Summary of Right to Information Act , 2005

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  • Topic: Government, Right to Information Act, Freedom of information legislation
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Final Report
Understanding the “Key Issues and
Constraints” in implementing the RTI Act*

June 2009

f

“…democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed” – Source: RTI Act’ 2005

*connectedthinking

pwc

Contents
Executive summary

3

Introduction

12

Progress made so far

26

Key issues and constraints in implementing the RTI Act

36

Learning from international experience

56

Recommendations

66

Implementation Plan

91

Annexure

95

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Executive summary

PricewaterhouseCoopers
3

Final Understanding the “Key Issues and Constraints” in implementing the RTI Act*

Executive summary
Background
In order to promote transparency and accountability
in administration, the Indian Parliament enacted the
Freedom of Information Act, 2002, which was repealed
later and a new act, The Right to Information Act, came
into force on 12 October 2005. The new law empowers
Indian citizens to seek information from a Public
Authority, thus making the Government and its
functionaries more accountable and responsible. The Act
has now been in operation for over three years and has
benefited many, including the poor and the
underprivileged.
It has been highlighted in this report through various
case studies that RTI Act has adequate “teeth” to bring
in transparency and reduce corruption. At the same time
it accepted that the Act has not yet reached the stage of
implementation which was envisioned. However, it is
still a matter of pride that we have given to ourselves, a
tool which has the potential to usher in transparency,
and reduce corruption. Notwithstanding the
improvement requirements, the following achievements
are undisputable:


Civil society organisations have been, and continue to
be, active in ensuring the implementation of the Act in
letter and spirit



Centre and State Government departments have
initiated the training of key functionaries to assume the
responsibilities of PIOs and FAAs



This report has been prepared by
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in association with
IMRB (market research partner). This study takes
into account the feedback3 of over 2000 information
seekers and over 200 information providers across
public authority (PA) at Centre, State, and local
levels in 5 States. It also includes feedback of 5000
citizens with respect to their awareness of the RTI
Act.



As part of the study, the team also conducted four
national workshops, in which Central Information
Commissioners, State Information Commissioners,
Civil Society Organisations, and the media
participated. Apart from this, the team has also (i)
participated in several seminars conducted by Civil
Society Organisations, (ii) conducted various
focused group discussions/one to one meetings
with several stakeholders, including PIOs and
first appellate authorities.



The survey design was a consultative process
involving various stakeholders such as media, Civil
Right Activists, PIOs, FAAs, Information
Commissions, Citizens etc. Thereafter, feedback was
solicited by hosting the questionnaire on Ministry of
Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions website
www.persmin.nic.in). The feedback was incorporated
before rolling out the fieldwork.



After the fieldwork was done by the team, the team
was guided in the analysis by inputs received from
select RTI Activists, Information Commissions
from various States and the Consultative
Monitoring Committee4

Government employees/Public Authorities are aware of
the basic elements of the Act





Civil society organizations and the media have
started using the Act for bringing in transparency
and objectivity



The Study

The institution of Information Commission has assumed...
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