LIP SERVICE TO TRANSPARENCY
Astudy conducted by transparency watchdog Central Information Commission (CIC) has concluded that most Central government department websites lack suo moto disclosure of public information under a mandatory provision of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. While this observation may seem pretty self-evident to the aam aadmi, it also strengthens the growing view that the Modi sarkar is less keen on transparency, never mind its public utterances.
The evaluation was conducted by a committee comprising former chief information commissioner A.N. Tewari and former information commissioner M.M. Ansari. The aim was to ascertain the quality of suo moto disclosures under Section 4 of the RTI Act made by various public authorities. The committee evolved an evaluation format and requested all public authorities to fill it up.
Out of 2,092 public authorities registered with the commission, feedback was received from only 838. Among its major findings, the CIC report said missing information largely relates to “policy on transfer and posting of senior officers deployed at important and sensitive places; details of domestic and foreign visits undertaken by the senior officials and sources and methods of funding political parties or identification of donors”, among others.