GOOD GOVERNANCE INITIATIVES

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GOOD GOVERNANCE INITIATIVES

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GOOD GOVERNANCE INITIATIVES:

GOOD GOVERNANCE INITIATIVES PREPARED BY K.UMA MAHESWAR

PowerPoint Presentation:

If we starts talking about good governance initiatives we will get numerous ones. So, I’ll confine my self to some of initiatives or reforms which made considerable impact on governmental process. They are- Right To Information(RTI) Social Audit Empowering Gram Sabah Citizen’s Charter Lokpal and Lokayuka Local Governance

Right To Information(RTI):

James Madison(1882 ), perhaps the first thinker who said “There is an urgent need for 'popular information ’ in a democracy” The “ Third Wave of Democracy ( Huntington )” along with the spread of governance philosophy in the last decade of 20 th century has strengthen the democracy with special emphasis on ‘ openness ’ , ‘ transparency', 'Accountability ’ The concept “ Govt. by People ” presupposes that the people have access to information on matters of ‘ public concern ’ in order to effectively exercise its governing power. Right To Information(RTI)

Factors contributed for RTI: :

1.The socio-economic milieu in last decades of 20 th century 2. Increasing awareness of the public about their rights 3.The need to have a fully ‘ Accountable ’ and ‘ Responsive Admininistration ’ 4. Growing public opinion that views continued practice of bureaucratic secrecy as the ‘abuse of authority’ Factors contributed for RTI:

Need for the RTI :

Availability of this right makes for the “ Empowerment of the people , who other wise be ignorant about the process of governance” It creates conditions for “ open governance ” which is the foundation of democracy. RTI is an investment in “ people’s thrust ” in govt. , which is the real basis of democratic governance. It makes citizens “ co-shares ” in the public policy making and administration. Because of RTI , “ gross roots democracy ” becomes more and more authentic and people-centric. It has an of “ economic element ”. It enhances the capacity of the public to provide timely “feedback” on govt. planning due to the free flow of information. Need for the RTI

Efforts at international level for RTI: 1.UNO General Assembly’s Resolution adopted in 1946 has recognized “ Freedom of Information as fundamental human right” 2.Universal Declaration of Human Rights ,1948 (Article 19) is on RTI 3. The World Bank’s “Disclosure Policy” provides an important framework for the timely release of information about the institution’s policies and operations. 4. UNDP also developed “Practical guidance notes on RTI” and “Measuring the impact of RTI” 5. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative(CHRI) in a workshop at New Delhi in 2001 called for ‘RTI’ :

Efforts at international level for RTI : 1.UNO General Assembly’s Resolution adopted in 1946 has recognized “ Freedom of Information as fundamental human right” 2.Universal Declaration of Human Rights ,1948 ( Article 19 ) is on RTI 3. The World Bank’s “ Disclosure Policy ” provides an important framework for the timely release of information about the institution’s policies and operations. 4. UNDP also developed “ Practical guidance notes on RTI ” and “Measuring the impact of RTI” 5. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative(CHRI) in a workshop at New Delhi in 2001 called for ‘RTI’

EFFORTS OF NGOS:

In rural Rajasthan, India – MKSS ( mazddor kisan shakti sangthan) , a local NGO through the medium of “ JAN SUNWALS” makes relevant information accessible to the public. In South Africa- ODF (open democracy forum) is working on creating awareness among the rural masses on South Africa’s information law EFFORTS OF NGOS

THE INDIA CASE::

The Supreme Court in the landmark case of “ state of Uttar Pradesh vs Ra j Narain(1975)” observed that the RTI is part of ‘freedom of speech(Article 19(1))’ and ‘right to life(Article 21)’ The Supreme Court ‘s famous verdict in the case of “ S.P.GUPTA vs UNION OF INDIA(1975) ” made the same observation (same as above) The Fifth Pay Commission (1994-96) called for the need for ‘openness’ in govt. and recommended for the passing of a RTI Act on the lines of Canada and UK RTI Acts. THE INDIA CASE :

PowerPoint Presentation:

RTI : The Govt.’s Contribution The Govt. had set up a Working Group on RTI and Promotion of Open & Transparent Govt. (1997) , headed by P.B.SAVANT. The Working Group along with the National Campaign for people’s RTI has prepared a draft RTI Act . As many as ‘9’ states passed their respective RTI Acts based on this draft RTI Act. Some of the states are Delhi ,Karnataka, AP, Maharashtra etc. Finally, in 2002 The Govt. prepared a law for RTI i.e. Freedom of Information Act (2002) . But the Act could not be enforced due to lack of ‘notification’ and ‘ non framing of rules by the bureaucracy’

RTI ACT,2005:

It replaced the old Freedom of Press Act,2002. Aim: promoting Transparency and Accountability in the working of every public authority. Provisions : Appointment of “ Public Information Officer ” in EACH dept. to provide information to the public on request. It fixes a 30-day deadline for providing information; deadline is 48 hours if the information concerns Life or Liberty of a person Information will be Free for BPL . All public authorities must disclose the information ‘ suo-motu’. It overrides the Official Secrets Act,1923 , in the public interest outweighs harm to protected persons. RTI ACT,2005

Recent Trends:

Recent Trends 1. Schedule 2 of the Act : It contains “authorities or institutions which are ‘excluded’ from the list”. - Their number is ‘18’ - These include all strategic, security agencies. - Many a times information is not provided in name of security… 2. Selection on Information Commissioners(ICs) : In many cases persons having “ political link ” has been recommended to the posts. E.g.: Andhra Pradesh – Recently the appointment of two Ics has been overruled by the high Court on the above grounds. 3. BCCI case : After the “Lalit Modi Issue in the IPL” there is a mounting pressure on the GOI to bring BCCI under RTI Act

Administrative Reforms Commission(ARC)-II on RTI:

The Official Secrets Act.1923 should be repealed . Armed Forces should be included in the Schedule 2 of the Act and the Schedule must be reviewed periodically. Selection committee CIC/Ics: Administrative Reforms Commission(ARC)-II on RTI At present (Section 12): ARC recommended PM PM Leader of the Opposition Leader of the Opposition Union cabinet minister nominated by PM Chief Justice of India

PowerPoint Presentation:

Selection committee SIC/Ics: At present (Section 15): ARC recommended Chief Minister Chief Minister Leader of the Opposition Leader of the Opposition State cabinet minister nominated by CM Chief Justice Of High Court

PowerPoint Presentation:

The Govt. should established “4” Regional Offices of CIC to reach all regions of the country. Similarly regional offices of SICs should be established in larger States. At least ‘half ’ of the Ics should drawn from “ non-civil services ” back ground. Assistant public Information Officer(APIO): All Ministries/ Departments/Agencies/Offices with more than one PIO have to designate a nodal Assistant Public Information Officer with the authority to receive requests for information on behalf of all PIOs. Such a provision should be incorporated in the Rules by appropriate governments.

PowerPoint Presentation:

PIOs in Central Secretariats should be of the level of atleast Deputy Secretary/Director. In State Secretariats officers of similar rank should be notified as PIOs. In all subordinate agencies and departments officers sufficiently senior in rank and yet accessible to public may be designated as PIOs. .. Public Records Offices (PRO)

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