RTI Amendment Bill 2018 is important for transparency. The right to information act as enacted to enable citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, and also to constitute a Central Information Commission and State Information Commission, which are the statutory bodies established under the RTI Act, as against the Election Commission(EC) which is the constitutional body established under Article 324 of the constitution of India.
The main objective of this Bill
The Amendment Bill only intends to empower the central government to decide the tenures, salaries, and allowances of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and the Information Commissioner (IC) of the centre and the state through delegated legislation. Section 16(5) equates the salaries, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the state CIC to EC. Therefore, the CIC, ICs, and state CIC become equivalent to a judge of the supreme court in terms of their salaries, allowances and other terms and conditions of service.
Problem with the previous Act
At the centre of the discussion is the need to focus on reassessing the efficacy of the RTI on substantive issues of providing information and enforcing the provisions of the Act. Also, the awareness of applicants and respondents through periodic seminars, workshops, etc. On several occasions, the Public Information Officers pass non-reasoned orders. They do not adhere to the timelines prescribed under the Act or provide vague, incomplete and misleading information. The commission also encounters cases of numerous applications filed by a single applicant on the same subject matter. This causes disproportionate diversion of resources of the public authorities. So there is greater need to amend the previous incompetent provisions of the act. So, the RTI Amendment Bill 2018 is important for transparency.
At last, the bill does not intend to make any fundamental changes to the RTI. Instead, the RTI Amendment Bill 2018 is important for transparency.