Odisha Legislative Assembly makes voluntary disclosure u/s 4(1b) of the RTI Act
As per section 4(1)(b) Every public authority shall publish within one hundred and twenty days from the enactment of this Act,- (i) the particulars of its organisation, functions and duties; (ii) the powers and duties of its officers and employees; (iii) the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability; (iv) the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions; (v) the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions; (vi) a statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control; (vii) the particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof; (viii) a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public; (ix) a directory of its officers and employees; (x) the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations; (xi) the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made; (xii) the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes; (xiii) particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it; (xiv) details in respect of the information, available to or held by it, reduced in an electronic form; (xv) the particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use; (xvi) the names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers; (xvii) such other information as may be prescribed and thereafter update these publications every year; of the RTI Act, every Public Authority shall voluntarily publish 17 types of information within one hundred and Twenty days from the enactment of the Right to Information Act i.e., October 12, 2005. This section is termed as soul of the Act. Because it bestows responsibility on every public authority to make proactively disclosed information about 17 subjects which is essential for the citizens to understand the basic functioning of the said office, its mission, vision, objectives, activities etc. As a Public Authority defined under section 2(h) “public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted (a) by or under the Constitution; (b) by any other law made by Parliament; (c) by any other law made by State Legislature; (d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any- (i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed; (ii) non-Government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government; of the RTI Act, the office of the Speaker, Odisha Legislative Assembly (OLA) should have complied with the said provision of the Act by 12th October, 2005. But astonishingly, the office of the Speaker did not make any suo moto disclosure of information and continued to ignore it. RTI Activists of the state raise this issue in the public domain and bring it to the notice of the Commission several times about non-compliance of the important provisions of the Act by the office of the Speaker. But the Information Commission maintained ominous silence on this issue.
However, to enforce it, an attempt was made in 2010 in the form of submitting RTI Application under section 6(1) of the RTI Act to get the copy of the proactively disclosed information made by the office of the Speaker, OLA. Finding no response, the complaint case was filed in the office of the Commission in January, 2011. After one year, Sri Tarun Kanti Mishra, State Chief Information Commissioner heard the Complaint case No. 76/2011 on 14.5.2012 and directed the PIO, office of OLA to provide the information within 3 months.
Finding no information within 3 months, an application was filed again on dated 16.11.2012 to the PIO, office of OLA seeking the copy of the proactively disclosed information. Finding no information within statutory time limit, a complaint was filed the State Information Commission on 15.1.2013. The Commission has issued notice to the PIO for hearing on 25.4.13. The PIO has supplied 138 pages copy of all proactively disclosed information free of cost on 22.3.13 and webhosted it. It is available in the website of Parliamentary Affairs, Govt. of Odisha (http://rtiodisha.gov.in/dept_home.php?id=21&oid=7244&sid=2&d=dept)