The State Information Commission (SIC) today took a serious note of frequent instances of dereliction of duty and negligence on the part of the Public Information Officers (PIOs) of various Departments.
According to a statement issued by SIC, the State Information Commissioner directed the PIOs to provide information to the RTI applicants in a time-bound manner and ordered penalty proceedings against several PIOs under Section 17 of the J&K RTI Act, 2009.
“Under the Central Registry of the Commission, penalty proceedings are underway against the PIOs of J&K Economic Reconstruction Agency, J&K Service Selection Board, J&K Public Service Commission and Social Welfare Department,” it said adding similarly, under Jammu Registry, two penalty proceedings have been initiated, one each against the Revenue and the Power Development Department of Jammu district.
Under Kashmir Registry, three penalty proceedings are underway against PIOs of R&B Division Pulwama, Srinagar Municipal Corporation and Hydraulic Division, Bandipora, it said.
The SIC has recently issued two circulars to the General Administration Department (GAD) regarding appointment of PIOs and FAAs of appropriate seniority and to provide information to the RTI applicants as per the standard format adopted by the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India.
Earlier, the GAD had directed the Administrative Departments, Heads of Department and Public Authorities of the State to ensure implementation of the provisions of Section-4 of the J&K RTI Act, 2017 i.e mandatory and suo-moto disclosure of information by the Public Authorities and designation of APIOs and PIOs in all the offices within the stipulated time frame.