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.
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