RTI of no use without sensitisation of officials
--I want details of expenditure on afforestation under the World Bank-aided scheme... --Can I know how much did the government spend under the mid-day meal programme in different schools??india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 00:46 IST
--I want details of expenditure on afforestation under the World Bank-aided scheme...
--Can I know how much did the government spend under the mid-day meal programme in different schools?”
These are some of the queries that government officials would seldom like to answer. But after the enforcement of Right to Information (RTI) Act, in October, 2005, a common man can hope to get replies.
However, the effective implementation of the law is the key to success of this very significant legislation. One of the most important aspects of implementation would be the sensitisation of government officials at vital positions as far as parting with the information was concerned.
Apart from this, another factor that accounts for the successful implementation of the law is building proper infrastructure and making officials serving at key posts understand the significance of introducing the legislation.
The RTI might have been introduced in the right perspective as far as the government is concerned but its success lies in the pyramid of hierarchy of officials that would be directly involved in it.
But what seems discouraging is the slow pace of implementation of the Act. There are only a few states in the country that have taken the Act seriously and made some progress.
Another worrying factor across the country about the implementation of the law was the appointments of bureaucrats as information commissioners. The fear according some of the lawyers is that RTI regime may become just another means for bureaucracy to tighten its monopoly over government information.
The potential of the Act, if implemented in the right perspective, is such that people can witness transparency in government departments to their satisfaction. Even while they realise this, the masses, armed with the RTI, could also feel a part of the system in one of the largest democracies of the world.