The government on Tuesday brought all National Sports Federations, receiving an annual grant of Rs 10 lakh or more, under the ambit of the Right to Information Act (RTI). With this, officials of the sports bodies would now be penalised for failing to provide correct information to a citizen in time.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games (OC) were notified as public authorities under RTI in February this year. s“Very soon, they would set up the mechanism to respond to RTI applications,” a government official said.
The Sports Ministry’s logic for extending RTI to sports bodies was that they were “doing a ‘State’ function of preparation of national teams and their representation at international level as well as promotion of sports in the country.”
The ministry has asked all the federations to immediately designate Central Public Information officers and Appellate Authorities as the first step to implementing the Act. “They are further asked to fulfill their obligations of being a Public Authority with respect of voluntary disclosure of information as per Section 4 of the above Act and send the compliance to the ministry latest by April 15, 2010 along with making available the relevant information on their websites,” the ministry’s statement said.
The ministry also said that future grants would be given only those federations who implement the order. So far, the sports bodies had been resisting implementation of the RTI Act saying they were non-profit making and non-government bodies set up under the Societies Act. The IOA had even challenged the ministry’s earlier direction in the Delhi High Court.
However, the court upheld the ministry’s view after which the IOA and OC agreed to implement it.