CHENNAI: After a delay of three years, the Tamil Nadu Information Commission tabled its the annual report for 2015 in the Assembly on Monday. Though the Right to Information Act states that the Commission should submit a report annually, this norm has not been followed.The Commission stated that though it forwarded this report in 2016 itself, the government had delayed tabling it in the Assembly. The reasons behind this delay were vaguely termed as administrative and no further explanation was given.
The Revenue and police departments have received the highest number of RTI petitions in 2015, stated the report. The Revenue department recorded 1,24,930 applications out of which 74,017 were disposed of after giving information and 42,087 transferred to other departments. On the other hand, the police department received a total of 54,995 applications out of which 48,055 were given information.The commission also listed out suggestions to a handful number of departments to improve the enforcement of the RTI Act.
CMDA officials ‘slow and casual’
The Commission in its report stated that applications addressed to the CMDA’s officials are often slow and casual. This is due to most documents on which RTI queries are to be answered are with other units under the department. As the main PIO doesn’t have information about other units, there is a delay in giving a response. Also the PIO is held responsible during an enquiry for not providing information which he has no access to.
College fund disclosure
The commission recommended that the designated Public Information officers (PIO) in every college should publish in their website information about grants received from the University Grants Commission and expenses incurred under each department. This can be done under section 4 of the RTI act.