Key responsibilities of the public bodies under the law are as follows
Designate Public Information Officers
All public bodies must designate public information officers within 60 days of the Act coming into effect, and proactively disseminate information about their contact details through websites, notice-boards and other media. The public information officers are responsible for assisting citizens to make RTI applications, and then responding to their applications.
Information Request Forms
Although the RTI request can be made on plain paper, the public body should make optional RTI Application Form available on their websites and in print form.
Properly Manage Public Record
Each public body should develop computerized systems for information management, and maintain their information and record in an easily accessible form. Information maintained in paper form is also important and must be efficiently managed. It entails sorting of record for maintaining, devising systems (software and hardware) to organize these for easy access, and training staff on how to manage information. Since, all this takes time, realistic approach would be to focus on bringing about proper management of current and future record, and focus on previous record in phased manner (over medium-to-long term). Note: Precise requirements about maintenance, indexation, computerization, storage, online systems etc., and related timelines will soon be provided by the Punjab Information Commission.
Publish Annual RTI Reports
Public bodies must publish annual reports by 31 August, detailing their RTI related activities and performance over the previous financial year.
Proactive Disclosure of Information
Public bodies must proactively disclose following information relating to their functions and operations:
- Basic information about the public body i.e.,– how and what it does?
- Duties and powers of its officers and employees
- How the public body works: the norms and procedures it follows to carry out its functions
- All Acts, rules, regulations, notifications and so on under which the public body operates
- A list of the types of information held by the public body
- The decision-making processes of the public body, and whatever opportunities there are for citizens to provide their views and comments
- A directory of the officers and employees of the public body, along with their remuneration and any perks and privileges they receive
- The budget of the public body, including both proposed and actual expenditure
- Any subsidies which the public body provides, and details of beneficiaries
- Any concessions, permits or authorizations granted by the public body, and details of recipients
- Procedure of obtaining information from the public body
- Name, designation and other details of the public body’s public information officer(s)
- Any other information that would be notified in the official Gazette
View Details of current disclosure of information in Punjab.