NEW DELHI: The process of appointment of a new Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs) in the Central Information Commission is going on, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday.
In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, he said the CIC completed his tenure on August 26.
"The process of appointment of new CIC and ICs is going on," said Singh, the minister of state for personnel.
The Central Information Commission can have a CIC and ten ICs.
"One Information Commissioner is completing his tenure on 25.09.2020. The government had initiated the process to fill up the vacancy in a timely manner by way of issuing the advertisements to fill up the post of Chief Information Commissioner and up to 6 posts of Information Commissioners in the Central Information Commission on 09.07.2020," he said.
Singh said a high level search committee follows a method of obtaining relevant information about various candidates while scrutinizing applications and shortlists candidates for the post of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners.
In response to separate query, the minister said that the Central Information Commission has been functional even after the declaration of lockdown in March, 2020.
"As for State Information Commissions, each of the state governments took a call appropriately," he said.
As far as Central Information Commission is concerned, a total number of 4,491 online requests have been processed since March, 2020 to September 17, 2020, Singh said.
"RTI online portal (https://rtionline.gov.in) has already been put in place by Department of Personnel and Training since August 2013 to help citizens in filing RTI applications, first and second appeals with the public authorities aligned there," he said in another reply.
Further, the Central Information Commission had in place the facility of audio/video hearing even before COVID-19 pandemic and all the second appeals/complaints cases outside Delhi have been adjudicated through NIC studios at various district headquarters as suitable for the appellant and respondent, Singh said.
"During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Information Commission had taken steps to facilitate hearing of second appeals/complaints through audio/video facilities by intensive use of technology," the minister said.