Govt constitutes task force to oversee RTI implementation

New Delhi: Nearly six years after the Right to Information Act (RTI) was enacted, the Government has constituted a Special Task Force to ensure effective implementation of the Act and to bring in more transparency and accountability in governance.

The task force is mandated to seek ways for effective implementation of Section 4 of the RTI Act for proactive disclosures by the public authorities and to explore the possibility of prescribing simple templates for disclosing specific category of information in order to facilitate disclosure.

According to Section 4 of the Act, a public authority including ministries/departments/ PSUs is duty-bound to maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed and put it in public domain.

It should also have particulars of its organisation, functions and duties, the powers and duties of its officers and employees and the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability among other.

The STF will suggest mediums through which information can be disclosed through electronic means and recommend measures for protection of persons seeking information under the RTI Act.

"The Task Force will finalise its recommendation by July 31 and submit it to the Department for consideration," a Department of Personnel and Training official said.

RTI activists have complained of non-implementation of Section 4 of the RTI Act by different public authorities and asked the government to devise ways to ensure that it is properly followed.

"The implementation of Section 4 is extremely important.

All public authorities must adhere to it," Magsaysay awardee and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal said.