Ensure strict adherence to RTI Act provisions: GAD

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Jammu, Dec 17: J&K government on Friday asked all public offices to ensure strict adherence to the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005 and facilitate speedy dissemination of information to the information seekers.

General Administration Department (GAD) Secretary DrPiyushSingla, in a circular, also instructed that all Administrative Secretaries, Heads of Departments and Managing Directors would conduct fortnightly reviews to ascertain the status of disposal of RTI applications received in their offices and furnish the compliance report in this regard to the GAD.

“The objective of the Right to Information Act, 2005 is to empower citizens by way of promoting transparency and accountability in the working of the government and eradicating corruption to make democracy work for the people in real sense. An informed citizen is well equipped to keep necessary vigil on the instruments of governance and make the government more accountable towards the citizens,” DrSingla said.

The circular further mentioned that all “government agencies come under the purview of the Act, and it contained mechanisms devised on multiple levels to ensure that the Act is followed in letter and spirit.”

Post-reorganization, the Right to Information Act, 2005 was made applicable to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with a view to empower the citizen as a responsible and active participant in the workings of the government. “Although significant strides have been made by the various departments, offices and other agencies of the government in realizing the vision of the Right to Information Act, 2005, more steps need to be taken to usher in accountability in governance and fuse authority with accountability at all levels. The Act casts important obligations on public authorities so as to facilitate the citizens of the country to access the information held under their control,” DrSingla said.

He directed that all public offices would sensitize their CPIOs on the important provisions of the RTI regime viz., voluntary disclosure of information, adherence to the prescribed timelines for disposal of RTI applications, prompt transfer of applications and appropriate disposal of appeals by the appellate authorities.

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