11 Jan 2014

V. Narayanasamy Inaugurates National Workshop on RTI

Union Minister of State for Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Shri V. Narayanasamy
Union Minister of State for Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Shri V. Narayanasamy has said that suo motu disclosure plays a very important role in the Right to Information regime. 

In addition to the provisions in the RTI Act about proactive disclosure, detailed guidelines on suo motu disclosure have been issued by the Government. Inaugurating a National Workshop on Right to Information in New Delhi today, he said “Still I feel that there is need for more seriousness and efforts by the Public authorities regarding suo motu disclosure. I am glad that the topic for today’s panel discussion deals with this very relevant issue”. 

The Minister said the RTI Act is one of the biggest achievements of this democracy. The Act, which is one of the most powerful legislations of its kind in the world, is also the closest to the citizen’s heart. Its success lies in its simplicity. It has empowered the citizenry in an unprecedented manner to participate in nation building by promoting transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority. 

Shri V. Narayanasamy said that the Government has taken a major step in bringing the regime of RTI to the door steps of citizens. A facility to file RTI applications online for all Central Ministries has been launched and is running successfully. 

DoPT has recently launched an online compilation of its Office Memorandums and notifications on Right to Information Act, 2005 with topic based search facility. Further, an updated and consolidated Guide on RTI for the use of all the stake holders has also been published online. There are number of such practises on RTI being followed by other Public Authorities. He said “I am sure all the public authorities would try to replicate such best practises on RTI in their respective departments”. 

The Minister said that the role of Central Information Commission in the success of RTI Act is also very important. The recent guidelines on suo motu disclosure assign a crucial role to CIC in the compliance mechanism. 

Each public authority should send its annual audit report on suo motu disclosure to CIC. CIC should examine such audit reports and offer advice to the concerned ministry/department. CIC should also carry sample audit of few public authorities every year for ensuring effective implementation of provisions related to suo motu disclosure. 

Shri V. Narayanasamy expressed the hope that this workshop would further enhance awareness about the Right to Information, particularly about the suo motu disclosure obligations of the public authorities. “I am sure that by providing a platform for knowledge sharing, this workshop would be beneficial to all the stakeholders”, the Minister added. 

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