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Ministries still refuse to information under RTI

CIC data reveals that 40% govt depts have not updates their RTI manuals

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Mar 22 2016 11:09AM | Updated Date: Mar 23 2016 11:44AM

Ministries still refuse to information under RTI

 Ten years after the enactment of Right to Information Act, the government is still shying away from proactively disclosing basic information about government ministries and departments under the transparency legislation. 

 
An analysis of the annual data released by Central Information Commission (CIC) reveals that 40% of government ministries and departments have not updated their RTI manuals and made mandatory disclosures on their webpages for the last one year. 
 
CIC data reveals that in 2014-15, out of 2,030 registered public authorities, 806 did not update RTI manuals, disclosures webpage address for the last one year. About 358 of the 2,030 public authorities - which is 18% of the ministries and departments, have not uploaded RTI manuals and mandatory disclosures at all. 
 
The need for proactive disclosures have been underlined by CIC in its annual report 2014-15. The report says, "The public authorities have to take time-bound action in furnishing disclosure mandated under Section 4 to strengthen RTI in their organisation.
 
Further, public authorities with field formations need to assess the quality, citizen friendliness and the periodicity of dissemination of information so as to institutionalise the disclosure mechanism as mandated in Section 4 of the RTI Act. 
 
Ultimately it is the creation of a robust and dynamic citizen-government interface through sharing of information which would benefit the government in its functioning." Even in 2013-14, the proactive disclosure track record was very poor with only 667 of 2,276 of the ministries, or 29.3%, posting mandatory disclosures in public domain. 
 
This compliance figure was even lower in 2012-13 with 568 of 2,333 government ministries and departments - which is 24.3% - saying they had done the mandatory disclosures.