View Poll Results: Is the decision of Government to conduct review of RTI is good?

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  • Yes

    25 55.56%
  • No

    20 44.44%
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  1. #41
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    C J Karira
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    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google


    Does anyone know whatever happened to the Report ?
    They called me several times for asking questions, but haven't heard anything for the last few months.


    › Find content similar to: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google


    Twitter: @cjkarira

  2. #42
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    Sidharth
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    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google


    Quote Originally Posted by karira View Post
    Does anyone know whatever happened to the Report ?
    They called me several times for asking questions, but haven't heard anything for the last few months.
    Final Report

    Here it is.





    Final Report
    How much these cost to us "We the people of India" ?
    Last edited by sidmis; 13-07-09 at 10:34 PM.

  3. #43
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    C J Karira
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    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google


    As reported by Vineeta Pandey in dnaindia.com on 15 July 2009:
    Is RTI a good thing? No, say 75 pc of users

    Is RTI a good thing? No, say 75 pc of users

    New Delhi: Almost three years after the implementation of the Right to Information Act (RTI), over 75% of the information seekers have said that they were dissatisfied with the quality of information provided. According to an evaluation study carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), poor quality of information, delay in getting replies, and an untrained and uncooperative staff were among the reasons for the RTI not being seen as a success story.

    The study, commissioned by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), found that a majority of the 5,000 people surveyed were not even aware of this law.. It also surveyed 2,000 people who had used the RTI at least once and 200 public information officers (PIO).

    There were instances wherein citizens were discouraged from filing information requests. Approximately 89% of the PIOs had prevented citizens from inspecting the records despite a legal provision for the same.

    There is huge backlog of RTI requests and the average waiting time varies form 4 months to 12 months. The survey said 47% of the citizens did not receive replies to their RTI application within the stipulated 30 days. The survey said there is a need to improve the convenience in filing requests. Since submission of an RTI request at the PIO's office was the most prevalent channel, over 26% of the citizens had to make more than three visits to submit applications, while 47% said no signboards were present to help them out.

    A survey of the PIOs showed that the government machinery is yet to gear up to handle the needs of the RTI Act. More than 38% of the PIOs surveyed blamed the ineffective record management system in use at present for the delay in processing information.

    Also, 43% PIO said they were not aware of the record management guidelines while 45% admitted that they had not received any training.

    Moreover, 89% said there was no additional allocation of staff to handle RTI queries, thus increasing their workload. Most of the current PIOs had taken up the job unwillingly, which in turn meant low motivation among them.

    In the midst of all this is the good news: the survey found that there has been a significant shift in the mindset of government servants. While earlier they thought 'Official Secrets Act', now they think about the 'Right to Information Act' mindset, which is a major victory for the common man.
    Twitter: @cjkarira

  4. #44
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    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google



    Now the final report of PWC has been published.
    How many RTI activist's Group/association or individuals has been consulted before coming to a decision. This final report does not say a single word for these appointment of INFORMATION COMMISSIONERS particularly in various states.
    Would PWC odicials or DOPT reply to it.
    Last edited by Shrawan Pathak; 16-07-09 at 07:51 AM. Reason: moderated
    BIMAL KUMAR KHEMANI
    a CONSUMER and RTI activist
    ALIGARH, U.P.
    ****************************
    Officially Certified A Grade by DoPT

    ****************************

  5. #45
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    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google


    Bimal,

    Please take time to read the PWC report completely.

    1. It does have a list of people consulted and what happened during those consultations.
    2. Regarding appointment of IC's it also has some recommendations - one of them is that SIC/CIC should have 50/50 from ex-beauraucrat and non beauraucrat.
    Twitter: @cjkarira

  6. #46
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    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google


    As reported by Shamsheer Yousaf in expressbuzz.com on 15 July 2009:
    Open CIC offices across the country: PwC report=

    Open CIC offices across the country: PwC report


    BANGALORE: Taking note of the difficulty for RTI applicants from across the country to come to New Delhi for appeal hearings at the Central Information Commission (CIC), a report commissioned by the Central government has recommended the CIC to open offices at locations across the country.
    The report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), titled ‘Understanding the key issues and constraints in implementing the RTI Act,’ says that as appellants do not have enough time and money to reach Delhi for second appeal, the CIC should open offices at other locations so as to reach out to the masses.

    PwC has recommended that CIC should seek approval of the Central government to open offices under Section 12(7) of the RTI Act.

    This section states, “The headquarters of the Central Information Commission shall be at Delhi and the Central Information Commission may, with the previous approval of the Central government, establish offices at other places in India.” The report has also called for similar steps to be taken by State Information Commissions (SIC).

    Currently, only the Maharashtra SIC, has offices outside the state capital, at Pune, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nagpur. The report has also asked Information Commissions to consider ehearings through video-conferencing.

    At the village level, PwC recommends making use of Common Service Centres - a Central government initiative for frontend government services.

    RTI envelopes

    The PwC report also recommended the department of posts to introduce ‘RTI envelopes,’ which can be used for sending in RTI applications.

    The envelope cost will have inbuilt fee for the RTI application, which will make it convenient for requesting information from remote places.

    The other modes of payment that have been suggested to be adopted across all states are Indian Postal Order, Demand Draft and electronic payment gateways.

    On Information Commissioners, the PwC report has recommended that people who have worked in the government should be restricted to 50 per cent, as recommended by the Administrative Reforms Commission.

    “The composition should be such that it should have people with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media, or administration and governance,” the report says.

    Other recommendations

    RTI implementation cell headed by a senior bureaucrat at the state/Central level

    Capacity building through knowledge resource centre

    Establish RTI as a brand, such as NREGS

    Postal department should act as designated office of Assistant Public Information Officers (APIO) for state governments

    RTI call centres, RTI portal and e-district kiosks should be used for accepting applications
    Twitter: @cjkarira

  7. #47
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    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google


    As reported by Ashish Sinha in epaper.mailtoday.in on 15 July 2009:
    Cliping Story

    CIC is a dumping ground for ex- babus




    A STUDY of constraints in implementing the Right to Information ( RTI) Act has criticised the government for treating the Central Information Commission ( CIC) and its state counterparts as a dumping ground for retired bureaucrats.

    The government was rapped on the knuckles by a panel that it had commissioned.

    The most ambitious study yet on limitations in implementing the RTI Act recommends that 50 per cent — if possible, even more — of the information commissioners must be appointed from nonbureaucratic backgrounds. It took exception to the ‘ norm’ that most appointees are retired bureaucrats.

    The study admits that former bureaucrats do bring in administrative or quasi- judicial expertise as information commissioners. But it asserts that civil servants are seen as “ soft” while passing orders on principal information officers who are government servants.

    The department of personnel and training ( DoPT) had commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers ( PwC) to conduct the study. The final report, prepared in association with IMRB International, was recently submitted to the government.

    The report says more people with knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism and mass media should be appointed commissioners. Citing a rec- Omita Paul ( left) and Wajahat Habibullah.

    ommendation of the administrative reforms commission ( ARC), the study proposes that “ the number of people who have worked in the government should be restricted to 50 per cent ( if not less)”. Four of the seven commissioners, including chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, are former bureaucrats.

    Omita Paul, appointed information commissioner in May, quit the constitutional post in June to become adviser to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.

    The study seconds the ARC’s proposal that the Chief Justice of India ( or the chief justice of the high court concerned) should be included in the collegium that recommends the appointment of information commissioners. At present, the Prime Minister ( or the chief minister) and the leader of opposition recommend the appointments to these quasijudicial commissions.

    It also says information commissioners, especially those from non- judicial backgrounds, should undergo a three- month “ induction” programme as they often tend to deviate from the spirit of the RTI Act while passing orders.

    “ In such cases, the new commissioner may work with one of the existing information commissioners to understand the procedure and processes. During this period, the information commissioner should not pass orders,” says the report.

    It stresses that RTI should be promoted as a “ brand” through a mass awareness campaign on the lines of family planning.

    It also recommends capacity- building through a knowledge resource centre ( KRC) at the national level to facilitate the central and state governments by providing guidelines and establishing templates for standard rules.

    Twitter: @cjkarira

  8. #48
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    Re: Testing RTI: Govt vs activists, Pricewaterhouse vs Google


    As reported by Vuidya Subramaniam in thehindu.com on 17 July 2009:
    The Hindu : National : RTI not bureaucrats’ preserve, says report

    RTI not bureaucrats’ preserve, says report


    NEW DELHI: A recent report on the Right to Information Act has busted the myth that the Act was used mainly by government employees interested in accessing information relating to their careers.

    The report, ‘The People’s RTI Assessment-2008,’ said only 15 per cent of the urban applicants and 6 per cent of the rural applicants were government employees. It also dispelled the notion that only the educated better-off accessed the Act: almost 60 per cent of the rural applicants and 40 per cent of the urban applicants were not even graduates.

    Further, 30 per cent of the rural applicants and 15 per cent of the urban applicants were from below the poverty line families. However, the RTI users were overwhelmingly men.

    Brought out jointly by the Right to Information Assessment and Analysis Group (RaaG) and the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), the report was based on interviews with 35,000 people in villages, towns and cities across 10 States.

    The two RTI groups filed 800 applications and studied data relating to another 25,000.

    The report found that four lakh villagers and 16 lakh urban residents used the Act in the first two-and-half years since its enactment. Forty per cent of the rural respondents and 15 per cent of the urban respondents to the survey said they were harassed and threatened by officials.

    Many said they were discouraged by Public Information Officers (PIO) from filing applications. Sixty per cent reported success with getting information. Information Commissions rarely invoked the penalty clause to punish errant PIOs. Penalties were imposed in only 284 of the roughly 20,000 cases, in which supply of information was delayed.

    The report concluded that the desire for information was huge and widespread. About 65 per cent of those surveyed, including those who had not heard of the Act, saw information as a vital tool and said it would help to solve basic problems.

    Keeping this in mind, the report cautioned against the move (by the Department of Personnel and Training) to disallow single-bench hearings of applications. If full-bench hearings were made mandatory, they would adversely affect the functioning of those Information Commissions, including the Central Information Commission, which allowed hearings by single and multiple benches to ensure speedy disposal of cases, the report said.
    Twitter: @cjkarira

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