Rajouri: Terming Right to Information Act as a vital tool for quality development and effective public services delivery, Chief Information Commissioner, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai called for implementation of the act in letter and spirit.
The CIC was addressing the Roundtable of First Appellate Authorities (FAAs), Public Information Officers (PIOs) and Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO) of District Rajouri.
Secretary J&K SIC Ashok Pandita, Deputy Commissioner Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, ADDC A S Chib, SSP Yougal Manhas, ADC Qayoom Mir, Addl SP Mohd Yousuf, media persons from electronic and print media besides all FPAs, PIOs and APIOs of various government departments attended the Roundtable.
Deliberating on the objectives of the act the CIC said the act envisages to provide a transparent and accountable governance to the people with greater aim of establishing a corruption free society. Linking corruption with lack of information in public domain, he said easy and increased flow of information will enable the public to question public spending and social auditing of the government’s projects and schemes, which in turn, will enhance the quality of development and effectiveness in delivery of public services.
The CIC called upon the PIOs and FAAs present in the Roundtable to go through the J&K RTI Act, 2009 and Rules carefully to ensure that they perform their duties in conformity with the provisions of the Act. He said that slackness in the implementation of Section 4 of the Act pertaining to mandatory and suo moto disclosure of information through websites is a big concern which needs to be addressed by all the Public Authorities. He also impressed upon them to establish dedicated RTI cells in their offices to facilitate applicants and ensure time bound replies.
He said that there is sense of fear associated with the act and PIO and APIOs should shun it and share information more openly as enshrined under the act to make the system more transparent and accountable.
CIC made detailed presentation of various sections and rules under RTI act, responded to the queries raised by the participants and also distributed booklets on RTI Act among the participants.
Earlier Dr Shahid informed that of 3300 RTI applications received in the district in last two years more than 3200 stands disposed off. He further informed that in past six months massive awareness has been carried in every nook and corner of the district in more than 180 Camps and implementation of RTI is monitored and reviewed on monthly basis by District Administration.