Maharashtra CIC Directs Maintenance Of E-Register With RTI Application And Disposal Details [Read Order]
In an effort to bring about transparency and accountability, the Maharashtra State Chief Information Commissioner recently directed the Chief Secretary of the Government of Maharashtra to maintain an e-register with details of all RTI applications and their disposal. The order has been directed to be implemented by 15 June, 2017.
Appreciating the suggestion put forth by the complainant, Mr. Shailesh Gandhi, the Chief Information Commission Ratnakar Gaikwad observed, “During last over 11 years, Commission has noted almost total lack of review of the performance of PIOs and FAAs by their superiors with the result that Public Authorities are not only required to pay huge Compensation to the Information seekers from public exchequer but Govt is also responsible for ineffective implementation of such a revolutionary Act which directly relates to Citizens exercising Fundamental Right of “Right to expression” enshrined in the Constitution.”
The Commission was hearing a complaint filed under Section 18 (1) (f) of the Right to Information Act by Mr. Gandhi via email. Mr. Gandhi had contended that such a register would facilitate reviewing of the overall performance of individual Public Information Officers (PIOs) and First Appellate Authorities (FAAs) by the Heads of Departments (HODs), and Information Commission. He had further suggested that this would facilitate preparation of the annual report on the status of RTI in the State, which needs to be presented to the State Assembly.
Accepting the proposal, the Commission noted that a similar notification was issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, wherein it had encouraged all public authorities to “proactively disclose RTI applications and appeals received and their responses, on the websites maintained by Public Authorities with search facility based on key words.”
Read the Order here.