Officers directed to ensure voluntary disclosure under RTI

Officers directed to ensure voluntary disclosure under RTI

SRINAGAR: More than seven years after the Right to Information (RTI) Act was implemented in the state, almost all government departments are yet to make voluntary disclosures despite binding upon them under the transparency law.
It also goes on despite reminders to the Administrative Secretaries by the government from time to time.
Taking a note of it, the governor administration has once again impressed upon all the Administrative Secretaries, Divisional Commissioners, Heads of the Departments and Deputy Commissioners to ensure that administrative as well as line departments disclose information in terms of Section 4 (l)(b) of the RTI Act 2009.
“They must ensure that their official websites are created and made functional immediately. They shall also ensure that these websites are updated on a daily basis,” read the fresh circular issued here by the government.
Before the PDP-BJP look over last year, the governor administration had directed secretaries to devise a mechanism for periodic “review and updation” of the official website and ensure that the official e-mail addresses of the officers are ‘active’.
“The arrangement may be reviewed in respect of subordinate offices or departments also and action taken furnished accordingly.”
The need for voluntary disclosure of information by the Public Authorities has also been highlighted in various meetings taken by the Chief Secretary including the Committee of Secretaries (CoS).
All the departments have already been asked to ensure that their official websites are constructed and all relevant data, as required under the provisions of the Act, hosted on it.
The J&K RTI Act was enacted by the government on March 20, 2009 with a view to secure access to the information under the control of public authorities; promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority.