Madhya Pradesh is among the 12 out of 31 states and Union territories in the country that do not have a dedicated website for the chief minister’s office (CMO) offering information required under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, an analysis by the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) has found.
To mark 10 years of implementation of the RTI Act, the organisation analysed the websites of the prime minister’s office (PMO) and CMOs of 29 states and two Union territories for RTI-related disclosures. The law came into force on October 12, 2005.
In the analysis it was found that while the PMO website is considerably updated vis-à-vis the RTI provisions, except for the proactive disclosure part, many states continue to lag behind.
Interestingly, in case of Madhya Pradesh, confusion prevailed as there is no particular website for the CMO, but a special website dedicated to the current chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan (shivrajsinghchouhan.org) is functional.
“We tried to ascertain through information available in the public domain whether the website (mentioned above) was the official CMO website or an individual website, but could not get a clear picture,” Rolly Shivhare, national working committee member of NCPRI (representing Madhya Pradesh) told HT.
However, even the website in question lacks any RTI-related information, although it does list state government schemes and other details on Chouhan’s activities, she added.
HT contacted the principal secretary of the CM, SK Mishra on the issue and he informed that the website dedicated to Chouhan was maintained by the IT department of the state, but the CMO did not have a separate, dedicated website as of now. Regarding the need of such a website, Mishra said it could only be determined after internal assessment and discussion.
Meanwhile, Shivhare shared details of the national-level analysis that shows that out of 31 states and UTs, only 19 have dedicated websites for their CMOs, of which only eight carry RTI-related information.
However, in case of six states without a dedicated CMO website, some RTI information was available on the official website of the state government. In the case of Madhya Pradesh, the information was missing from the state government’s website (www.mp.nic.in), the activist said.
Points of analysis
Whether CMOs have dedicated websites
Whether details under various provisions of the RTI were present on the website (like details of PIO/assistant PIO, assets liabilities of ministers and CM, tour expenses information of CM and ministers)
Whether proactive disclosures under section 4 of the RTI were made. This pertains to the 17-point information on functions and activities of the particular office, details of officials, their responsibilities, schemes concerned and others
If disclosures are made, are they available in local language
If no dedicated website, are disclosures made elsewhere.