Disclosures under sec 4: Govt gets moving

Forms special task force for effective implementation of voluntary disclosures


Danish Raza | June 9, 2011

The government has moved on the implementation of section 4 of the RTI act.

On May 6, the department of personnel and training (DoPT) constituted 13 member special task force (STF) comprising 8 government representatives and 5 members of the civil society, for effective implementation of the right to information (RTI) act.

The STF has met only once, on May 25.

The department of personnel and training (DoPT) has set June 12 deadline for the public to send feedback and comments on the minutes of this maiden meeting.

Section 4 of the RTI says that within 120 days of the enactment of the act, the public authorities have to voluntarily disclose certain categories of information mentioned in the act.

After five since the act came into being, many public authorities have not disclosed information under section 4 of the transparency act.

Nikhil Dey of national Campaign for people’s right to information (NCPRI) sais that the public authorities were not averse of suo- moto disclosure and it was a question of what to put and how to put it. “Transparency needs to start from the top level. There has to be a move from the minimal to the aspirational level in public disclosures,” Dey noted in the meeting.

Anjai Bhardwaj of Satark Naagrik Sangathan said, “The manner in which information is displayed needs to be changed. The information should be in such a form or language as to be decipherable by the lowest strata of the society.”

DoPT has written to all the government departments and ministries to include a chapter on RTI in their annual reports. “Secretary (performance management) had also been requested that suo moto disclosure under section 4 of the RTI act may be included as a mandatory success indicator in the RFDs of all departments,” said Rajeev Kapoor, joint secretaty, DoPT.




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