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RTI implementation in India today: Governments Assessment S. K. Sarkar Department of Personnel and Training October 12, 2009 New Delhi.

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Presentation on theme: "RTI implementation in India today: Governments Assessment S. K. Sarkar Department of Personnel and Training October 12, 2009 New Delhi."— Presentation transcript:

1 RTI implementation in India today: Governments Assessment S. K. Sarkar Department of Personnel and Training October 12, 2009 New Delhi

2 2 RTI: Achievements so far The basic tenets of the Act have been implemented and the institutional mechanism is in place The institution of Information Commission has assumed a pivotal position Civil Society Organizations and Media have been and continue to be active in ensuring the implementation of the Act Centre and State Government departments have initiated training of key functionaries 1 2 3 4

3 Project Background To proactively identify the factors constraining the implementation of RTI Act and suggest remedial measures in order to ensure that the intended benefits of the act are delivered to the citizens Objective of the Independent Study

4 4 Survey Methodology 1. Sample Survey in 5 States selected on the basis of literacy, population, income, geographical spread etc. (Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Assam) 2. 6 Districts in each of the States selected through Systematic Random Sampling Technique 3.Sample Size decided on the basis of 95% confidence level: 1. Awareness Survey : ~5000 2. Information Seeker : ~2000 3. Information Provider : 288

5 – Only 13% of the rural population and 33% in urban population are aware of RTI Act – Only 12% of the women and 26% of men were aware of RTI Act RTI Awareness 1 – The awareness of the citizens on their rights as an appellant under RTI, is minimal. RTI study: Key Observations

6 – More than 26% of the citizens had to pay more than 3 visits to submit applications and 47% said no sign boards were present to help them with the process. Convenience of Filing Requests 2 – Lack of an updated list of PIOs – Need for citizen friendly and standardized modes of payment – Inadequate help was provided to applicants/ non friendly attitude of PIOs – More that 75% of citizens were dissatisfied with the quality of information provided RTI study: Key Observations

7 Large pendency of cases with a wait time of 4-12 months in most of the States RTI study: Key Observations Efficiencies at Information Commission 3 Limited cases of penalties imposed on PIOs (Penalty imposed was 1.7 % of the cases decided in 2007) as per Section 20(1). 47% of the citizens did not receive replies to their RTI application with 30 days

8 RTI study: Key Observations Enhanced accountability and clarity in role at Government level 4 – A variance in role/ ownership of SIC and Nodal Department in implementation of the Act – Inadequate planning at a Public Authority level – Inadequate processes, infrastructure or resources with the Information Commission

9 Record Management More than 38% of PIOs stated ineffective record management system for delay in processing 43% of the PIOs were not aware of the record management guidelines Key Observations and Recommendations Common Infrastructure & Capacity Building 5 Training/Knowledge 45% of PIOs mentioned that they had not been provided training in RTI Training is limited to the provision of the RTI Act, key aspects related to public dealing, motivation, technology, service levels, etc are not addressed Usage of Information technology Lack of software application capturing details mentioned in Section 25(3) Lack of software application to improve efficiency at the Information Commission RTI study: Key Observations

10 10 Recommendations 1. Establishment of RTI as a Brand through a mass awareness campaign – To take care of linguistic and local relevance, recommended both at Centre and State levels – Displays at Information Commissions and PA for information to citizens on their RTI rights – Awareness initiatives at central and state levels RTI Awareness 1

11 Improving Convenience in Filing Requests 2 6. Defining common minimum payment channels (accessible remotely) and introducing new channels like RTI envelopes and Electronic Payment Gateway 5. Integration of RTI with e-district scheme wherein e-district kiosks can act as APIOs 2. CSCs to be nominated as APIOs and act as application collectors 3. State Governments to accord APIO status to Post offices 4. Creation of RTI Call centers and RTI Portal to accept RTI applications Recommendations

12 Improving Efficiencies at Information Commission 3 -Hearings through Video Conferencing – Opening more offices of the Information Commissions in the states (12(7), 15(7)) – Software application for managing the administration, the hearing process and passing of orders to improve the process efficiency – Passing orders based on the merit of the case – Usage of standard templates for disposition of case – Induction period for new Information Commissioners Recommendations

13 Enhanced accountability and clarity in role at Government level 4 Create an RTI Implementation Cell headed by a senior Officer at the State and Central level. Create Public Authoritys RTI Cell (PARTI Cell) at Public Authority level Create Knowledge Resource Centre which will be responsible for Knowledge Management Recommendations

14 Common Infrastructure & Capacity Building 5 Capacity building for Training/Knowledge Management Each Public Authority to formulate a RTI Ready Plan Improve performance levels of PIOs and AAs Allocation of 1% of plan budget for carrying out the changes. Record Management Re-organization of record management system to promote information management. A separate study has been proposed to improve the current record management guidelines and make them RTI friendly Recommendations

15 Institutionalising Third Party Audit 6 Institutionalize annual third party audits to monitor the performance of Public Authorities with regards to RTI Act implementation SIC websites should have a feedback mechanism through which citizens can report non compliance by individual Public Authorities Recommendations

16 Governments response 1 Capacity Building Over 90,000 stakeholders trained by various ATIs under the GOI-UNDP Capacity Building for Access to Information.. Guides published for various stakeholders by DoPT in Hindi & English and in Regional languages by ATIs. A Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Strengthening, Capacity Building and Awareness Generation launched in November 2008

17 Governments response 3 Awareness Generation Comprehensive RTI Portal ( launched in August Publicity Campaigns being telecast and broadcast on TV and Radio. Posters displayed in 35,000 Post offices in Rural India Online Certificate Course on RTI launched in. It is targeted at all stakeholders and is free of cost to all citizens.

18 Governments response 4 Stakeholder Analysis & Systemic Evaluation Focused group Discussions held with various stakeholders An Independent Study being commissioned to make proactive disclosures under the Act more effective

19 Governments response 5 Agenda Ahead Legislative initiatives to strengthen RTI Act Implementation of recommendations of various studies Capacity building, awareness generation Strengthening the Information Commissions IT interventions/ E- Governance on RTI.

20 Venue for Consultation of Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners scheduled for 14 th October 2009 at Vigyan Bhawan shifted to Auditorium, Delhi Sectt at 10.00 am Registration starts at 9.30am

21 Thank You

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