SIC issues notice to BOPEE for failing to implement section 4 of RTI Act
The State Information Commission (SIC) of Jammu and Kashmir has issued a notice to the Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE) for failing to comply with the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Following explicit directions from the Chief Information Commissioner of the SIC, the notice was sent to the BOPEE chairman asking him to take immediate steps to implement 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 J&K RTI Act, 2009.
The notice said that the board has failed miserably in implementing the mandatory section 4 of the state RTI act requiring suo-motu disclosure of information by the public authorities. The notice directed the chairman to submit to the Commission a compliance report in this respect within seven days of the receipt of the notice. It also warned the BOPEE of strict action against the public authority under various provisions of the law, if it fails to comply with the order.
The notice came after the paper selling scam came to light and the GR Sufi directed the commission’s staff to check whether the transparency act had been properly implemented by the board or not. The BOPEE is already in news for the alleged involvement of its former chairman in the scam.
Readers may recall that every public authority was required to make suo-moto disclosures within 120 days from the commencement of the RTI Act as per section 4 of the RTI Act.