Thursday, July 27, 2017

Govt directs for priority to appoint senior officers as PIO, FAA

Daily Excelsior: Jammu: Thursday, July 27, 2017.
To ensure effective implementation of the provisions of Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act 2009, the State Government has directed that priority should be given to appoint Deputy Secretary/Additional Secretary level officers as Public Information Officers and Special Secretary level officers or their equivalent as First Appellate Authority.
The State Government has issued a circular in this regard, impressing upon all the Administrative Secretaries, Divisional Commissioners and the Deputy Commissioners to give priority to Deputy Secretary/ Additional Secretary and Special Secretary level officers for appointing PIOs and FAA, respectively.
In a separate circular, the Government has also issued guidelines for a standard format for giving information to applicants under the RTI Act 2009.
As per these guidelines, the reply should essentially  contain RTI application number, date and date of its receipt by the Public Authority; name, designation, official telephone number and e-mail Id of the PIO; in case the information requested for is denied, detailed reasons for denial quoting the relevant sections of the RTI Act should be clearly mentioned; in case the information pertains to the another authority and the application is transferred under Section 6(3) of the RTI Act, details of the Public Authority to whom the application is transferred should be given; in the concluding para of the reply, it should be clearly mentioned that the First Appeal, if any, against the reply of the PIO, may be made to the FAA within 30 days of receipt of reply of PIO
Further, the name, designation, address, official telephone number, e-mail ID of the FAA should also be clearly mentioned in the reply and in case, the applicant has requested for certified copies of the documents or records, the PIO should endorse on the document ‘True copy of the document/record supplied under RTI Act” sign the document with date, above a seal containing the name of the officer, PIO and name of the Public Authority.
In case the documents to be certified and supplied are large in number, information on the RTI application should be supplied by a designated PIO but the certification of the documents, if needed, could be done by a junior Gazetted officer.