Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Social Audit on State RTI Information Commissioners launched


A group of RTI activists in Mumbai has launched a social audit or public hearing (Jan Sunwaiee) on the quality of service rendered by Maharashtra State Information Commissioners (MSICs), who are appointed under the Act as Second Appellate Authority, to facilitate and implement Citizens’ access to information. Information Commissioners are mandated by Sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Act to take various steps to help citizens procure information in a timely and accurate manner.

Says activist G R Vora, who is leading this initiative, “The information that we collect will be used for compiling statistics, making representations to the government (especially the Governor for representations and other necessary corrective actions) on behalf of the general public, and submitting reports to higher judiciary and media.”

“This Social Audit is a way to improve dialogue, improve the system for the good of the entire nation and send a message to Information Commissioners that they have to abide by the law and facilitate flow of information as mandated by the RTI Act 2005,” Vora asserts.

Activist Mohammed Afzal urges RTI users to participate on a massive scale. “If you or people known to you have had a personal experience with MSICs – whether positive or negative – please submit the relevant papers for this audit. All the files that you give us will be studied, compiled as data and submitted to the authorities for action. We commit to use your documents to try and improve the system,” he says.

Report by:
Krishnaraj Rao

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