Who holds the information regarding foreign deputation of IAS officers?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) seeking information regarding foreign training of a particular IAS officer who had been deputed to the Queen Elizabeth House programme in the Oxford University. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed that the department did not have any details about his foreign training. He enclosed a copy of the executive record sheet of the officer concerned which showed his various postings including his foreign training during a particular period. The PIO also transferred his RTI application to the BIFR where the officer concerned was posted at the relevant time. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) directed the PIO to obtain information from other government departments and to provide the same to the appellant. The PIO tried to seek some information from the Department of Economic Affairs which claimed not to have any such information.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant submitted that it was surprising that an IAS officer had undergone training abroad and the Government of India did not have any information about that.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that it is unlikely that such information or, at least, some of it should not be available with the Central Government. The Commission also stated that whenever an IAS officer is deputed for foreign training, cadre clearance is sought from the cadre controlling authority. The public authority where the officer concerned is posted at the relevant time reimburses certain costs of the foreign visit. On completion of the training, the officer concerned on return submitted certain report to the office where he is posted at the relevant time. Therefore, there would be some or the other information available with a number of public authorities. The Commission observed that this information should be provided by the cadre controlling authority of IAS officers by accessing such information from wherever it is available. The CIC directed the PIO to recheck their own records and also to find out from all other public authorities concerned with the foreign training of an IAS officer on deputation to the central government and provide the available information to the appellant.
Citation: Mr. S K Meena v. Department of Personnel and Training in File No.CIC/SM/A/2012/000279
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/855
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission