Whispersinthecorridors

DATE WITH RTI

Role of a PIO under RTI Act

Part information was provided in response to the applicant seeking information regarding seniority list of staff nurse. On appeal, the First Appellate Authority directed the PIO to provide information to the appellant, if available. A Show Cause Notice was issued by the CIC for complete non application of mind, non-furnishing of information in response to the RTI application, non-compliance of the FAA’s order and violation of the mandate laid down by the RTI Act. The PIO submitted before the CIC that as PIO, Health Department as Nodal Officer, his responsibility always involved forwarding the questions/information sought by the applicant to the concerned branches under Health Department and forwarding the response received from them to the applicant i.e. the role of a Nodal PIO is that of a post office. The CIC observed that such a poor understanding of the RTI Act can be rectified not by imposing penalty, but by referring the Nodal PIO for a training session to upgrade his knowledge about RTI Act. The CIC marked a copy of the order to the FAA, H&FW Department to take necessary steps ensuring that the Nodal PIO is appropriately trained to handle RTI cases and made aware that the role of Nodal PIO encompasses more duties than acting merely as a post office

Comments

A PIO is not just a post office and should act as a catalyst in expediting dissemination of information by the actual custodian of information.

Citation: Smt. Nirmala Kumari v. 1. PIO, Deptt. Of Health & Family Welfare and PIO, O/o Medical Supdt., Lok Nayak Hospital in Second Appeal No. CIC/LOKHN/A/2017/151062, Date of Decision: 30.10.2019

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