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Obligations Of Public Authorities


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Obligations Of Public Authorities

  1. 1. Obligations of Public Authorities The Right to Information Act M.L.PANDIA MA,LLB,PGDPM.
  2. 2. <ul><li>An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right </li></ul><ul><li>to information for citizens to secure access to information </li></ul><ul><li>under the control of </li></ul><ul><li>Public Authorities, </li></ul><ul><li>in order to promote transparency and accountability in the </li></ul><ul><li>working of every public authority, the constitution of a </li></ul><ul><li>Central Information Commission and State Information </li></ul><ul><li>Commissions and for matters connected therewith or </li></ul><ul><li>incidental thereto. </li></ul>Long Title of the Act
  3. 3. <ul><li>public authority means- </li></ul><ul><li>any authority or body or institution of self-government </li></ul><ul><li>established or constituted- </li></ul><ul><li>by or under the Constitution ; </li></ul><ul><li>by any other law made by Parliament; </li></ul><ul><li>by any other law made by State Legislature; </li></ul><ul><li>s.2 (h) </li></ul>Public Authority
  4. 4. <ul><li>… public authority </li></ul><ul><li>means- </li></ul><ul><li>any authority or body or institution of self- government established or constituted- </li></ul><ul><li>(d) by notification issued or order </li></ul><ul><li>made by the appropriate Government, </li></ul><ul><li>s.2 (h) </li></ul>Public Authority Contd..
  5. 5. <ul><li>… and includes any- </li></ul><ul><li>body owned, controlled or substantially financed; </li></ul><ul><li>(ii) non-Government organisation substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government; </li></ul><ul><li>s.2 (h) </li></ul>Public Authority Contd..
  6. 6. <ul><li>Obligations of Public Authorities - </li></ul><ul><li>Every public authority shall maintain all its records duly </li></ul><ul><li>catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form </li></ul><ul><li>which facilitates the right to information under this Act … </li></ul><ul><li>s.4(1) (a) </li></ul>Obligations of Public Authorities
  7. 7. <ul><li>… obligations of public authorities - </li></ul><ul><li>… and ensure that all records that are appropriate to be computerised are, within a reasonable time and subject to availability of resources, computerised and connected through a network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated; s.4(1) (a) </li></ul>Obligations of Public Authority Contd..
  8. 8. Pro-active Disclosure <ul><li>Every public authority shall publish within one hundred and </li></ul><ul><li>twenty days from the enactment of this Act- </li></ul><ul><li>Particulars of organization/ functions and duties </li></ul><ul><li>Powers and duties of officers / employees </li></ul><ul><li>Procedure followed for decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Norms set for discharge of functions … </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>v) Rules/regulations/instructions/ manuals /records held </li></ul><ul><li>vi) Categorie s of documents held by it </li></ul><ul><li>vii) Arrangements for citizen consultations </li></ul><ul><li>viii) Details of boards , Councils, Committees, etc… </li></ul>Pro-active Disclosure Contd..
  10. 10. <ul><li>Directory of officers and employees </li></ul><ul><li>Monthly remuneration received by officers and employees </li></ul><ul><li>Budget , Plan and expenditure details </li></ul><ul><li>Manner of execution of subsidy programs </li></ul><ul><li>Concession details </li></ul>Pro-active Disclosure Contd..
  11. 11. <ul><li>Details of material in electronic form held by the office </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities available to citizens for accessing information </li></ul><ul><li>Details of PIO s </li></ul><ul><li>Such other information as prescribed. </li></ul><ul><li>And update these publications every year </li></ul>Pro-active Disclosure Contd..
  12. 12. <ul><li>Publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing decisions which affect the public </li></ul><ul><li>Provide reasons for its administrative / quasi judicial decisions to affected persons </li></ul>Information on Policies and Decision
  13. 13. <ul><li>A template for preparing the Information Handbook </li></ul><ul><li>under Section 4 (1)(b) is available at </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Template for Information Disclosure
  14. 14. Dissemination of Information <ul><li>Provide as much information suo motu to the public through various means of communications, including internet </li></ul><ul><li>Such that public sparingly resort to the use of the Right to Information Act to obtain information. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Dissemination of Information <ul><li>Published material may be made available to the public at a reasonable price conforming to rules, if any, made under the Act. </li></ul><ul><li>Disseminate Information through notice boards, news papers, public announcements, media broadcasts, the internet or any other means. </li></ul>Contd..
  16. 16. Designation of Information Officers <ul><li>Obligation of Public Authorities at all levels to designate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Information Officers in all administrative units/offices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assistant Public Information Officers at all sub divisional/sub – district levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appellate Officers who are senior in rank to the PIOs </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Transfer of Misdirected Requests <ul><li>The Public Authority has to transfer requests for information </li></ul><ul><li>which is held by other public authorities or </li></ul><ul><li>(ii) the subject matter of which is more closely connected with another public authority </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer requests to the other public authority within five days of receipt of request </li></ul><ul><li>Inform the applicant immediately about such transfer </li></ul>
  18. 18. Decisions of Information Commissions <ul><li>The CIC or SIC has the power to require the Public Authority </li></ul><ul><li>to </li></ul><ul><li>(a) secure compliance with the provisions of this Act, including- </li></ul><ul><ul><li>providing access to information, if so requested, in a particular form; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(ii) appointing a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(iii) publishing certain information or categories of information; </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><ul><li>(iv) making necessary changes to its practices in relation to the maintenance, management and destruction of records; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(v) enhancing the provision of training on the right to information for its officials; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(vi) by providing it with an annual report in compliance with clause ( b ) of sub-section ( 1 ) of section 4; </li></ul></ul>Decisions of Information Commissions Contd..
  20. 20. … Implement Decisions of Information Commissions <ul><ul><li>( b ) require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(c) impose any of the penalties provided under this Act; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(d) reject the application </li></ul></ul>Contd..
  21. 21. Annual Report –Information Commission <ul><li>Furnish following details to the IC </li></ul><ul><li>the number of requests received by the public authority </li></ul><ul><li>the number of decisions where applicants were not entitled to access to the documents detailing the provisions of the Act under which these decisions were made </li></ul><ul><li>the number of appeals referred to the CIC or SIC detailing the nature of the appeals and the outcome of the appeal </li></ul>
  22. 22. Annual Report-Information Commission <ul><li>particulars of any disciplinary action taken against any officer in respect of the administration of this Act; </li></ul><ul><li>the amount of charges collected by each public authority under the Act; </li></ul><ul><li>any facts which indicate an effort by the public authorities to administer and implement the spirit and intention of the Act; </li></ul><ul><li>recommendations for reform. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Creating a Right to Information Regime <ul><li>Provide access to Information in the form in which it is sought; </li></ul><ul><li>Designate a PIO/ APIO/ AO </li></ul><ul><li>Publish information suo motu by taking proactive steps; </li></ul><ul><li>Bring in necessary changes in existing systems of maintenance, management and destruction of records ; </li></ul><ul><li>Organise training of officials for effective implementation; and </li></ul><ul><li>Submit annual report. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Key Points <ul><li>Designate as many PIOs /APIOs as are necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Designate PIOs who are relatively senior in rank </li></ul><ul><li>Uniformity among Public Authorities in their publication of materials </li></ul><ul><li>to facilitate easy access to Information </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare guides / handbooks for PIOs, APIOs and Appellate Officers. </li></ul><ul><li>A simplified “Do’s and Don’ts” list could be prepared by every public authority for use as a check list by the APIOs, PIOs and AOs. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that information is easily available with the PIOs to enable them to provide information to the citizens. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Thank You M.L.PANDIA