People’s RTI Assessment 2008: Preliminary Results Right to Information Assessment and Analysis Group (RaaG) and National Campaign for People’s Right to Information. In Collaboration with:
People’s RTI Assessment 2008: Preliminary ResultsRight to Information Assessment and Analysis Group (RaaG) andNational Campaign for People’s Right to Information
In Collaboration with:
Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai; Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi; Association for Democratic Reforms, Bangalore; North Eastern Network, Guwahati; ASHA, Varanasi; JANPATH, Ahmedabad; United Forum for RTI Campaign, Hyderabad; Meghalaya RTI Movement, Shillong; Centre of Action Research and Documentation (CARD) Bhubaneshwar; School for Democracy, Jaipur
117 applicants were interviewed in 144 villages.
2/3 received a response to their application. Of those who received the response, nearly 2/3 got some information and nearly1/2 got full information.
90% of applicants were found to be males
1/3 of applicants had only school education, to various levels. One was illiterate
About 20% applicants were STs and 30% were OBCs
About 20% applicants had BPL or antyodaya ration cards
More than 40% of PIOs responding do not have a copy of the ACT.
33% PIOs cited lack of training, lack of manuals and materials, and unfamiliarity with the law as their main problem.
Only around 40% of the PIOs responding had received some sort of RTI training
A total of 548 PA premises were inspected for signages like display boards with names of PIO, room number, fees information and also language, readability etc
Of this 50% PA premises did not have any signboards at all.
Records were inspected in 466 PAs.
40% PIOs were not willing to get their records inspected.
Non availability or destruction of record were cited as main reasons for not allowing inspection.
Nearly 60% of the PIOs responding confirmed RTI-induced change: improvement in departmental record-keeping.
Speed, Ease, Efficiency!
Experiences with Urban Public Authorities
Filed RTI applications within the sample: 190
18 RTI applications transferred to 115 divisions and PIO’s
Total responses under consideration: 190+115=305 PIOs
Filed RTIs under consideration cover 7 sample states (states and district PAs) + 1 State HQ +10 PAs in the Central Government
2 Key questions
Three Fourths of the RTI applicants filed received responses
1/3rd Responses Received within 30 Days
Information furnished in 3/4th of the responses received and ½ of total applications filed
Very few rejections
Many difficulties in payments for RTI applications
Delhi police requested payments for much more than mere photocopying!
Meghalaya: Over 2/3rds of the PAs responded with complete information either directly or after requests for money for photocopying
Meghalaya also amongst quickest in responding to RTI applications
AP: less than 1/3rd PAs furnished complete information
Speed of Responses
Railways- Highest number of responses within 30 days at 90%
MOEF- A close second. 74% were responded to within 30 days
Responses within 30 days- Revenue at 29%, Women and Child at 24%, Police and home at 14% & 20% respectively
Revenue Dept: 67%
Women and Child: 41%
MoEF and Railways: Top the list. nearly 2/3rds-furnished information either directly or after making requests for money for photocopying
Revenue Department worst performer. Less than 1/5th PIOs furnished information
Section 8 (j) and section 11, section 7(9): most commonly cited reason for rejection
Across PA’s and states max. rejections came from the police department. Majority of the rejections drew on section 8 (j)
PUBLIC AUTHORITY WEBSITES
Methodology:Clipping collection, labelling, analysis; interviews
Status:Survey ongoing in 7 sample/ 4 non-sample states; preliminary analysis received for most. Now commissioning in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT WAYS IN WHICH RTI IS USED?
WHO USES IT?
AND WHAT ARE THE OUTCOMES?
Analysis of the rules framed by the High Courts structured under 3 broad categories:
1. Violation of law
2. Going beyond the purview of the law
- Exorbitant fees imposed by many High Courts.
& therefore it goes beyond the purview of the RTI Act.
Different modes of payment for different places causes a problem.
Eg: In whose favour should the cheque/ DD/ IPO be made?
“ When the custodian of power is influenced in its exercise by considerations outside those for promotion of which the power is vested the court calls it a colorable exercise and it is undeceived by illusion.”