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news details
Junior officers continue to be PIOs, FAAs
GAD violates CIC's Circular
1/21/2018 10:47:59 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Jan 21: General Administration Department (GAD) which happens to be the nodal organization for implementation of Right to Information (RTI) in Jammu & Kashmir, has been violating the Act by not posting senior officers as Public Information Officers (PIOs) and First Appellate Authorities (FAAs) as per the direction of State Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).
Details available with Early Times reveal that vide State Information Commission's (SIC) circular No: 35-GAD of 2017 Dated: .07.2017, issued on the direction of CIC Khurshid Ahmad Ganai all the administrative departments were directed to appoint Additional Secretary or Deputy Secretary level officers as PIOs and Special Secretary level officers as First Appellate Authorities (FAAs), but after the lapse of more than 6 months , GAD along with most of the administrative departments have failed to adhere to these guidelines.
According to SICs circular No. 24-GAD of 2017 dated 25-05-2017, "It is impressed upon all the Administrative Secretaries, Divisional Commissioners and the Deputy Commissioners that while appointing Public Information Officers (PIOs) and the First Appellate Authority (FAAs) under the Right to Information Act, 2009, priority be given to appoint Deputy Secretary/ Additional Secretary level officers or their equivalent as Public Information Officers and Special Secretary level officers or their equivalent as First Appellate Authority in order to ensure effective implementation of the provisions of Right to Information Act, 2009".
As per the official website of GAD , out of 5 PIOs designated by General Administration Depart-ment 4 PIOs namely Sonam Chosdan , Ifthikar Rasool Hamdani, Sanjay Kumar Tickoo , Amrik Singh are all Under Secretaries to the Government. In addition to it, Sajad un Nabi also a PIO (legal) is a Public Law Officer.
Only one PIO (Kachoo Imteaz) who was Deputy Secretary in GAD was one among 6 PIOs who has now been transferred from the department. The officers' name still figures on GAD website. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) of GAD S C Chibber is Additional Secretary to Government.
Sources said that in majority of administrative departments Under Secretaries continue to function as PIOs which is open violation of SIC's circular.
Pertinently when RTI Act was enacted in J&K , Additional Secretary in GAD used to be the designated PIO and Special Secretary was the First Appellate Authority (FAA) , but when SIC started taking PIOs to task during case hearings , junior officers in the department were designated as PIOs.
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