Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Central Information Commission to take up pileup of RTI complaints

Economic Times‎‎: New Delhi: Wednesday, April 19, 2017.
Is a government department or ministry repeatedly denying information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act? If so, the Central Information Commission (CIC) would soon be on the case.
In a bid to address wrongful denial of information to people and to check piling up of complaints before it, the transparency watchdog plans to directly approach individual public information officers and ministries that have a rather chequered record in RTI compliance.
“We are developing a system under which our database would sort out cases by the name of central public information officer,” chief information commissioner RK Mathur said.
“We would directly tell them this is the particular problem being faced by so many RTI applicants and we could offer a solution.”
For this, CIC would constitute a special unit in its registry, which is the first point of contact for an applicant to register a complaint or appeal under RTI Act. This unit would sort out cases ministry-wise and central public information officer (CPIO)-wise with the help of software, and track them based on the name of CPIO.
The unit would get an alert if there were an unusual number of cases coming to the commission from a single ministry or a particular officer. It would then compile a report, closely analysing the nature of cases and information sought that are repeatedly ending up at the commission. This report would then be shared with the CPIO who would be asked to rectify it, officials said.