JAMMU: State Information Commission (SIC) has asked all the Public Authorities of the State to make suo-moto disclosure of information in terms of section 4 of the J&K RTI Act 2009.
The Chief Information Commissioner Khursheed Ahmad Ganai issued the notification after it had come to the notice of the Commission that a large number of Public Authorities in the state have not made suo-moto disclosure of information in terms of Section 4 of the RTI Act 2009.
The CIC asked the PAs to take necessary steps so as to conform to all the provisions of section 4 of the Act. He also recommended that action in this regard be taken and completed by or before 30th June 2017 to achieve such conformity.
Earlier, a rapid study of the official websites of 230 public authorities under the Jammu and Kashmir government revealed that nine years after the implementation of the J&K Right to Information Act, compliance with the requirement of proactive disclosure of information under its section 4(1)(b) remained poor. Based on the official websites, 59% of the districts not having uploaded information under the section to a reasonable degree and nearly 75% of them have not been uploading their annual budgets.
The rapid study emerged out of an internship programme hosted by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) in New Delhi for advocates Syed Iram Quadri and Bilal Ahmed Bhat, both members of J&K RTI Movement and the School for Rural Development and Environment (SRDE).
The study revealed that while divisional commissioners and all districts in Jammu and Kashmir have official websites, in 59% of the cases, information provided on the sites was either incomplete or completely absent.
Moreover, about three-fourths of district websites do not display any information about their annual budgets, the only exceptions being Bandipora and Budgam which have put out their latest budget-related information for 2016-17.