Guwahati: With several departments failing to submit their annual reports to it despite repeated reminders, the Assam Information Commission has recommended to the state government to take action against them.

In the annual report of the Assam Information Commission for 2020-21 tabled in the state assembly on Monday, the panel said seven departments failed to submit their reports on the public authorities under their jurisdiction despite several reminders.

These departments include Education (Elementary and Higher), Finance, Parliamentary Affairs, and PWD (Roads).

Twelve more departments submitted partial reports without covering all the public authorities under them.

The commission strongly recommends suitable action against the departments which have failed to comply with statutory provisions of the (RTI) Act, the report said.

It termed efforts by the state government to create awareness regarding provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act as inadequate’ and advocated for more measures to encourage greater participation of women and people from rural areas in filing RTI applications.

Iterating that filing of RTI petitions, complaints, and appeals is restricted to a small group, the report pointed out that more than 90 per cent of all RTI complaints and second appeal petitions filed before it are by a group of six to seven activists.

Filing multiple RTI applications before different authorities on the same subject or before the same authority by an applicant may amount to disproportionate diversion of resources, it said.

The commission iterated its proposal for the deletion of CID and Bureau of Investigation of Economic Offences (BIEO) from the list of exempted organisations under the RTI Act as these are investigating agencies and not intelligence and security organisations, which are kept out of the purview of the RTI Act.

It also suggested that the amended RTI Rules be published without any further delay.

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