India is top 4th in the world
Time to cheer on Right to Information Day when it has come to notice that India has 4th Strongest RTI laws in the world. This report is available on 28th September which has been declared by UNESCO to be celebrated all over the world as “International Day for Universal Access to Information”. India as been ranked 4th in the world having strongest RTI Act. This has been done by a website rti-rating.org.
The website however states
India has long been recognized as one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to access to information, but its failure to top this ranking is demonstrative that global standards of the right to access have advanced considerably since India’s law was first passed.
The top two reasons for India considered as lower in ranking are due to “blanket exceptions in Schedule 2 for various security, intelligence, research and economic institutes” and “not allowing access to information held by private entities which perform a public function“.
On analysis of the details it is also found that India has scored less on not only exemption reasons, but also on imposing less sanction. Here are the other major factors which are matter of concern in so far as RTI Act is concerned. In these matters India has scored lesser.
There is a system for redressing the problem of public authorities which systematically fail to disclose information or underperform (either through imposing sanctions on them or requiring remedial actions of them).
There are legal protections against imposing sanctions on those who, in good faith, release information which discloses wrongdoing (i.e. whistleblowers).
A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, is only given overall responsibility for promoting the right to information.
A system is not in place whereby minimum standards regarding the management of records are set and applied.
There are clear and reasonable maximum timelines (20 working days or less) for responding to requests, regardless of the manner of satisfying the request (including through publication).
Do you have any suggestion for improvement on RTI Act, do join the discussion here at our forum:
The popular myth – “RTI is meant for developed countries while developing countries have other urgent issues of poverty, hunger, poor levels of basic services like education and health” stands disproved once again. – States The Governance Now
Central Information Commission warned the Central Public Information Officer for asking for the applicants citizenship proof under RTI who held the reply stating that furnishing of citizenship proof is a pre-requisite for providing the information.
CIC said that Read more ›
When PIO looses certain records CIC has directed the authorities to come up with policy and action in alternative. Filing of FIR is no solution to missing files. When What will be alternative plan ? Who will be responsible for keeping record ? What action will be initiated to fix responsibility and consequences thereof ?
In what appears to be deviation to set procedure of filing First Information Report (FIR) with Police for missing or lost record, Central Information Commission has given a new solution. If you have any question regarding Right to Information, you can post it at our forum here! You can access our all content from mobile phone by using our top Android App or iOS App for Apple.
If this action plan is put into place, it will become much easier in Government Departments to fix responsibility and also evolve strategies to make a backup of the files. In these times when each Government Department (Central Ministries) are being asked to shift to eOffice application in a mission mode project, the data loss will be minimised once all records are digitised.
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Appellant lost it because, instead of giving a fresh application she chose to file RTI with the help of NGO representatives.– Response of Public Information Officer (PIO) during hearing at Central Information Commission (CIC)
CIC noted “It appears that the whole issue is of ego of the officers exhibiting anger for approaching through RTI and intolerance to the presence and support of NGO to the appellant.” CIC observed that a woman officer was so unkind towards a 70 yr old poor woman surviving on pension.
After hearing the ‘explanation’ to show cause notice and reading written submission made by PIO/Dy Director (FAS) Women and Child Development Department, GNCTD, Delhi the Commission noticed that PIO tried to shift the blame on to the NGO for not helping appellant to act as per publicity given by Government. The Commission finds PIO has no regret and she is in no mood to restore pension or pay compensation. Hence, the Commission considers it a fit case to impose maximum penalty of Rs 25,000 to be recovered from her pay in 5 equal monthly instalments. If you have any questions, you can head straight to our forum and post. If you want to become RTI Activist, visit our site here on how to become RTI Activist.
The Commission recommends the public authority to take disciplinary action against the PIO for defying RTI Act, order of the CIC, besides dereliction of duty, being adamant to right of appellant to pension, and information, and for non-compliance of orders of Commission. Read more ›