Review of Right to Information Act
In a written reply Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Shri.V.Narayanasamy said in the Rajya Sabha to the questions pertaining to review of Right to Information Act.
A study was conducted through an independent organization to assess the key issues and constraints in implementation of the Right to Information Act, 2005.
The study points out that there is inadequate planning by the public authorities in regard to supply of information; awareness about the Act in rural areas is much less than in urban areas; awareness amongst women is much less than men; the gap in implementation of the Act is because of lack of clear accountability in respect of various functionaries etc. In this regard, the study recommended measures for improving awareness on right to information; improving convenience in filing information requests; improving efficiency of the Information Commissions, enhancing accountability and clarity of various stakeholders, etc.
The Act provides for imposition of penalty on the public information officer in case the information is not supplied within the stipulated time frame. It ensures timely supply of information.
The Government has taken steps to build the capacity of the demand and supply side through training, on-line certificate course, and publication of guides on the Right to Information Act. Awareness Generation has been undertaken through print, electronic, outdoor media and workshops. An RTI Logo has been designed and propagated widely. Apart from this, a clarificatory order was also issued vide OM No. 1/18/2007-IR dated 21st September, 2007 impressing upon the public authorities to disclose maximum information proactively so that citizens need not resort to filing of RTI applications to access information available with the public authorities.