We Appeal to Support Digital India.
As a part of the Action Group below
To the State Chief Information Commissioner.
Please provide me with below information.
1. Does your state have a web portal supporting the spirit of Right to Information Act. Similar and at least providing the same functionality as https://RTIOnline.gov.in where
- Any Citizen of India can go online and file RTI appeal to Information Commission or any of the administrative unit's SPIOs electronically and get an RTI tracking ticket similar to RTIOnline.gov.in.
- Pay the prescribed fee online using Net Banking, Credit Cards.
- Track the status online and get the response on the online portal electronically.
- File First and Second appeal in case RTI response is not satisfactory electronically using the same portal.
2. If answer to query #1 is Yes for all the points, please provide the web portal name.
3. If Answer to all or any of the Query #1 is No.
a).Please provide details on why even after 10 years of RTI Act in place and after multiple years of RTIOnline.gov.in online and working as a benchmark developed by NIC for central government ministries (NIC or similar agencies manages all your state web portals as well) your state is not able to provide this service.
b.) If you have already planned for a similar or better service than RTIOnline.gov.in to serve RTI needs for your state please provide the expected time frame when Citizens of India can start using it.
The Above RTI is for public purpose.
Below is the timely and very positive response that we got:
" This is with reference to your application dated 13.06.2015, received in
the Commission on 22.06.2015 vide Diary no-20057 vide which information under RTI Act, 2005 has been sought.
At the outset, you are informed that the State Government in exercise the power
conferred in section 27 of the RTI act, 2005 has notified Haryana Right to Information Rules,2009 wherein Rs. 50/- is prescribed as application fee. Since you have deposited Rs. 10/- on this account thus your application is not valid under section 6(1) of the RTI Act,20O5. Still the information sought is provided as under:-
(i) Online portal for filing applications or tracking applications under RTI Act,
2005 is yet to be introduced for the public Authorities and state Information Commission, Haryana by the appropriate Government.
(ii) The State Information Commission, Haryana, vide letter no 2571/SCIC/2015/EA-I, dated 4.03.20l5 has requested the Secretariat for Information Technology to introduce this system which the Department of Personnel & Training,Government of lndia has introduced for public authorities functioning under the control of Central Government and also for the Central Information Commission through NIC. The Commission has also reminded the Government vide letter dated 21.4.2015 and 12.06.2015 to expedite the matter, but decision is awaited. "
Below are some of our observations on this RTI response :
1. Though the RTI fee sent was Rs. 10 , as against the prerequisite fee of Rs. 50 as per state RTI rules , the PIO was kind enough to not get hung up on this particular rule and provided the information sought (which clearly was a simple piece of Information, asked for public good) We believe this is the true spirit of RTI, in action.
2. The explanation given was detailed, and with complete information- such as letter numbers and exact dates. No vague answers or diversions , something we have received aplenty in replies from other state RTI's.
3. Though the information was provided quickly and in totality, the fact of the matter is that Haryana still doesn't have an Online portal for RTI filing and tracking. This is resulting in loss of manual efforts, paperwork and actual monetary loss on public exchequer. As per the RTI response, even after multiple remainders to Secretariat for Information Technology, still a decision is pending. We are not sure why is it taking so long for a decision which will considerably reduce the financial , paper and labor burden on the RTI system.
Though the PIO , Haryana provided an excellent response in the spirit of the RTI Act (Something which we would like to see from all other state's PIO's ) but the fact of the matter is - that there is still no clarity on when the Haryana SIC will go Online.
We would be following up regularly on this front and hope to get a concrete, effective and time bound response on when an Online portal would be a reality.
Eventually, we want all the states to be on board rti.gov.in or a similar platform base-lined at least on existing service by central government.
Citizens of Haryana , Take things into your hands now! Join this action Group and help your state achieve this milestone quickly!