Report Card of RTI Responsiveness - The Hindu - 30/12/22
Recently, Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS) has released a report card of Responsiveness under RTI (Right to Information) Act 2021-22, which shows that Tamil Nadu has been the worst performing RTI responsiveness, furnishing only 14% of the information sought.
->Key Highlights of the Report Card:
-Maharashtra was second-worst, sharing 23% of the information asked for.
-Only 10 ICs provided full information in response to the RTI applications filed as part of this assessment. These included Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand and northeastern States of Sikkim, Nagaland and Tripura.
-The SIC of Bihar, which had failed to provide any information under the RTI Act for the assessments published in 2020 and 2021, significantly improved its performance and furnished 67% of the information sought.
-A large number of ICs across the country were returning cases without passing orders.
-Several ICs have an extremely low rate of disposal per commissioner.
-> Right to Information (RTI) Act: The Right to Information Act 2005 mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information. The basic object of the Right to Information Act is to empower the citizens, promote transparency and accountability in the working of the Government, contain corruption, and make our democracy work for the people in a real sense.
->Issues in the Implementation:
-Non-compliance in proactive disclosure by public authorities
-Hostile approach of Public Information Officers (PIOs) towards citizens and misinterpreting provisions of the Right to -Information (RTI) Act to conceal information.
-Lack of clarity on what public interest is and right to privacy
-Lack of political will and poor infrastructure
-Rejection of information requests made by active citizens on important matters of public importance
-Covert means of attacks and threats against RTI activists and applicants to suppress their voices
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