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On implementation of RTI Act 2005: Government’s initiatives Department of Personnel and Training November 4, 2008, Delhi.

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Presentation on theme: "On implementation of RTI Act 2005: Government’s initiatives Department of Personnel and Training November 4, 2008, Delhi."— Presentation transcript:

1 On implementation of RTI Act 2005: Government’s initiatives Department of Personnel and Training November 4, 2008, Delhi

2 RTI regime in India: facts RTI Act 2005 operational since October 2005 Information Commissions at the central level as well as at the state levels (except in J&K) are working Capacity building of different stakeholders on RTI is in progress since December 2005 GOI has drawn up program for smooth implementation of the RTI Act, during 11 th Five Year Plans Slide 2

3 RTI Act 2005: looking back to see ahead Government of India Recognizes the need to remove constraints in early implementation of the RTI Act Is keen to ensure that intended benefits out of RTI regime go to the citizens Wants to know the factors ( institutional, structural, systemic, process related, analytical, etc), that facilitate or hinders implementation of the Act. Launched study on RTI captioned “ Understanding key issues and constraints in effective implementation of the RTI Act” during 2008-09 through an independent agency Slide 3

4 Scope of the Study Review of RTI implementation from Information Provider side based on systemic data collection and Analysis. Categorization of information being sought under RTI State of Implementation Matrix Understand implementation issues at state and central level Review of the experience of various categories on Information Seekers Issues faced by Information seeker while accessing information under RTI Prepare a diagnosis of the current situation and recommend changes to be initiated Analysis of data collected from Information Providers and Information Seekers to arrive at generic implementation problems Prepare an action plan for implementation of the recommended changes Design an implementation plan for the proposed recommendations

5 Slide 5 Approach and Methodology Assessment of the current situation Recommend Changes based on the assessment Prepare an Implementation Plan Participative Approach to the whole study involving NGOs, CBOs, and Media Information Seeker Survey in five states and central Ministries Information Provider Survey in five states and Central Ministries RTI Case Studies RTI successful Practices from States International Benchmarking with Canada and Mexico Design of State of Implementation Matrix Design of Issue Identification Framework Identification of Process Gaps based on survey results, observations and case studies Recommend changes to plug process gaps Build in successful practices into the process Capacity gaps Infrastructure gaps Prepare a detailed action plan for implementation of the proposed changes Three Workshops to identify issues and validate the findings Two Workshops/FGD to discuss the recommendations and Implementation plan

6 Findings of the Study Status on Key Enablers

7 Slide 7 Key Findings: Compliance Limited SIC reviews Out of 5 States, only Andhra Pradesh has established a mechanism for regular review of Public Authorities for RTI Implementation Low disposal rate of 2 nd appeals 79.4% of the appeals received in Maharashtra in 2007 are still pending Guidelines for Information Providers and Seekers have not been widely disseminated It was observed during one on one discussions with the PIOs that in Assam that they needed comprehensive guidelines for RTI request processing especially related to rejection clauses of the act

8 Slide 8 Findings: Information Disclosure PIOs are not aware of the Proactive Disclosure done by their department 77% of the Central PIOs were found to be aware 84% of the PIOs in Andhra Pradesh were found to be aware Only 47% PIOs aware in Maharashtra SIC reports do not contain the status of Proactive Disclosures done by Public Authorities Out of the 5 States being surveyed, only 2 states (Assam and Andhra Pradesh) SIC reports show the status of proactive disclosure done There is no monitoring mechanism for Proactive Disclosure in the 4 states Andhra Pradesh has formed a committee for review of proactive disclosures done by the PAs in the state

9 Slide 9 Findings: Information Disclosure Lack of standard dissemination channels for proactive disclosure Central PAs were found to use internet for dissemination (93.75%) Majority of PAs in Assam used Printed Books for dissemination (83%) Information Needs of citizens not being captured to improve Proactive Disclosure None of the PAs in surveyed states have made an effort to capture information needs and reflect them in their Proactive Disclosures Central and State schemes do not contain RTI specific guidelines for proactive information disclosure

10 Slide 10 Findings: Capacity Building Lack of budget provisions for RTI Implementation at the state No separate RTI budget provision at state level Budget allocation only for SIC and Training (All four states surveyed) Ineffective Record Management Systems Record Management System being cited as the major reason for delay in processing of RTI application (Above 80% in Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Maharashtra) Low levels of Training among PIOs and AAs 46% PIOs at Central level, 72% PIOs in Assam and 50% of PIOs in Andhra Pradesh have not received training

11 Key Findings of the Study Challenges faced by Citizen… Applicant Side of the Story

12 Slide 12 Key Findings: Easy Access to Information Lack of a signage for PIO identification and location at the PA 59% of the respondents said that there was no or little signage present at the PA office for locating the PIO Lack of easy channel for Information request filing 85% of the respondents said that they had filed their application at the PA office… would have preferred more convenient channel Non standard payment channels for application fee submission Use of treasury challans and court fee stamps inconveniencing the information seekers Also in some cases, used as a means to discourage filing of applications

13 Slide 13 Key Findings: Easy Access to Information Multiple visits to the PA office for filing RTI Applications More than 33% of the respondents said that they had to visit the PA office multiple times for filing a RTI Application Cost of filing an RTI application is estimated at Rs. 150-300 in Urban Areas and Rs. 100-200 in rural areas (Estimates collected, includes cost of lost wages) PIO attitude when filing a RTI Application 54% of the respondents surveyed said the PIOs has apathetic attitude towards their RTI request Incomplete and incorrect information being provided by the PIOs This was identified as the major reason for dissatisfaction among Information seekers Lack of Knowledge about RTI among citizens More than 50% of the respondents surveyed said that they could ask for information about Private enterprises under RTI Act

14 Key Findings of the Study Challenges faced by Government Staff… Other Side of the Story

15 Slide 15 Information Disclosure Lack of standard procedures and compliance mechanism inhibiting proactive disclosure Capacity Building for service delivery Lack of resources (Budget, Infrastructure) for effective RTI implementation in departments having high RTI requests Limited usage of technology leading to low performance on service levels Adequate and quality training is not being provided to the PIOs Easy Access No Standardized process for filing RTI application Lack of support facility provided to the citizens for filing the RTI application Compliance to RTI provisions No clear Implementation Guidelines by the state Lack of Monitoring & review mechanism in place to ensure compliance of RTI provisions Awareness Creation Ineffective usage and low awareness level of RTI Lack of Promotional Activities Citizens to secure access to information from Public Authorities To promote transparency and accountability of public authorities Objectives Enabling Strategies Gap Areas Identification of Challenges in Government Set-up State of Implementation Matrix

16 Slide 16 State of Implementation Matrix State of Implementation being designed to capture objective implementation data from the states. In current situation due non availability of standard data points from across the states, it is difficult to build in qualitative factors into the matrix. Due to the fact that qualitative factors have not been built in, the matrix cannot be used to measure the implementation performance across the states It can only be used as a guiding tool for ascertaining the implementation progress in a particular state over a period of time.

17 Immediate future Agenda Acting upon recommendations of various studies Facilitating easy access to information Strengthening Information Commissions Capacity building Awareness on RTI

18 Thank You

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