Monday, May 01, 2017

Another circular for officers to furnish official information, update websites.

Kashmir Reader: Srinagar: Junaid Bajaj : Monday, May 1, 2017.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government has again asked its secretary level officers to make suo moto disclosure of official information after it received complaints that officers do not provide information to public on voluntary basis despite being ordered multiple times to do that.
“The instructions issued vide Circular No. 21-GAD of 2014 dated 09-04-2014 and reiterated vide Circulars No. 07-GAD of 2015 dated 10-02-2015 and No. 18-GAD of 2016 dated 22-03-2016, wherein it has been enjoined upon all concerned to ensure implementation of the provisions of Section 4 of the J&K RTI Act i.e. voluntary disclosure of information by the public authorities,” the government circular 20-GAD-2017- reads.
Last year alone, the government has asked at least four times to make the disclosure but officers did not comply. The government had issued first circular on February 2, 2015 through circular number 07-GAD of 2015, second circular on March, 22, 2015, through circular number 19-GAD of 2015 and on July 1, 2015 through circular number 21-GAD of 2015. The latest circular also mentions dates and circulars numbers.
The latest circular issued by Subash Chhibber, additional secretary to the government, has also asked state information commission, a quasi-government body, on March 27 to direct all the public authorities to take necessary steps to implement all provision of the section 4 of the RTI Act. The government had castigated many departments, which had no requisite information on their official websites, and departments which still had not hosted their official website.
“With a view to maintain conformity with the provisions of Section 4 of J&K Right to Information Act, 2009, it is impressed upon all the Administrative Secretaries, Heads of the Departments and Public Authorities of the State to ensure effective implementation of the provisions of Section 4 of the J&K RTI Act in letter and spirit by hosting all requisite information on the official websites and update them periodically,” said the circular. Again, after the latest circular was made public, the officers did not relent.