Noting that voluntary disclosures of information have been ‘below par’, a CIC-constituted panel has said that details of domestic and foreign visits of union ministers should be proactively disclosed and kept updated.
The committee said this against the backdrop of the PMO not disclosing information about expenses incurred on foreign visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The prime minister’s office (PMO) has been refusing to disclose information related to expenses incurred on Modi’s foreign visits, citing various excuses such as the records that are sought for being ‘vague’.
The committee of former chief information commissioner AN Tiwari and information commissioner MM Ansari gave its report on ‘Transparency Audit: Towards An Open and Accountable Government’.
The panel referred to the circular issued by the ministry of personnel dated September 11, 2012 where it asked all departments to proactively disclose expenses incurred on the foreign and domestic visits of their respective ministers.
“These disclosures should be updated once every quarter,” the committee said in its report, asking the government to also disclose other details such as places visited, period, number and the names of the members in the official delegation, mode of conveyance, travel expenses and source of funding and outcome of the visit.
It said a democratic government keen on empowering the people and delivering to them goods and services speedily and efficiently, cannot allow walls of secrecy to separate them from the very people they serve.