Guidelines to suo moto disclosure under section 4 of the RTI ACT
nbral Admn.(Co-ordination) Department,
iruvananthapuram, 24th August 2013.
The Secretary to G(,vernment
-- The Semtary to G o v m , ,Raj Bhavan, llinxvananthapuram
The Secr-, Kerala Legislature Secrebriat, vana ant ha^-
The Secretary, K d a Public Service clxnmmon, l l h ~ a n 8 n t h a ~ ~ I
The Registrar,High Court, Emakulam 1
The Advocate General,Emakulam I -
The Sectetary, State ~nformaition(3mmkion, Punnen Road, ~ v ~ a m
IThe Registrar, K e r a W C o c h i n / C a l i ~Gan-ur University
IThe Registrar, Kerala Agriculture U n i d t y , ~ u t h i ,Thrissur 1
The Registrar, Sree SankaracharyaSanskrit.University, KaIady, A h a
IThe Semtary, Kerala State Electricity Board, Thhvgnanthapuram I
The .Manq&ig Dirstn, K d a State Road Transport Corporation, ntinnrananthspnam
All Heads of Dep-ents/District Collectorss
AU Public Sector U- - .-Szzi->-:- . -
All A ~ B o d i c s . _
Sub:--Guidelines on suo mofudisclosure under Section 4 of Right to hahmationAd, 2005-
Copy fmarding of-Regarding.
Re$-Office Memorandum KO. 1/6/2011-IR dated 15-4-2013 h m Governme of W a
I am to forward hemwith a copy of the Oflice Memorandum cited for information and to bring
the same to the notice of a11 00-ed. b
Y- -Y, +i
Under Secretary, I
For Secretary to Government. :I
Copy t ~ : ~ A l lDepartments, all officers and all sedion in Government semtakt
includulg Law and Finance.'
PASto all Additid Chief S e - -es.
GCPT. 3/4095/20 13/2000/DTP
GOVERXMEST OF ISDIA
Ministry of Personnel, Pubk Grievances & Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training
North Block, New Dell
Dated the 15th April, 202
I OFFICE ,ME,MORASDCM
Su'bject:--Implementation of stlo tnotu disclosure under Section 4 of RTI Act, 2005-1s
of guidelines lcgadmg. 4
Section 4(l)(b) of the RTI Act lays down the information which should be disclosed by P
Authorities on a suo motu or proactive basis. Section 4(2) and Section 4(3) prescribe the metho
dissemination of this infomation. The purpose of suo mhr ciisci- under Section 4 is to place 1
amount of information in public domain 0x1 a proactive basis to make the fiactioning of the P
Authorities more transparent and also to-reduce
2. Since the promulgation of the Ad in 2005, lslgFammt
of the government is being put in public doma
disclosure is not up to the desired level. It was felt that the-weakimplementation of the Section4 o
RTI Act is partly due to the fact that certainpro
in case of certain other provkim there is need
to set up a compliance mechanism to ensure that
3. In order to address the above, Governfit of India constituf'd Task Force on suo
disclosure under the RTI Act, 2005 in ,May 2011 which included representatives of civil s
organizations active in the field of Right to Information, for strengthening compliance with provisi
suo motu or proactive disclosure as given in Section 4 of the RTI Act, 2005. Based on the re
the Task Force, the Government have decided to issue guidelines for suo motu disclosure
section 4 of the RTI Act.
4. Guidelines for Central Government Ministries~Departmentsare on:
(i) Suo motu disclosure of mare items under Section 4.
(ii) Guidelines for digital publication of proactive disclosure under Section 4.
I(iiii Detailing of Section 4(l)(b)(iii), 4(l)(b)(iv), 4(l)(b)(xi) and 4(l)(b)(xiv).
.I(iv) Compliance mechanism for suo motu disclosure (proactive disclosure)
the RTI Act, 2005.
I*..3. The above guidelines are enclosed. Ilowever, it may be kept in mind that proactive &
should be done in the local language so that it remains accessible to public. It should be pres
form that is easily understood and if technical words are used they should -becarefully ex
As provided in section 4, disclosure should be made in as many mediums as feasible and disc
should be kept up to date. The disclosure of Information may be made keeping in mind the provis
Section 8 to 11 of the RTI Act.
6. Central Government Ministridepartments should undertake suomotu disclosure and ensure
compliance based on these guidelines.
7. The enclosed guidelines may be brought to the notice of all for complian&.
~ ~ A N O JJOSHI,
1. . All the Ministridepiients of the Government of India. 1
2. Union Public Service commission, Lok Sabha Secretariat, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, Cabinet
Secretariat,Central Vigilance Commission, President's Secretariat, Vice-President's Secretariat,
Prime minister's Office, Planning Commission, Election Commission.
3. Central Information Commission:
4. Staff Selection Commission CGO Complex, Xew Delhi.
5. 010 the Comptroller & Auditor General of India, 10, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Deb.
Copy to : Chief Secretaries of all the States&Tk.
GUIDELINES ON SUO MOTU DISCLOSURE blTDERSECTION 4 OF THE RTI ACT
Sl. chapter'- Page
1 Sm mru disclosure of more items under Section 4 1
2 Guidelines for digital publication of proactive disclosure under Section 4 2
3 Guidelines for ce- clauses sf Sectim.ll(I)(b) to make disclosure more effective 4
4 Compliance with provisions of suo mom disclosure 6
GLZDELISES 05; SUO MOTU DISCLOSLXE LIDER SECTEOS 4 OF THE RTI ACT .
1.0 Suo motu disclosure of more items under Section 4
Sub-section 4(2) of the RTI Act, 2005 requires every public authority to take steps in accordance
with the requirements of clause (b) of sub-section 4(1) to provide as much informatioil suo motu to the
plblic at regular intervals throughvarious means of ammunication, including internet, so that the public
hwe minimum resort to use the Act to obtaininfixmation. Accordingly, the Public Authorities may
@vely disclose the following items also under&e suo motu disclosure provisions of Section 4:
1.1 Information related to Procurement
1.1.1 Information relating to procurement made by Public Authorities including publication of
mtimkder enquiries, corrigenda thereon, and details of bid awards detailing the name of the supplierof
-senices being procured or the works contracts entered or any such combination of these and the
laBe and total amount at which such procurement or works contract is to be done should be disclosed.
M inf;brmationdisclosable as per ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure's O.,M. So. 10/1/2011-
PIC dated 30th Xovember, 2011 on ~ a n d a t o 6Publication of Tender Enquiries on the Central Public
R8#rpement Portal and 0.M. So. 10/3/2012-PPC dated 30th March, 2012 on Implementation of
mmqmhensive end-to-end e-procurement should be disclosed under Section 4. At present the limit is
6xed at ? 10.00 lakhs. En case of procurements made through DGS&D Rate Contracts or through
Kediya BhandarKCCF, only award details need to be published. However information about
pxxmxnmt which fill within the purview of Section 8 of the RTI Act would be exempt.
I 2Psblie Private Partnerships
1.21 If public services are proposed to be provided through a Public Private Partnerdup (PPP),
ihkmaiion relating to the PPPs must be disclosediii the public domain by the Public Authority .
dm& into the PPP contract/concession agmsaglt This may include details of the Special h p s e
: lJCLiek (SPV), if any set up, detailed project reports, c o n d o n agreaxn@opedon and maintenance
"and other documents generated as part of the i m P l e r n e n t a t i ~ & ~PPP project. The
amdmtktheof the exemption fkom disclosure of information under seetha%@)(Q) and
RR-Actwould not be disclosed suo motu. Further, information about fees, tolls, or &her
that may be collected under auhimtion fkom the Governm&t, information in respect '
outcomes, process of selection of-private sector party may also be proactively
payments made under the PPP projed may also be &closed in st periodic manner along
d ih.ppose of making such payment ;-
E 3 Pdicy and T&er Orders
" -&I I k m hpiicy hrdiffked grades/& of employees serving in PublicAuthority should be '
p d d y d k h d All transfer orders should be publicized through the website or in any other
~ R U XWed in Sdon'4(4) of the Act. These guidelines would not be applicable in cases of transfers
d b q h g in view sovereignty, integrity, security,strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State
d fkerrmqtions covered under Section 8 of the Act. These instructions would not apply to security
~ B Ikrtpllieenceo q p h i o n s under the second schedule of the WI Act.
L4 RTI Applidons 2
1.4.1 All public,authorities shall proac%vely disclose RTI applications and appeals received and
xqmmes, on the websites maintained by public authorities with search facility based on key
Kll applications and appeals received and their responses relating to the personal information of
&--&dual may not be disclosed, as they do mt.serve any public interest.
1.5 CAG & PAC paras
1.5.1 Public authorities may proactively disclose the CAG & PAC paras and the Actic
Reports (ATRs) only after these have been laid on the table of both the houses of the Pa
However, CAG paras dealing with information about the issues of sovereignty, integrity, security,
scientific or economic interests of the state and information covered under Section 8 of the
would be exempt.
1.6 Citizens Charter %
1.6.1 Citizens Charter prepared by the MinistryIDepartment, as part of the result fri
document of the department/organization should be proactively disclosed and six monthly repc
performance against the benchmarks set in citizens charter should also be displayed on the u
1.7 Discretionary and Son-discretionary grants
1.7.1 All discretionary/non-discretionarygrants/allocations to state governmentsfiGf
Institutions by MinistryIDepartment should be placed on the website of the Ministry/De]
concerned. Annual Acc~untsof all legal entities who are provided grantsby public authorities I
made available through publication, directly or indirectly on the public authority's
Disclosures would be subject to provisions of Section 8 to 11 of the RTI Act.
1.8 Foreign Tours of PMMinisters
1.8.1 A large number of RTI queries are behg filed on official tours undertaken by ,Mi;
officials of various Government -Ministries/Departments. Information regarding the nature, F
period of foreign and domestic tours of Prime Minister are already disclosed on the PMO's u
' 1.8.2 As per DoPT's OM So. 11812012-IRdated 11-9-2012, public authorities m?y ~disclose the details of foreign and domestic official tows undext&en by the Mnister(s) and offid
rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of lxidka&+ye and Heads of Departments,:
January, 2012. 'Ihe disclosures may be updated once every qu&er. i
1.8.3 Information to be disclosed proactively may contain nature of the off$
places visited, ,the peaiod,nwnber of people includedin the official delegation and total cost of ig
undert&en. Exemptions under Section 8 of the RTI Act, 2005 may be kept in view while 5
the inf-tion. These instructions would not apply ta wmity aud intelligence organisatio~'
m n d schedule of the RTI Act, 2005 and CVOs of public authorities.
2.0 Guidelines for digital publication of proacjive disclosure under Section 4 I
2.1 Section 4 lays down that intb&on should be provided through many medim:
upon the level of the pubic authority and the recipient of infbrmation (for example, in case of
wall painting may be moE effective means of dissemination of information), and that m
proactive disclosure would gradually be made through internet. There is need for more cl
for web-W-publicationof information for disclosyre.
2.2 ihe Department of Information Tahology has been working on setting of t e c q
for government websites and the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public 4
has published guidelines for websites of Government These guidelines
- in which websites &ed to be designed and how infbrmation should be disclosed.
aad Department of Administrative Reforms & Pub* rak,vancff
to the standards of government guidelines as laidh- by Department of InformationJ
the following princiPld
should also be kept in view to ensure that are complete, easil
technology and platform neutral and in a the desired information
and user-ftiendly manner. i
(a) It should be the endeavor of all public authorities that all entitleineilts to citizens and
all transactions between the citizen and government are gradually made available through
computer based interf8ce.The 'Electronic Delivery of Services Bill, 2012' un&r formulation
in Government of India would provide the necei'&y impetus.
(b) Websita should containdetailed inf&mr$om the point of origin to the point of delivery
of entitlernents/sewimprovided by the Public Authorities to citizens.
(c) Orders of the public authority &;I?@& uploaded on the website immediately aAer they
have been issued.
(d) Website should contain all the relevant Acts, Rules, forms and other documents which are
normally accessed by citizens.
(e) Websites should have detailed directory of key contacts, details of officialsof the Public
(f) It is obligatory under Section 4(l)(b)(xiv) of the RTI Act for every Public Authority to
w v e l y disclose 'details in respect of the mformation, available to or held by if reduced
in an eledmnic f a ' . The website W d therefore indicate which digitally held infoxmation
is made available publicly over the internet and which is not.
(g) As departments reorganize their systems and processes to enable themselves for electronic
senice delivery, it is recommended that the requirement of bringing due transparency as
provided in the RTI Act is given adequate consideration at the design stage itself.
To maintain reliability of information and its real time updation, information generation in
a digital form should be automatically updated on the basis of key work outputs, like a
muster roll and salary slip (XREGA in Andhra Pradesh) or formalization of a Government
Order (Andhra Pradesh). Such an apprsach will lead to aubmation of proactive disclosure.
(i)infmnaton must be pesrntdfiol;a usx's perspective,
sinrplifLing it ebc. However, original Qcummin ori
made mailable because these are needed for community monitoring of g o v e m m ~ b
-(jj The 'Sational Data Sharing and ~ ~ i i t yPolicy' by the Department of Science and
T h l o g y is based on the principle that all publicly funded hfdmdionshould be readily
available-The policy has been n o t i W h March,2012 and the schedule should be stnjdly
l4P amaed to.
I Qt) 7 ' and data should be presented in open data formats wkeby it can be pulled
by di&rPat Application Prdtocol Interfaces to be used in different fashions more
qpopkte to *fitcontexts and needs. Wormation1data can, for insinslank,be presatd
in p o w d l visual ways using visualisation techniques. Such visual representation of
infonnationldata can give insights that may remain largely hidden in a textual or tabular
pmsentation of data. In some contexts, pictures and audiolvideo recordings etc. may be
more useful. There have been moves in some parts of the country to video record
Sibha meetings. A picture of a SREGA worksite, for instance, may id1 much more
ffmn words can. All such dieerent media and forms should be used for proactive
Every webpage displaying information or data proactively disclosed under the RTI ActC
&add, on the top right comer, displa3.the madatmy field 'Date lastqd&d(DDMMNY)'.
3.0 Guidelines for certain clauses of Section 4(1)@) to make.dkIwrnrr-e
3.1 The elements of information listed in the various sub-clauses of S& h)@)must be
disclosed in an integrated manner. For example, the finctiom and responsibilitiesofa p b k authority
cannot be undershod in isolation from the powers and fh'ctions of its employees,tfierrmr:d~&inform
its decision making processes and the rules, instruktions and manuals that are used mdrcescbarge of its
hctions. Description of one element presupposes the existence of another- So mczy plbtic authority
must endeavour to integrate the information mentioned in these sub-clauses while peiraring voluntary
3.2 Consrleringthat disclosure in regard to certain sub-clauses have been relatively weak,
detailed guidelines i r fou sub-clauses are given below
3.3 Guidelines fl r section 4(l)(b)(ii) - "the procedure followed in the -making
processes including channels of supenhion and
3.3.1 All Government Depar&nents have *fitduties and nzpm&Wes &the respective
Allocation of Business Rules (AOB) issuedby the a p q r k t e The constmmonal
. . provisions
and statutes each department is requiredto implement are dearly laid down in the AOB. The manner of
disposal of matters assigned to each DepartmentMinistry is descxibed in the Transaction of Business
Rules (TOB). Additionally, every department would have a specific set of schemes and development
programmes which they are required to implement directly or throu,gbth5r suborcfinate offices or other
designated agencies. These documents contain the specific opedons that evay Public Authority is
requiredto undertake in the come of implementingthe pro~jiyamm4asrhenre,Evay opgzaion mandated
under the AOB read with the TOB would be linked to a specific deasoMnakmg
.. chain All government-
officershave to follow laid down office pmxdure manual or the other rules which gives details of how
representations, petitions and applications G-omcitizens must be dealt with T e formats, and basic
steps of decision-making are briefly explained in such-manualsThese&xx@a~ amsbte the elements
of decision-making processes in general. ----- * -
3.3.2 Additionally, in the mutinework of gtmmance, government f b m t i h e s are required to
make decisions in a d k d a m y manner but broad guiding principles are laid down in some rule or the
other. For ample, the G a e d Financial Rules lay down proaxbs ibr a variety of opedons relating
to government finances. How sanction must be accorded for incurring expendim, how losses to
goymmx% must be repork4 how responsibility for bsses may be fix& many gawmment servant; how
is=-- --hcfgets,demand for grants are prepared and submitted; how public works must be sanctioned and
executed; how commodities and services may be procured by a public authori6; are all explained in
these manuals which are updated h m time to time. The challenge is to present a simplified version of the
decision-making procedure that is of i n t m to a common citizen.
3.3.3 In view of the above, the guidelines for detailing the decision making processes are as
(a) Every public authority should specifically identifjl the major outputsltangible rebultsl'
serviceslgoods, as applicable, that it is responsible for providing to the pubiic or to
whosoever is the client of the public authority.
(b) In respect of (a) above, the decision-making chain should be identified in the form of
a flaw chart explaining the%&grade %the plblic functionaries involved in the decision-
malung process and the speeific stages in the decisb-making hierarchy.
(c) The powers of each officer including ofspavision over subordinates involved
in the chain of decision-making mustdso be spbtout llFd b theflow chart or in a simple
bullet-pointed format in a text-box. The exceptional when such standard
decision-malddgprocesses may be-ovmidden aod by whom, should also be explained
clearly. Where decentralization of d c x k n 1 - 6 ~has occurred in order to grant greater
autonomy to public authorities, such pmced- must also be clearly explained.
(d) This design of presentation should then be extended to cover all statutory and
discretionaryoperations that are part of the public authority's mandate under the AOB read
with the TOB.
(e) tn the event of a public .anexisting decision-making process or adopting
an entirely new process, such changes must be explained in simple language in order to
enable people to easily understand the changes made.
3.4 Guidelines for Section 4(l)(b)(ivy'the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions".
3.4.1 Primarily, the intention of this clause is that every public authority should proactively disclose
the standards by which its performance should be judged. Sorms may bc qualitative or quantitative in
nature, or temporal or statutory norms. In order to ensure compliance with this clause, public authorities
would need to disclose norms for major functions that are being performed.
3.4.2 Citizen Charters, which are mandatory, for each central M/Iinistry/Department,Authority,are
good examples of vehicles created for laying down norms of performance for major functions and for
monitoring achievements against those standards.
3.4.3 Wherever norms have been specified far the discharge of its functions by any statute or-
government orders, they should be proactively disclosed, particularly linking them with the decision
making processes as detailed earlier. All Public Authorities should proactively disclose the following:
(a) Defining the services and goods that the partidar public authorityloffice provides directly
(or indirectly through any other ~encylwntractor).
(b) - Detailing and describing the by which the p b l i ~ ~ c a naccess and/or receive
the goods and servim that they are &led to, from the public dong with
the forms, if any prescribed, for use by both the applicant and the service m n g
&cy. Links to such forms (online), wherever available, should be given.
(c) Describing the conditions, criteria and priorities under which a person becomes eligible
for the goods and services, and umequently the afegoriesof people who are d t l e d to
receive the goods and services.
(d) Defining the quantitative and tangible parameters, (weight, size, £i-equency *I andtime
lines, that are applicable to the goods and services that are accessible to the public.
(e) Defining the qualitative and quantitative outcomes that each public authoritylofice plans to
achieve through the-goods and services that it was obligated to provide.
(f) Laying down individual responsibility for providing the goods and services (who is
responsible for delivery/implementationand who is responsible for supervision).
3 5 Guidelines for Section 4(l)(b)(xi)- "the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicatiqg
the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditurgs and reports on disbursements made".
3.5.1 The public authorities whle disclosing their budgets shall undertake the following:
(a) Keeping in view of the technical natuie of the government budgets, it is essential
that Ministries/Departrnents prep& simplified versions of their budgets which can be
understood easily by general public and place the&31public domain. Budgets and.their
periodic monitoring reports may also be pesented in a more user-kendly manner through
graphs and tables, etc.
(b) budget being prepared by M m e p a r t m e n t s of Governmart of India should
be p&daedy displayed and be us& ai a basis to identi& physical targets planned during
the budgetary period and the actual achievement vis-a-vis those targets. A monthly
programme implernentalion calendar method of reporting being followed in Karnataka is
(c) Funds released to various autonomous o q p h t i d statutory organizations1attached
offices/Public Sector Enterprises/ Societies/ SGOs/ ~ o n setc.should be put on the
website on a quarterly basis and budgets of such authorities may be made accessible
through links limn the website of the ,Mhistry/Department. If a subsidiary does not have
a website then the budgets and expenditure reports of such subsidiary authority may be
uploaded on the website of the principal PublicAuthority.
(d) Wherever required by law or executive instruction, sector specific allocations and
achievements of every deputmerrt or public authority (where feasible) must be highlighted.
For example: budget allocation and target f m g on gender, children, Scheduled Castes
and ScheduledTiibes and religious minorities should be specially highlighted. 'he sector-
wise breakup of these targets and outcorns must be given in simplified form to
enable the vulnerable segments of society to better understand the budgets of
3.6 Guidelines for Section I(l)(b)(xiv~tails respect of information, available to or held by
it, reduced in an electronic form.
3.6.1 On the one hand, this clause serve$ vely disclosing the progress
made in computerizing information under Sestiorn itl;a*adic manna. On the
other, it pmvides people with &ty about the kinds of electronic informati& b<although not held by
the public authority, is available to them. For example the stocks of ration available with individual fair
price shops may not be held by the District Civil Supplies (Mice,but may be available at a subordinate
- 3.6.2 Keeping in view the varied levels of computerization afrecords and documents in public
authorities, data about records that have been digitized may be proactively disclosed on the respective
websites, excluding those recards/files(informationthat are exempted under Section 8. The data about
digitized record may include the name of the record and any categorization or indexing used, the subject
matter and any other information that is required to be compiled in relation to a file as prescribed by
Manual of Office Procedure (and to be prescribed by MOP for electronic records that is under
finalization by DARPG), the division/section/Unit/officewhere the record is normally held; the person,
with designation, responsible for maintaining the record; and thelife span of the record, as prescribed in
the relevant record retention schedule.
4.0 Compliance with Provisions of suo motu (proactive) disclosure under the RTI Act
4.1 Each -1ic Auhority shall &sure that nd guidehes are M y opmtmdized within
a period of 6 ,months fiom the dateef their issue. "
4.2 Proactive disclosure as per these guidelines would require collating a large quantum of
information and digitizing it. For this purpose, =nis Autbdies may engage consultants or
outsource such work to expeditiously comply with For thispurpose, the planfnon-plan
h d s of that department may be utilized.
4.3 The Action Taken, Report on the complianoeof these guidelines should be sent, along with
the LXL Id,to the DoPT and Central Information C
on soon after the expiry of the initial period
of 6 months.
4.4 Each Ministryhbblic Authority should get its proactive disclosure package audited by third
party every year. The audit should cover camplianoe with the proactive disclosure guidelines as well as
adequacy of the items included inthe package-The audit should examine whether there are any other
rypsof mformation which muld be
Such audit should be done annually and should
be communicated to the Central In on annually through publication on their own
websites. All Public Authorities should proactively disclose the names of the third party auditors on their
website. For carrying out h r d party audit through outside consultants also, MinistriedPublic Authorities
should utilizetheirpldnon-plan funds.
4.5 The Central information Commission should examine the third-party audit reports for each
MinistryRublic Authority and offer advice/recommendationsto the concerned Ministries1 Public
4.6 Central Information Commission should carry out sample audit of few of the Ministries/Public
Authorities each year with regard to adequacy of items included as well as compliance of the Ministry1
Public Authority with these guidelines.
/4.7 Compliance with the proactive disclosure guidelines, its audit by third party and its
cromunicalim to the Central Information Commission should be included as RFD target.
5.1 Eaib Central Mn.istry/Public Authority s M d appoint a senior officer not below the rank of
a Joint Secre&ry and not below rank of Additional HOD in case of attached offices for ensuring
compliancewith the proactive disclosure guidehes. The Sodal Officer would work under the supervision
of the Secmtq of the Ministry/Departrnent or GHODof the attached office, as the case may be.
Soda! CIflica6 of C a 6 ~ ~ e n tand HOD sepamldy should also ensure that the f o n ~ o mbelow
the Ministry-- Office also disclose the information as per the proactive disclosure
6.0 &cgorgi to Parliament/Legislature
6.1 $3mggamaathas i d directions to all MnistriesDqmrtmentsto include a dq&r on RTI
Act in theit Aamd Reports submitted to the P a r b e n t . Details about compliance with.
disclow ~~shouldmandatorily be incl- the relevant chapter in Annual Report of Muusby/ I