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Lack of Compliance: Ladakh Authorities fail to meet RTI Portal Requirements

Lack of Compliance: Ladakh Authorities fail to meet RTI Portal Requirements

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22 departments not disposing off RTI applications within timeframe
Leh: Eighty-eight Public Authorities in the Union Territory of Ladakh have failed to ensure compliance with repeated directives regarding the onboarding of Public Information Officers (PIO) and First Appellate Authorities (FAA) on the RTI portal.

Additionally, approximately 22 departments are not disposing of RTI applications within the prescribed timeframe, media agencies reported.

Early last year, the Ladakh Union Territory administration launched the RTI portal to facilitate citizens in filing RTI Applications and First Appeals online. The portal, developed and designed by the NIC Karnataka, mirrors the Karnataka RTI portal.

To facilitate implementation, the General Administration Department of Ladakh made it mandatory for departments to provide details of Public Information Officers and First Appellate Authorities. Despite training sessions conducted by the NIC Karnataka team in coordination with NIC Ladakh and the General Administration Department, many departments have failed to comply with the directive for onboarding PIOs and FAAs on the RTI portal.

Public Authorities/departments without PIOs and FAAs include Food, Civil Supplies Department, District Social Welfare Leh, CMO Kargil, Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control, District Youth Services and Sports Officer Kargil, Handicraft and Handloom Office Leh, Geology and Mining Department, Kargil Development Authority, Zanskar Development Authority, Directorate of Urban Local Body, Director Tourism, Director Social Welfare, Horticulture Directorate, Chief Engineer PWD, Secretariat Law Department, Secretariat Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Secretariat Youth Services and Sports, Secretariat Transport, Secretariat Civil Aviation, Secretariat Higher Education, Secretariat Social and Tribal Welfare, Secretariat Planning, Secretariat Mechanical, Secretariat Health and Medical Education, Regional Transport Officer, Secretariat Science and Technology Department, Secretariat Disaster Management and Relief, among others.

Furthermore, it has been noted that RTI applications received by the Departments/Public Authorities are not being disposed of within the prescribed time frame by 22 departments, including Animal Sheep Husbandry & Fisheries Department, Chief Engineer I&FC, Chief Horticulture Officer Kargil, CMO Leh, Office of Deputy Commissioner Kargil, Directorate Horticulture, Directorate Industries & Commerce, Directorate School Education, District Sheep Husbandry Officer Leh, District Social Welfare Kargil, Degree College Zanskar, Industrial Training Institute (ITI) Kargil, Pay and Account Officer Leh, Secretariat Election Department, Secretariat Home Department, Secretariat Revenue, Secretariat Transport Department, School Education Department, Secretariat Health Medical Education Department, Secretariat Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, Secretariat Social and Tribal Welfare Department, and University of Ladakh.

In response to the concerning situation regarding the implementation of the RTI Act, Administrative Secretary of the General Administration Department Ladakh, Michael M D’ Souza, has directed all concerned Administrative Secretaries, HoDs, Chief Engineers, and the Registrar of the University of Ladakh to take necessary action for onboarding PIOs and FAAs by February 29.

Additionally, all PIOs and FAAs have been instructed to promptly dispose of pending RTI applications within a specified time frame. “A compliance report must be submitted by each HoD through their Administrative Secretary on or before March 5 for the appraisal of the Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor,” read the directive issued by GAD Administrative Secretary. (Agencies)

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