A recent report shows the need for all information commissions to publish their annual reports for accurate RTI data
GN Bureau | October 6, 2016
India's Right to Information Act (RTI Act) will enter the 12th year of implementation on October 12. Under the law, all information commissions (ICs) established are obligated to report on the implementation of the law to the respective legislatures.
According to a report by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), only a handful of annual reports were published this year. This makes it difficult to answer the most basic question – how many RTI applications are received from citizens all over the country in a given year?
Not all ICs come out with their annual reports in a timely manner. Few ICs have not published any annual report so far. A major reason for the delay in the preparation of the reports is lack of inputs from the public authorities through their parent ministries and departments. Although the ICs are known to press upon the respective governments to fulfill their reporting obligations, compliance is poor.
CHRI collated data on RTI applications from all the annual reports of the ICs which were available on their websites. Some of the major findings are:
The report also highlights the urgent need to ensure publication of annual reports by larger states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. Without data from these states which have a large number of RTI users and activists, it is not possible to draw accurate statistical data on the number of RTI applications filed in the country.
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