Kochi: The State Information Commission has not prepared its annual reports in the last three years, it is learnt. This points to the lack of transparency while dealing with RTI queries. Each report shall mention the number of requests made to each public authority and particulars of any disciplinary action taken against erring officers. With this, the Central Information Commission or the state commission cannot monitor whether the state machinery is following the Act in letter and spirit. The SIC blames various departments for the delay in compiling data.
As per section 25 in the Right To Information Act 2005, the State Information Commission shall, as soon as practicable after the end of each year, prepare a report on the implementation of the provisions of this Act during that year and forward a copy thereof to the appropriate government. However, as per an RTI reply given to S. Dhanaraj of Kochi, an RTI activist, the last time the commission prepared an annual report was in 2012-2013. Since then it has not prepared any report and compiled data.
“We have sent reminders to all the public authorities to inform the number of RTI queries and other details but the departments have not sent replies,” said Vinson M. Paul, the State Information Commissioner. He added that they have taken steps to file the yesteryear reports. Interestingly, the annual reports should mention the number of decisions where applicants were not entitled to access to the documents pursuant to the requests, the provisions of this Act under which these decisions were made and the number of times such provisions were invoked.