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

  1. #33
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    C J Karira
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    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google


    As reported by Nitin Bramhe in punemirror.in on 15 Janaury 2009:
    Pune Mirror - RTI doesn?t dig PWC, News - City,Pune Mirror

    RTI doesn’t dig PWC

    Ministry of Public Grievances and Pensions Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) for ‘Understanding the Key issues and Constraints in Implementing RTI Act’.

    It is interesting that on implementation of RTI Act 2005, Standing Committee on Personal, Public Grievences, Law and Justice had invited suggestions. RTI activists were already angry but now after the Satyam issue their anger has come to the surface. and they have demanded a review of the agreement with PWC.

    Vihar Durve, RTI activist informed that DoPT had made the agreement with PWC on March 17, 2008. Despite full knowledge of the fact that PWC knows almost nothing of RTI, Ministry of Public Grievances and Pensions and DoPT went ahead with the appointment.

    Durve said he felt that instead of PWC, DoPT should have appointed National Campaign For People's Right To Information India(NCPRI) founding bodyof RTI.

    Durve had filed RTI application to know more about the agreement. In reply to this, DoPT’s Central Public Information Officer admitted that PWC had not been informed about the main hurdle in filing RTI Appli-cation i.e RTI Stamp, He said. Pune Mirror had published news about that.

    He said, “If patients do not inform the doctor, how will the consultant would know what is illness is all about, especially when the doctor ( i.e. PWC) is a stranger to RTI? Now, PWC and Parliamentary Standing Committee are making suggestions for amendments to RTI Act 2005, there is a big question mark over the Govt of India's real intentions to-wards RTI,” he added.

    Vijay Kumbhar, RTI activist said, “We do not know why they assigned the work to PWC nor we do not know about PWC’s contribution to RTI. We don’t even know if the Central government is unaware about RTI or they are doing this purposely? RTI is different from any other act and it has sprung from public demand. Multinational companies like PWC and their officials, sitting in their air-conditioned offices, do not know about RTI implementation.

    He added, “Those who failed to know about Satyam, what would they know about the RTI. He said that he would send the letter to government demanding a review of the contract.

    Vivek Velankar, RTI activist said that, four months ago PWC had given presentation on RTI in YASHADA. He said, “I had asked them about sec-tion 4, of the RTI but they could not answer. PWC also said that RTI im-plementation in Maharashtra is 26 per cent. Even RTI chief commissioner of Maharashtra Suresh Joshi was unhappy with that statement and sug-gested they check their parameters."

    Velankar added that it was a doubtful decision to appoint PWC espe-cially now that PWC’s credentials are in question. The government should explain how they had given the contract to PWC and also declare PWC’s past experience of RTI,” he said.



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


    PWC has lost its credibility and no one will take its report seriously. They shoud be delinked from RTI assisgnment.In fact our govt is expert in generating reports after reports and do nothing on the ground. There is paper shuffling and no action-peculiarity of babudom in India. Satyam also prepared reports devoid of ground realities. One lac satyams would be nothing, if mismatch between what is on paper and that is on ground since 1947 of Govt expending is investigated. Mera bharat mahan hai.
    It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.

  3. #35

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


    Appointment of PWC should not be apposed fr the sake of opposition only.Let us the terms of appointment.I think no harm is done in making a study by the govt itself.In India we do not have agencies who can fund this type of surveys.We are facing lot od teathing problems in implementation of RTI Act and let us see what happens.There is no interaction of RTI applicants with the Govt agencies as ther are seen as the one who is against the system and officers.No officer likes us.We have to start interaction in a healthy atmosphere.

    R K Garg

  4. #36

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



    In Chandigarh PWC has been assigned the task of preparing Chandigarh Administartion for E Governance has been assigned to PWC few years back.The desired results have not been achieved.When I asked a simple question as to since when PWC has been engaged then other wise receptive Director Information & tEchnology chose to call me and inform that PWC has been engaged for making sampark centres possible in Chandigarh that too in 2004 but truth is that PWC has made a very big Contract and a study of over 100 pages( towards e governance of UT ) is available on the internet and I know PWC will not 100 page study without charging crores of rupees.I have filed a application under RTI Act to know more details.As such Govt of allocating the work of RTI Study is not a case to be read in isolation.THis will not be out of question that a former Director of IT of Chandigarh Administartion is Special Director in PWC and he has been assigned the PWC working of Northeren India.See for your self what must be happening.

    R K Garg

  5. #37
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    Atul Patankar
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    Thumbs down Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google


    As reported by Shyamlal Yadav at indiatoday.digitaltoday.in on January 20, 2009

    Despite Satyam taint, PwC will advise govt on transparency

    PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the audit and consultancy firm which failed to detect the fraud in Satyam Computer Services, has been assigned to study the central government's transparency efforts by examining the issues and constraints in implementing the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

    The department of personnel and training (DoPT) will pay Rs 69 lakh to PwC for this study and almost 55 per cent of the amount has already been given. Sources in DoPT said the final report of the study, which was commissioned on March 19, 2008, was expected in a few weeks. Discussions are in progress on PwC's interim report which was submitted a few months ago.

    But the Satyam scandal has cast a cloud on PwC with questions being raised on whether the firm should go ahead with the study. The RTI Act was enacted to bring transparency and efficiency in governance, but PwC had lost credibility in the Satyam scam. Until Satyam's former chairman B. Ramalinga Raju came clean, nobody was aware of his fraud leave alone PwC, which despite being the auditor never pointed out any discrepancy in Satyam accounts.

    PwC's RTI report is expected to teach the Central and State Governments how they can make this law effective. But the irony is that if PwC had lost anything, it is credibility and transparency. India Today tried to contact Joint Secretary (RTI) SK Sarkar but he was out of town. But DoPT sources confirmed that there is no proposal to review the PwC agreement in light of the Satyam scandal. PwC's officer Nilachal Mishra said the study will not be affected by the Satyam fiasco and that the report would be submitted within a month.


    Source : India Today - India's most widely read magazine.

  6. #38
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    Atul Patankar
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    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google


    As reported at Tax Guru :: Complete Tax solutions on January 21, 2009

    Government will be advised by PWC on transparency

    APricewaterhouseCoo pers (PwC), the audit and consultancy firm which failed to detect the fraud in Satyam Computer Services, has been assigned to study the central government’s transparency efforts by examining the issues and constraints in implementing the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

    The department of personnel and training (DoPT) will pay Rs 69 lakh to PwC for this study and almost 55 per cent of the amount has already been given. Sources in DoPT said the final report of the study, which was commissioned on March 19, 2008, was expected in a few weeks. Discussions are in progress on PwC’s interim report which was submitted a few months ago.

    But the Satyam scandal has cast a cloud on PwC with questions being raised on whether the firm should go ahead with the study. The RTI Act was enacted to bring transparency and efficiency in governance, but PwC had lost credibility in the Satyam scam. Until Satyam’s former chairman B. Ramalinga Raju came clean, nobody was aware of his fraud leave alone PwC, which despite being the auditor never pointed out any discrepancy in Satyam accounts.

    PwC’s RTI report is expected to teach the Central and State Governments how they can make this law effective. But the irony is that if PwC had lost anything, it is credibility and transparency. India Today tried to contact Joint Secretary (RTI) SK Sarkar but he was out of town. But DoPT sources confirmed that there is no proposal to review the PwC agreement in light of the Satyam scandal. PwC’s officer Nilachal Mishra said the study will not be affected by the Satyam fiasco and that the report would be submitted within a month.

    Source : Government will be advised by PWC on transparency | Tax Guru

  7. #39

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


    price water house cooper is one of the audit firm in satym fraud
    Quote Originally Posted by karira View Post
    As reported by Seema Chishti in indianexpress.com on 22 April 2008:
    IndianExpress.com :: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google

    Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google

    Govt asks PwC to study efficacy of RTI, wary activists launch own study backed by grant from Google Foundation

    NEW DELHI, APRIL 21: The Department of Personnel and Training has decided to get international accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers to study the efficacy of the Right to Information (RTI) Act as it marks its third year on October 13. The RTI Act has been showcased by the UPA Government as one of its key achievements.

    Suspicious that this study could end up helping babus instead of citizens, leading RTI activists, including Aruna Roy and her Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) and Shekhar Singh and his National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) have launched their own alternative study.

    They have formed RAAG (RTI Accountability and Assessment Group) which will examine what they call “the RTI regime.” Significantly, Google Foundation has stepped in to make this study possible by offering $250,000 as an initial grant.

    RTI activists, using foreign funds themselves, say they are not worried about money from a foreign source, but are annoyed at the way, a “foreign organization” (Pricewaterhouse) with “little or no expertise in the manner in which RTI works in India” is being asked to assess the efficacy of RTI.

    Said Roy, formerly a member of the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council and among the earliest campaigners for a Right to Information law: “The process itself adopted by the government to select such an agency for such a key audit, and the record so far of the DoPT makes us wary of the study. There is little point in just opposing it all, so we are doing our own study. All the material we collect in order to draw our conclusions will be available publicly, and then let us have a debate.”

    Activists say they are worried the government, under pressure from bureaucrats, might use this study to cut back or restrain certain freedoms available under RTI. Says Shekhar Singh: “The government is only looking at the problems it faces because of the RTI making the bureaucracy answerable, and how they may have to amend the Act to ensure that applications are not too long, not vexatious or filed for frivolous purposes. How we look at RTI is completely different.”

    The survey being planned by these groups will also involve the Centre for Studies of Developing Societies (CSDS which also does election surveys) and the Tata Institute for Social Service (TISS).

    RAAG also hopes to get assistance from the Nehru Memorial.

    Last week, DoPT hosted a seminar where Pricewaterhouse Coopers presented its Project Progress Report to members of the Central Information Commission and representatives from the State Information Commissions of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, UP, Maharashtra and Orissa, and some Public Information Officers from these states.

    Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said he was consulted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers when it was finalising the project report. He says: “Their earlier proposal did have some weak points. It was too urban-centric, for instance. I have asked them to take into account the RTI’s immense impact on rural India.” Asked about the parallel study, he said: “Activists are welcome to do their own study...Why are they angry with DoPT for getting active? Earlier, it was just the CIC and the activists, with the DoPT taking a passive role, at least now they are active and are taking interest in the functioning of the Act.”

  8. #40

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


    Any professional social science agency can do a study of this nature. The quality of the study depends upon the methodology adopted, the sample quality, the sample quantity, the method of interpretation and the skills of analysis that the agency possesses. One need not be opposing an agency simply because it has a foreign principal. As regards experience with RTI for conducting a study on RTI, it is a debatable point. A study is conducted in a dispassionate manner. Some times, deeper involvement in the matter may hamper a dispassionate analysis. Lack of experience in the subject may also mean lack of bias. That is why it is a debatable point. Much can be said both for and against it. Looking at the issue in this perspective, there appears to be nothing wrong in appointing PwC. But its lack of credibility in the backdrop of Satyam scandal raised many doubts whether it would, in deed, be conducting an impartial study or would dish out a report that is accetable to the bureaucracy!!

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