Trg to sensitize PIOs to RTI Act commences

NAHARLAGUN, 27 Jan: A three-day training programme to sensitize the officials having the responsibilities of public information officers (PIO) and assistant PIOs to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, commenced at the Administrative Training Institute (ATI) here on Wednesday.

Chief Information Commissioner Joram Begi, who inaugurated the opening session, highlighted the importance of the act and various provisions under the act.

He said the act, which came into force on 22 June, 2005, was necessitated to contain and minimize corruption and to provide good governance.

“It (the act) empowers the citizens by making it possible for them to access information under the control of public authorities, and seeks to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority,” Begi said.

He said many public authorities, including PIOs and APIOs, are ignorant of the provisions under the RTI Act, “which led to imposition of penalties on PIOs and public authorities in the state.” He, however, said that litigation cases in the commission have declined these days after his team conducted many awareness programmes in various districts.

Begi stressed that every public authority and PIO/APIO should read the provisions of the RTI Act, which has only 23 pages and three sections.

Stating that public authorities are not properly maintaining the accounts of application fees and the cost of papers supplied to information seekers, he advised them to maintain the same properly.

The other resource persons of the programme are Information Commissioner Goto Ete, former information commissioner Mathiem Linggi and Administrative Reforms Undersecretary Thomas George.

ATI Director Pate Marik and ATI Deputy Director Nani Khambo also spoke.

Twenty-four officers and officials having the responsibilities of PIO and APIOs from various state government departments are attending the training.