Government calls for application for the post of Chief Information Commissioner at CIC
As per Office Memorandum issued vide F. No.4/7/2014 – IR dated October 24, 2014 issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), applications have been invited for the post of Chief Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission (CIC). The appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner shall be made by President on the recommendation of a three-member selection committee headed by the Prime Minister and comprising the Leader of Opposition and a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
The Central Information Commission is a body constituted under the Right to Information Act, 2005 to exercise the powers conferred on and to perform the functions assigned to it under the Act. It is located in New Delhi andcomprises of a Chief Information Commissioner and upto ten Information Commissioners. The powers and functions of the Chief Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission are as per the RTI Act. The Act provides that the Chief Information Commissioner shall be person of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass-media or administration and governance. The Chief Information Commissioner shall not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any State or Union Territory, as the case may be, or hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession. Cessation/termination of holding of office of profit, pursuing any profession or carrying any business is a condition precedent to the appointment of a person as Chief Information Commissioner.
The post of Chief Information Commissioner has been lying vacant after the superannuation of Rajiv Mathur on August 22, 2014. All the preceding chiefs at CIC have been retired bureaucrats and the government has followed the principal of appointing the senior most information commissioner as the Chief. The Chief Information Commissioner holds the office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office or till he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. The salary and allowances payable to the Chief Information Commissioner shall be the same as that of the Chief Election Commissioner, subject to adjustment of the pensionary/retirement benefits availed by him, if any, in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
The DoPT has called upon the persons fulfilling the criteria for appointment as Chief Information Commissioner and interested for appointment to the post to send their particulars by 24th November, 2014. Persons, who are serving under the State/Central Government or any other Organization, are expected to send their particulars through proper channel.
Activists had called upon the government to fill the vacant post at an early date. The former Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi has said that the process of appointing the seniormost information commissioner as the Chief was a silly idea. He has called for a transparent selection process and and the incumbent should have demonstrated some administrative skills as well as inclination for transparency. The advertisement indicates that the government wishes to for a fresh face to head the transparency panel. Earlier, 553 applications have been received for the vacant posts of information commissioner.