Quick look at the annual report of the CIC which was released yesterday
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has released its annual report for the year 2013-2014 on 04.03.2015. However, the same is yet to be put on its website http://www.cic.gov.in/
1. As per the report, there are 2,276 public authorities out of which merely one fourth of which are fulfilling the requirements of suo-motu disclosure.
2. As per the data for the rejection of applications filed under the RTI Act, the ministry of corporate affairs rejected the maximum number of applications in terms of percentage (28.85 %) followed by the PMO (20.49 %) and Ministry of Finance (19.16 %).
3. The reasons for the rejection of the RTI applications show an interesting feature - a large number of RTI applications are being rejected for reasons which are other than those listed out in the RTI Act. The RTI Act provides for rejection of an application for under Section 8 (exemptions), section 9 and section 24 while the section 11 provides the procedure in case of third party information. As per the statistics, nearly 44 per cent of RTI applications were rejected by the public authorities citing reasons as “others” and not giving any of the reasons in the RTI Act for rejecting the requests for information.
1. Even after almost a decade of coming into existence of the RTI Act, if the Ministry/ Department/ Public Authorities are not able to implement the section 4 of the RTI Act, it needs examination why despite having good ICT infrastructure, the public authorities are not able to use it for strengthening the system of mandatory disclosure norms.
2. The figures of pro-active disclosure are based on the returns submitted by the public authorities in an online pro-forma prescribed by the CIC i.e. the figures are not independently verified but are based merely on self declaration.
3. Even in cases where the disclosure has been made, the quality, citizen friendliness, and the periodicity of dissemination of information remains suspect.
4. The data calls for examination of the reasons for the rejection of RTI Applications on grounds other than those listed in the RTI Act.