CIC: Outgoing PIO must inform the new incumbent about the user id and password of the department online RTI portal; Ensure proper training for the handling of RTI matters including access to online RTI portal and its proper functioning to PIOs and others
O R D E R
The Appellant vide his RTI application sought information on 04 points, as under:-
- Please provide the list of work awarded to Rehman Builders Pvt. Ltd., as an individual, with Joint ventures with any entity or in partnership along with tender name, date of award of the works, duration of complete the work, date of completion, date and time of extension along with reasons, amount of penalty awarded upon said contractor for completion of works, if any, in last 10 years i.e. 01.04.2012.
- Please provide the copy of the measurement book of the works in progress and completed, payment made in respect of the works at serial no 1 for last 10 years i.e. since 01.04.2012.
- Whether the Delhi Jal Board, suffered any cost escalation because of extension of time given to the said contractor. If yes, please proved the details of escalation of the cost along with the name of works w.e.f. 01.04.2012.
- Please provide the details in respect of the works at serial no 1, in which Shri Ajay Kumar Gupta, Member Drainage was associated in any official capacity in last 10 years with effect from 01.04.2012.
Dissatisfied due to non-receipt of any response from the CPIO, the Appellant approached the FAA. The order of the FAA, if any, is not on the record of the Commission. Thereafter, the Appellant filed a Second Appeal before the Commission.
Facts emerging during the hearing:
The following were present:
Appellant: Present in Person
Respondent: Mr RK Lakhera ACE, Ms Deepmala PIO SE, Present in Person
The Appellant while reiterating the contents of the RTI Application submitted that he had sought information regarding the list of work awarded to Rehman builders Pvt. Ltd, copy of measurement book of work in progress and completed and payment made for it. He claimed that his client is an affected party in the tender allotment process. He alleged that many people are affected by the favours shown in the tender allotment process. Hence he said in order to prove the aforesaid malpractices he requires the information. When queried by the Commission about the details of his client, the Appellant did not share the same. The Appellant asserted that the said information should be made available openly in public domain as it was all about transparency in the system. He further claimed that even after the delay of 8 months no information has been furnished to him.
The Respondent submitted that the said RTI was not received in ACE(C)-4 online RTI portal, therefore it could not be replied. As informed by DJB RTI Cell that the said RTI was received in DJB on 06.09.2022 and thereafter it was forwarded to SE (P) Dr. and SE(P)W on 07.09.2022. He said the appeal for the said RTI was received on 10.10.2022 and it was forwarded to CE(P) W on 11.10.2022. From the above, it may be seen that this RTI has not been received to ACE(C)-4 office, he said and handed over the copy of reply during the hearing.
Keeping in view the facts of the case and the submissions made by both the parties, the Commission directs the CPIO Mr RK Lakhera to collect and furnish point wise correct information to the Appellant, redacting the details of third parties, in accordance with the spirit of transparency and accountability as enshrined in the RTI Act, 2005 within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of this order under the intimation to the Commission.
The Commission further observes that in many cases in response to queries about their non response to RTI applications, the CPIOs concerned say that they have no access to the online RTI portal. Hence the outgoing PIO must inform the new incumbent PIO about the user id and password of the department online RTI portal. Moreover, the CPIOs also complain about the malfunctioning of the portal. So the Commission advises the CPIO, Headquarter Delhi Jal Board, to oversee that proper training for the handling of RTI matters including access to online RTI portal and about its proper functioning is ensured to the CPIOs and others connected with the RTI implementation in the department under Section 25(5) of the RTI Act 2005. The Commission deems this matter of extreme importance for the implementation of the RTI Law.
The Appeal stands disposed accordingly.
Citation: Mr. Avnish Kumar Tyagi v. Delhi Jal Board, CIC/DELJB/A/2022/656815-UM; Date of Decision: 22.05.2023