collecting basic information for analysis. As part of
    this process, we would also create a feedback forum on the RTI portal to seek large
    feedback from all stakeholders.
    Level 2: Selection of locations within the States
    19 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    The selection of location for quantitative survey within each state would be done on the basis of
    the following parameters:
    a. The state capitals would be one of the obvious choices because many of the
    Government departments are located there
    b. locations with a mix of 70% of rural and 30% of urban population
    c. The number of RTI applications received across various departments
    Level 3: Division of sample within each location
    We propose
    stratified random sampling technique for selecting respondents for the
    quantitative survey. The division of sample within each city would be done on the basis of the
    following parameters:
    a. An adequate break-up of information seekers from
    Urban / Rural areas

    b. Optimal coverage of
    various target groups such as common people, CBOs, NGOs and
    Activist groups. Further, it will be ensured that common people of various socioeconomic
    classes are also adequately represented
    Type of government departments for which RTI applications are received (ministries
    and departments, semi-government organizations and PSUs)
    The adequate break up of the sample into above categories shall be done proportional to the
    percentage of each category in the data of stakeholders provided by DoPT/nodal

    Sample Size:
    We propose to conduct the survey in two stages:
    Stage I:
    We propose to conduct 400 interviews per selected state (5 States in total) in addition
    to a minimum of 40 in-depth interviews overall across various stakeholders (information
    providers). The above sample size has been arrived at assuming a confidence interval of 95%
    and accuracy level of 5%.
    The exercise would be broken up in two parts. In the first part, we would cover two states and in
    the second part three states. After the first part, inputs from the client would be sought based
    on the findings of the same and the necessary modifications would be made for the second part.
    The following approach will be taken for finalization of the sampling and survey methodology

    Getting database of various stakeholders from the client (Database to be provided by
    various CICs, SICs, Nodal agencies, etc.)

    Finalizing the hypothesis (through issues identified from secondary research)

    Discussion with Focus Group

    20 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Preparation of the questionnaire (Structured and un-structured)

    Administering questionnaire for 30% Urban Population and 70% Rural Population

    S.No Categories Number
    1. Common people 270
    2. Disadvantaged people / groups 90
    3. CBOs, NGOs and Activist groups 40
    Total 400
    Stage II:
    To measure the awareness on the people on the RTI Act we propose to conduct a
    random sampling of 5 citizens staying in close proximity of the 400 people to be interviewed. A
    total of 1000 interviews/listing will be conducted for measuring the awareness of the RTI Act. A
    point to note here is that this way of finding out the awareness of the RTI Act would have some
    bias as we would be covering only those places where people have applied for RTI Act.
    However, keeping in mind the broader requirements of the study we would follow the above
    method for gauging the awareness of the RTI Act.
    However, to check out the awareness of the RTI Act we would have to cover a very large
    sample. Then percolating down to the people who have knowledge about the Act and finally the
    people who have made use of the act would result in a lot of effort going to waste as the
    awareness itself about the Act would be less 10%. In such a scenario we would not be able to
    adequately depict the whole picture regarding the implementation and effectiveness of this Act.
    Therefore, for the purpose of this study, we should conduct interviews with only those
    stakeholders who have made use of the RTI Act. This would help us in giving us a better
    understanding on the state of implementation of this act, the various barriers in seeking
    information, the experience and the satisfaction level of the people who have made use of the
    Act. This could be discussed with different stakeholders during the focused group discussion
    and envisioning workshop.
    However, the sample size this is just an indication. The final sample size across all the above
    categories would be decided only after getting the database of RTI applicants from the client
    and discussions with key stakeholders during focused group discussions and envisioning

    21 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    3.0 Benchmarking of the Good Practices
    We will study the good practices implemented within and outside India to conduct a
    benchmarking exercise with respect to the existing implementation of the RTI Act. We will
    identify the key learning’s from the national and international experiences and incorporate it in
    the recommendations.
    Benchmarking will be conducted using the following approach:
    Defining the parameters to be used for benchmarking

    Determining the selection criteria to identify countries to be benchmarked

    Conducting a secondary research supported by proprietary database of PwC
    It will be ensured that the countries that are being benchmarked will have some commonality
    and relevance to the federal structure and also the policy provisioning as done in India.
    Based on the initial discussion, Mexico and Canada have been chosen. The study of good
    practices would not just be limited to countries outside India but would also include good
    practices of RTI implementation within India. For example the RTI call centre used in Bihar
    will also be studied. The citizens in Bihar use the call centre for applying for information under
    the RTI.

    4.0 Redesign of RTI Implementation approach
    This stage is designed to capture and clarify the future needs of the RTI Act implementation.
    Completing this stage is likely to involve a similar number of people as the current assessment
    stage and will run in parallel with it in order to accelerate the identification of improvement
    opportunities in the RTI implementation. This stage will capture the following:
    Preparation of a state-wise ‘State of RTI act implementation matrix” for the selected states
    indicating the compliance with the key expectations of the Act.

    22 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Envisaged objectives of the RTI Act’s implementation

    Description of how the redesigned implementation process may look like and the
    associated service levels

    Summary of the proposed intervention measures to enhance the effectiveness of the RTI

    Roadmap to build awareness and educate the general public on the use of RTI Act

    Capacity building plan to impart training and relevant skills to the government personnel
    to effectively implement the RTI Act

    Discussion with key stakeholders( Information provider and Information seeker) on the
    assessment results

    Process redesign for the implementation including revision of customer interfaces such as
    forms and formats

    Workshops with relevant stakeholder groups to understand the pros and cons of various
    draft intervention measures

    Organizational and legal study to ascertain the possible improvement opportunities

    Needs Assessment to identify the capacity gaps in the information providers group
    Based on the survey conducted and discussions with the key information providers we will try
    and identify the impediments that exist for the provider and seeker for accessing the
    information. The following matrix may be used for designing the state-wise RTI implementation

    E.g. State 1: Andhra
    Available Accessible Affordable
    Information seeker
    Information Provider
    Based on the matrix, we propose to design the appropriate measures to overcome these
    constraints. These various measures would be with respect to capacity building efforts at the
    institutional, organisational and individual levels.
    23 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    5.0 Recommended Measures and Initiatives
    The purpose of this stage is to firstly ascertain the gap between the current way of
    implementation and the envisaged way of implementation, and then dovetail it with the
    international best practices to identify actionable measures to be undertaken for enhancing the
    effectiveness of the RTI Act’s implementation.
    The source of inputs for identifying improvement opportunities in the existing RTI Act
    implementation requires process redesign as well as organizational alignment.
    The key analysis criterion is the requirements of the activity from the provisioning and seeking
    perspectives. To locate non-value-adding activities:
    first identify the owner/beneficiary of the activity

    identify what that beneficiary needs from the activity or expected outcome of the activity;

    what constitutes a satisfactory result (in terms of quality, cycle time and flexibility)

    Determine whether the activity satisfies the expected outcome requirements. If it does
    not, does another activity result into the expected outcome of the activity

    Root Cause Analysis
    Once current processes have been documented and analyzed for
    value added ratios, PwC shall identify the root causes of
    problems and non-value adding activities in processes.
    Identifying the root cause of process dysfunction enables to
    ensure that the process redesign solves the root cause, rather
    than simply addressing a symptom of a problem that will occur
    again. It also allows us to determine how many processes are
    affected by a single root cause. The more process problems a
    root cause creates, the higher priority it is for being addresses quickly and effectively.
    A systematic analyzing cause and effect relationships to identifying the potentially
    fundamental causes of problems

    24 RTI Implementation – Issues and Methodology Report

    Cause and Effect Diagram are drawn to sort out and relate the interactions among the
    factors affecting a process

    Define the major categories of possible causes. Draw a branch for each major category.

    Factors to consider include:





    Information Systems

    Environment etc..

    Rework Considerations
    If the draft recommendation does not satisfy the requirements, PwC shall continue to work with
    the client project teams to arrive at the acceptable and desirable outcome. Some ideas to
    support these iterations include in the following:
    Conduct workshops with the key stakeholders to re-valuate the issues and constraints
    based on which the recommendations were designed.

    Design an implementation plan which is feasible to be implemented and can be achieved
    within the desired time frame of the client

    Introduce reforms in the procedures and technology which will help in timely information
    dissemination to the information seekers.

    Determine if the performance targets are appropriate and if they should be changed. PwC
    shall discuss with department officials as to why changes are needed.

    Design recommendations for improving in the areas of structural, institutional, processual,
    infrastructural and technological, and people related changes

    Design the capacity building requirements for effective enforcement of the RTI Act.

  4. #20

    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google

    The above was loaded from ;
    RTI-study on RTI by PWC.
    However,did not come ,the way it was desired.

  5. #21

    RTI Methodology

    Here are the direct links to the PDF Files mentioned above.[1].pdf

  6. #22

    Eagle's Eye: RTI review underway

    Eagle's Eye: RTI review underway

    As Reported in Central Chronicle, June 19, 2008

    The accounting firm will review RTI implementation in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa- report of Ravleen Kaur
    An 85-year-old lady was having problems getting her passport. She needed it to go and live with her children abroad. The status, the website showed, was delivered.

    Visits to the passport office yielded little results. "We helped her draft a right to information (RTI) application. When the department concerned was informed of the application, she got the passport immediately," says Shekhar Singh of National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI), Delhi. But not all RTI applications are as smooth and appeals against disclosures are common. The RTI Act, which came into existence three years ago, is now undergoing a review of its performance. Here too, the issue has triggered a debate on the agency conducting the appraisal.

    The department of personnel and training (DoPT) under the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has commissioned international accounting firm PriceWaterhouse Coopers the responsibility to review the RTI Act 2005.

    Activists say the study may end up protecting government officials. They are conducting a parallel study on how far the RTI has been able to keep up its mandate of providing timely response to "citizens requests for government information".

    The accounting firm will review RTI implementation in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa.

    "It will study whether the act has reached the grassroots or is just being used in urban areas. It will look into problems that information officers and seekers face and how the act can be streamlined better," said K G Verma, director RTI, DoPT.

    Among the criteria for selection of the consultant was that the agency should have carried out such studies elsewhere. Although the firm has no such record, it qualified the financial and technical bids, indicating it has the means to conduct such a study. NGOs had also competed for the tender, says a DoPT official. "But their concept paper was very weak and they did not seem to have enough manpower to conduct the study," said another DoPT official.

    NGOs are conducting their independent study under the banner RTI Accountability and Assessment Group, which comprises organizations such as the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), NCPRI, Devdungri, Rajasthan, National Campaign for People's Right to Information, Delhi, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Delhi, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and Centre for Studies of Developing Societies, Delhi. MKSS was among the organizations that spearheaded the RTI movement in the mid 1990s.

    "Our study is not in response to the government's study but it just happened to have the same timing. The objectives of both studies are similar but methodologies are different. Given the government's track record, our suspicion is they will subtly try to weaken the act. Besides, the agency involved is an accounting firm, so we can't be sure of how much they will be able to find out at the village level," Singh told Down To Earth.

    Their study will cover 10 states and finish by October. A national survey of 20,000 people will be conducted where villagers will be asked to frame RTI applications on a subject and responses of public authorities concerned will be noted. Similar methodology will be followed in urban areas as well. Specific sectors such as media and institutions including high courts and the supreme court will be studied on how they have internalised RTI. Public Information officers (PIOs) and chief information commissioners of states will also be interviewed.

    "Systemic changes in governance are happening gradually. For instance, officials are scared if they do something under political pressure, they know they are answerable to the public. The enthusiasm for the act is there and it will go up. But there are certain issues of implementation that need to be addressed," said Singh.

    Appeals top the list and are among the major deterrents for people to use RTI Act. Besides, these take time.

    Only one case (of appeal) is cleared in a day in Andhra Pradesh and in Kerala, just 50 cases were disposed of in 2007, says Arvind Kejriwal of Parivartan, the NGO that used RTI to expose public distribution system scam in Delhi. "Waiting time for appeals in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh is more than three years and in Delhi, it is up to a year. Information commissioners are killing the act.

    -Down to earth feature

  7. #23
    Col NR Kurup (Retd)
    Blog Entries
    Rep Power

    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google

    I still feel that time is not yet ripe for a Review of the RTI Act. One can review it only after the Act has been made fully functional. The present effort appears to be part of ground clearance to dig the grave of RTI Act.

  8. #24
    C J Karira
    Blog Entries
    Rep Power

    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google

    DoPT has now circulated the Draft Questionnaires for this survey.
    It has also invited comments on the questionnaire.

    Draft Questionnaire for SIC's:

    Draft Questionnaire for PIO's:

    Draft Questionnaire for Appellate Authorities:

    Draft Questionnaire for Nodal Agency:

    Draft Questionnaire for training organisations:

    Draft Questionnaire for Exempt organisations:

    Draft Questionnaire for common people:

    Methodology to give feedback on the draft questionnaires:

    They are also attached to this post.

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