Information Commissioners stress on the need for training in respect of RTI Act, 2005
In two separate incidents, the information commissioners at two State Information Commissions (SIC) stressed on the need for training the Public Information Officers (PIOs) and First Appellate Authorities (FAA) in respect of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
S.F. Akbar, Information Commissioner at Tamil Nadu SIC inaugurated a training programme for government officials on the Right to Information Act at Thanjavur. Many officials from the government departments including the Superintendent of Police G. Dharmaraj, Deputy SPs, police officers and Revenue officers participated in the training programme that was organised to enlighten the officials on dealing with RTI related issues. The issues discussed were the need to reply to the RTI applications properly and within the prescribed time limit. Queries related to difficulties faced by the officials in dealing with the RTI applications and the like were talked about.
In Raichur, Shankar R. Patil, the Information Commissioner at Karnataka SIC, addressed the Public Information Officers (PIOs) and their representatives at the Zilla Panchayat meeting hall. He is on his official State-wide tour for hearing cases at the respective district headquarters and the visit to Raichur is a part of it. He lamented on the lack of basic knowledge of the RTI Act amongst the PIOs and stressed on the need to inculcate a thorough knowledge about the Act among PIOs through proper training and workshops.
Properly trained PIOs would lead to not only adequate supply of information to those seeking it, but would also decrease the workload at the level of information commission in term of the number of appeals received by them. Such denial of information to the citizens is a denial of their rights and there is a requirement of adequate training to the PIOs / FAAs to enable effective implementation of the RTI Act.