[Polity] Right To Information Act (RTI) 2005 : Brief Notes

WHAT IS THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005?

The Government of India has enacted “The Right to Information Act, 2005”to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens tosecure access to information under the
control of Public Authorities in order topromote transparency and accountability in the working of any public authority.

WHAT DOES RIGHT TO INFORMATION MEAN?

 Right to information means the right to information accessible under the Actwhich is held by or under the control of any Public Authority and includes the rightto inspect the work, document, records, taking notes, extracts or certified copies ofdocuments/records, certified samples of the materials and obtaining informationwhich is also stored in electronic form.WHO CAN ASK FOR INFORMATION?Any citizen can request for information by making an application in writingor through electronic means in English/Hindi/Official language of the areas, inwhich the application is being made together with the prescribed fees.

WHO WILL GIVE INFORMATION?

Every public Authority will designate Central Assistant Public InformationOfficer (CAPIO) at various levels, and necessary number of Central PublicInformation Officers (CPIO) in all the offices who will arrange for providingnecessary information to the public as permitted under the Act. The publicauthority is also required to designate such officer who is senior in rank to theCPIO as Appellate Authority, who will hear the appeal against the decisions/orderspassed by a CPIO.

THE INFORMATION WHICH IS EXEMPTED FROM DISCLOSURE

As per sections 8 & 9 of the Act, 2005 certain categories of information areexempt from disclosure to the citizens. The citizens/public may also refer to therelative sections of the Act before submitting a request for information.

ROLE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICERS/APPELLATE AUTHORITIES

Central Assistant Public Information Officer (CAPIO)

The CAPIO will receive the application or the appeal under the Act andforward the same immediately to the CPIO or the Appellate Authority as the casemay be along with the relevant information/documents.

Central Public Information Officer

The CPIO will deal/process the request for providing the information anddispose off the same, either by providing the information or rejecting the requestwithin a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of request. The Central PublicInformation Officer may seek the assistance of any other officer as he or sheconsiders it necessary for the proper discharge of his or her duties.

Any officer, whose assistance has been sought, shall render all assistance tothe Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as thecase may be, seeking his or her assistance and for the purposes of anycontravention of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as aCentral Public Information Officer.

Appellate Authority

The Appellate Authority will entertain and dispose off appeals against thedecision of Public Information Officers as required under the Act.Any person, who does not receive a decision within the time specified underthe Act, may within 30 days from the expiry of such time or from the receipt ofsuch decision can prefer an appeal before the Appellate Authority.

THE STRUCTURE OF CAPIO/CPIO/APPELLATE AUTHORITIES INEMPLOYEES’ PROVIDENT FUND ORGANIZATION

(a) Cen tral Assistant Public Information Officer (CAPIO)

(i) Officer-in-Charge of all Sub-Regional/Sub Accounts Offices, in thecadre of Regional Commissioner-II/Assistant Commissioner havebeen designated as CAPIO.
(ii) In respect of Regional Office, Regional Commissioner (F&A) hasbeen designated as CAPIO.
(iii) In respect of National Academy for Training and Research inSocial Security (NATRSS), New Delhi, second senior most DeputyDirector has been designated as CAPIO. In respect of ZonalTraining Institutes the second senior most officer has beendesignated as CAPIO.
(iv) In respect of Head Quarter Office at New Delhi RC-II (CSD) hasbeen designated as CAPIO.

(b) Central Public Information Officer (CPIO)

i) Regional Commissioners-I, Incharge of Regions have beendesignated as CPIO in respect of different Regional Offices andSub Regional Offices/Sub Accounts Offices under his jurisdiction.
ii) Officer in charge of all Zonal Training Institutes in the cadre ofRC-I/RC-II have been designated as CPIO and in respect ofNational Academy for Training and Research in Social Security(NATRSS) the senior most Deputy Director has been designatedas CPIO.
iii) In respect of Head Quarter office at New Delhi senior most RC-IIin Customer Service Division has been designated as CPIO.

(c) A ppellate Authorities

I) In respect of all Regional Offices/Sub Regional Offices/SubAccounts Offices under the four zones, respective AdditionalCentral Commissioners (Zone) have been designated as AppellateAuthorities.
II) In respect of National Academy for Training and Research inSocial Security and four Zonal Training Institutes, the Director ofNATRSS has been designated as the Appellate Authority.
III) In respect of Head Quarter Office at New Delhi the AdditionalCentral Commissioner (CSD) has been designated as AppellateAuthority.

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