Maintenance of records and publication of information in consonance with Section 4 of the RTI Act, 2005- consolidated instructions
[Updated on 31-10-2022]
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training
Subject: Maintenance of records and publication of information in consonance with Section 4 of the RTI Act, 2005- consolidated instructions.
I. Provisions of RTI Act, 2005
1. section 4 of the RTI Act 2005 sets out a practical regime of transparency in the working of the public authorities by way of disclosure of as much information to the public as possible, suo motu so that the public may not have to resort to the use of this Act to obtain information.
2. Section 4(1)(a) of the RTI Act makes it obligatory for every public authority to maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed. Record management in accordance with this provision is an important step to enable the Public Information Officers to furnish information sought under the Act. The clause also requires the public authority to have its records computerized and connected through a network all over the country. The public authorities are expected to complete the requirements of this clause on top priority.
3. section 4(1)(b) of the RTI Act mandates the public authorities to publish the information mentioned therein within one hundred and twenty days from the date of enactment of the Act. It is expected that all public authorities would have complied with this requirement already. If it has not been done so far, its compliance may be ensured without any further delay. Information so published should also be updated every year as provided in the Act.
4. section 4(1)(c) of the RTI Act requires all public authorities to publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies and announcing decisions affecting the public. They, under Section 4(1)(d), are also obliged to provide reasons for their administrative or quasi judicial decisions to the affected parties.
5. section 4(3) of the RII Act requires wide dissemination of every information required to be disclosed suo motu in such form and manner which is accessible to the public. Dissemination may be done through notice boards, news papers, public announcements, media broadcasts, the internet or any other means. Section 4(4) of the RTI Act states that while disseminating the information, the public authority should take into consideration the cost effectiveness, local language and the most effective method of communication in the concerned local area. The information should be, to the extent possible, available with the Public Information Officer in the electronic format which could be made available free of cost or at such price as may be prescribed. A copy of the document published, referred to in para 3, and also the copies of publications referred to in para 4 above, should be kept with an officer of the public authority and should be made available for inspection by any person desirous of inspecting these documents.
II. Instructions issued by DoPT
1. All the Ministries/Departments etc. were requested to comply with the requirements of Section 4 of the RTI Act and also to issue necessary instructions to the public authorities under them for compliance of the same.
[OM No. 1/18/2007-IR dated 21.09.2007]
2. The maintenance and updating of records is a continuing process which every public authority is obligated to do. Improving the infrastructure and bringing out the necessary manuals are also continuing processes, and the responsibility of the concerned public authorities. All the public authorities should update their records, improve their infrastructure, bring out necessary manuals from within their resources. They may make specific budgetary provisions for the purpose as per their requirement.
[OM No. 1/33/2007-IR dated 14.11.2007]
3. Proper maintenance of records is vital for the success of the RTI Act but many public authorities have not paid due attention to the issue despite instructions issued by this Department. Hence, it was requested to all the Ministries/Departments etc. to ensure that requirements of Section 4 of the Act in general and clause (a) of sub-section (1) thereof in particular are met by all the public authorities under them without any further delay.
[OM No. 12/192/2009-IR dated 20.01.2010]Click here to view/download the PDF