In a first, Government invites people's view on mandatory info in RTI reply

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New Delhi, Mar 17: After rejecting a proposal for a model format for replying to RTI queries, the Centre has invited comments from people on what mandatory information a reply should contain under the transparency law.

A Committee, comprising representatives of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Home Affairs and Central Information Commission, has recommended there should not be a model or standard format for reply to the RTI applications.

Representational image

However, the Committee recommended that few points can be uniformly adopted by Public Information Officers while replying to RTI applications.

Based on the recommendations of the Committee and in consultation with Ministry of Law and Justice, draft guidelines have been prepared regarding the elements that RTI reply should essentially contain. "It has been decided to invite views or suggestions from the citizens on the draft guidelines," a DoPT order said.

The guidelines said name, designation, official telephone number and email-id of the Central Public Information Officers (CPIOs) should be clearly mentioned in the RTI replies. In case, the information requested for is denied, reasons for denial quoting the relevant sections of the RTI Act should be clearly mentioned, as per the draft guidelines.

In case, the information pertains to other public authority and the application is transferred, details of the public authority to whom the application is transferred should be given, it said.

The concluding para of the reply should clearly mention that the First Appeal, if any, against the reply of the CPIO may be made to the First Appellate Authority within 30 days of receipt of reply of CPIO.

"The name, designation, address, official telephone no and e-mail ID of the First Appellate Authority should also be clearly mentioned," the draft guidelines said.

Wherever the applicant has requested for certified copies of the documents or records, the CPIO should endorse on the document 'true copy of the document/record', sign the document with date, above a seal containing name of the officer, CPIO (in place of designation) and name of public authority, it said.

PTI 

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