RTI Act can bring positive change: chief information commissioner

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Kangpokpi: With the help of Right to Information (RTI) Act, citizens can bring a positive change in the society, Manipur chief Information commissioner Oinam Sunil Singh said during the ‘Right To Information Week Celebration, 2022 – District Level Workshop’ held at the the deputy commissioner’s office complex, Kangpokpi.

The programme was sponsored by department of Personnel and Training, ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension. It was jointly organised by Manipur Information Commission and District Administration, Kangpokpi.

Sunil spoke on the ‘Role of Manipur Information Commission towards providing information to citizens’. Informing that the Central Information Commission is emphasising on the role of State Public Information Officers (SPIO), he advised all the officers to coordinate within their departments so that cases are not left pending. He said SPIO has judicial role and advised all the officers concerned to reply to any query at the earliest to avoid possible penalty.

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Informing the officers to be very vigilant while dealing with the query related to various schemes, he said they should keep in mind not to reveal bank account details of beneficiary and Aadhaar card as both are personal information of an individual. He emphasised that Supreme Court has ordered that no personal information of Aadhaar card shall be shared by any authority. Under the RTI Act many wrong doings have been found in various departments and if it is used in a right way it can bring a positive change in the society which can further change the mentality of the people, he added.

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S. Inao Singh, Deputy Registrar (Judicial-I), Manipur Information Commission spoke on the various sections and components under the Right to Information Act, 2005. He also spoke on what grounds the information can be denied.

Derick Khobung, ADM/ADC, Kangpokpi spoke on issues and challenges (SPIO’s Perspective). Informing on the challenges faced by the SPIOs, he said record and information keeping at the field level is level is very poor in addition to the low infrastructure and lack of training. He opined that if various departments give proper information in the public domain than most of the queries will not be sought by citizens.

He said many times queries are sought regarding the information which is provided in the public domain which results in the overburdening the work of the officers concerned. He also emphasised on the attitude and behavioural change of the officers concerned.

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The programme was followed by an interaction session where officers and staffs asked queries to the officials of the Manipur Information Commission.

The function was attended by all the SDOs, district level officers and staffs of various departments.

RTI Week is celebrated every year from October 5-12 across the country. The RTI Bill was passed by Parliament of India on 15th June, 2005 and came into force with effect from 12th October, 2005. The Act is to promote transparency and accountability in the working of the government.

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