Govt snubs deptts for ignoring RTI

Greater Kashmir

The issue has also been highlighted on numerous occasions during the Committee of Secretaries’ meetings held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary

The state government has once again snubbed the departments over their failure to go for voluntary disclosure of information under Right to Information Act.

It has been observed that most of the departments are still deficient with regard to hosting the requisite information on their official websites, and in some cases, the official websites are not being updated on regular basis, a fresh GAD circular issued on Tuesday observed.  

A similar circular was issued by the government last month (Jan 27), asking the administrative secretaries to implement provisions of the Act in “letter and spirit” to ensure transparency and accountability.  

The government has also noted it with concern that ‘some departments continue to be without the official websites thereby defeating the mandate of the Act for ensuring transparency and accountability in the system’.

 The circular states “Instructions have time and again been issued, impressing upon all the concerned to ensure voluntary disclosure of information in terms of Section 4 (l)(b) of the Right to Information Act, 2009. The issue has also been highlighted on numerous occasions during the Committee of Secretaries’ meetings held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary,” the GAD circular states.

 The circular also noted that the deficiencies in respect of different departments were also indicated during an interaction of the Commissioner/Secretary GAD with the State Chief Information Commissioner.

The GAD circular also revealed that ‘it was also indicated that in spite of repeated instructions being issued by the General Administration Department, some officers/officials have failed to indicate their names and designations while exchanging official communications.’

“Accordingly, the instructions issued on the subject(s), are reiterated and it is impressed upon all the concerned to ensure that all the departments viz. administrative as well as line departments, disclose information in terms of Section 4 (l)(b) of the Right to Information Act, 2009, and their official websites are created be made functional immediately,” the GAD  has directed.

“They shall also ensure that these websites shall be updated on daily basis” the circular adds.

The GAD has also ordered that ‘All the officers/officials shall indicate their names and designation below their signature while initiating or endorsing any note proposal for consideration of the Competent Authorities and on the communications exchanged with different departments. The other details like telephone numbers, e-mail addresses should also be mentioned on such communications.”