More than 400 government departments have not filed annual returns with the information commission
Danish Raza | November 20, 2010
The central information commission (CIC) has critisised the central government offices for not submitting their annual returns with it.
Out of 1848 public authorities registered in the CIC database, only 1421 submitted their returns as on October 31st.
The CIC observed this in an internal meeting held on November 9th.
The meeting was attended CIC chief A N Tiwari, four information commissioners and secretary at the CIC.
Coming down heavily on the public authorities which have not submitted their annual returns with the commission, the CIC decided to “….write a separate chapter on the abject failure and callousness of the public authorities in submitting their reports to the commission in contravention of stipulations regarding their obligations u/s 25 of the RTI Act, along with their names.”
In the meeting, the commission decided that it will not ask the rest of the 427 public authorities to submit their annual returns.
It will prepare the RTI compliance report of 2009- 2010 based on the available data. “Commission directed to freeze the data and report on the basis of available data,” observed the CIC.
Under section 25 of the RTI act, the state and central government departments have to submit their annual returns with the state information commission (SIC) and the CIC respectively.
The returns are in the form of reports through which the government departments update the information commissions of their RTI compliance.
The report includes details such as the number of RTI applications received by the public authority; number of decisions where applicants were not entitled to access to the documents pursuant to the requests and the number of appeals referred to the CIC or SIC, as the case may be.
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