Rajya Sabha: Have the departments not implemented section 4 of RTI Act?
In the Rajya Sabha vide unstarred question no-2100 Shrimati Maya Singh, MP, raised certain queries:-
(a) whether it is a fact that the Public Authorities have to provide information regarding 17 matters on their websites under the Section 4 of Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005;
(b) if so, whether majority of departments have not done so due to which people are not able to get information; and
(c) the steps taken by the Ministry in this regard to make departments to provide the information on their respective websites as per the provision of the Act so that willing people could get information easily?
Shri V. Narayanasamy, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office replied as under:-
(a): The Act casts obligation on every Public Authority to take steps to provide information regarding 17 items through various means of communications, including internet so that public have minimum resort to the use of the Act to obtain information.
(b): As per provisions of the Section 25(5) of the RTI Act, 2005 if it appears to Central Information Commission that the practice of a public authority in relation to the exercise of its functioning under the Act does not conform with the provisions or spirit of the RTI Act, which would also include compliance with the provisions of Section (4), it may recommend steps which ought to be taken by that authority for promoting such a conformity.
(c): The Government vide office Memorandums No. 1/18/2007-IR dated 21st September, 2007 and 12/192/2009-IR dated 20th June, 2010 and through various means, including training of stakeholders, publishing and distribution of guides, have been impressing upon the public authorities to disclose maximum information proactively so that citizens need not resort to filing of RTI applications to access information available with the public authorities. The Government had also set up a Task Force in May, 2011 to review the provision regarding suo-motu disclosure and to recommend measures for its better implementation and enforcement. The Task Force has recommended guidelines for better implementation of suo-motu disclosure.