Complainant Shri Shailesh Gandhi has filed Complaint(by email) under Section 18 (1) (f) of the Act on 16th April, 2017 with the Commission in which he has mentioned following points —
1) It is fairly difficult for Heads of Departments (HODs), and Information Commission to review the overall performance of individual PIOs and FAAs on real time basis and to take corrective actions in an ongoing basis in real time.
2) Software can easily be developed so that a dashboard showing each PIOs performance and of the public authority would be transparent for everyone to see.
3) This will also facilitate preparation of the annual report and be a very useful tool for monitoring individual PIOs and public authorities continuously. Complainant has therefore approached the Commission with a request to treat this as a complaint under Section 18 (1) (f) of RTI Act ,with a request to issue directives to all public authorities to arrange to publish details of the RTI applications and their disposals in the format enclosed by him.
Commission appreciates excellent suggestion made by Shri Shailesh Gandhi and treats his request as Complaint under section 18 of RTI Act,2005. During last over 11 years, Commission has noted almost total lack of review of the performance of PIOs and FAAs by their superiors with the result that Public Authorities are not only required to pay huge Compensation to the Information seekers from public exchequer but Govt is also responsible for ineffective implementation of such a revolutionary Act which directly relates to Citizens exercising Fundamental Right of “Right to expression” enshrined in the Constitution.
It is pertinent to note that DOPT also vide Deptt.’s O.M. No. 1/6/2011-IR dated 15.04.2013 has directed that —
“All Public Authorities shall proactively disclose RTI applications and appeals received and their responses, on the websites maintained by Public Authorities with search facility based on key words. RTI applications and appeals received and their responses relating to the personal information of an individual may not be disclosed, as they do not serve any public interest.”
Commission therefore in exercise of powers vested in it under Section 19(8)(a) of RTI Act, 2005, order that Chief Secretary,Govt of Maharashtra should create an online RTI register in every office which has a Public Information Officer and put on a single platform all the RTI applications filed in every office at every level where RTI applications are submitted and filed and also upload this information on the websites of Public Authorities so that Citizens can also access this vital information. The format to be used for the RTI Register is as suggested by Complainant in Annexe 1. This platform would facilitate the compilation and tracking of RTI applications filed offline as well as those that might be filed online with Departments. This order should be implemented by 15th June,2017 and detailed compliance should be reported to Commission by 15th June, 2015 positively.
Chief Information Commissioner, Maharashtra