QUESTIONNAIRE

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION


RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT

1.A Questionnaire for State /
UT Governments which already had a State / UT 
RTI Act

 

GENERAL

1.      How is the RTI Act of 2005, an improvement over the State/UT Act? Please highlight the essential differences between the two.

2.      When did the State/UT Act come into force?

3.      After the coming into force of the Central RTI Act what does the State/UT plan to do with the State/UT Act? {A copy of the State/UT Act may please be furnished}

4.      Was any evaluation of the impact of the State/UT Act done? What were the major findings? {A copy of the report may be furnished}

5.      What was the monitoring mechanism under the State/UT Act?

6.      Have the details of all applications received under the State/UT Act been compiled showing types of application received, how they were disposed off, in how many cases the information could not be furnished, and what were the reasons?

7.      What were the main challenges faced by the State/UT in implementing the State/UT Act? And how were these overcome?

PREPARATIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS FOR RECORD KEEPING

8.      Has the State/UT Govt. taken all actions as per sec. 4(1)(b)

9.      What are the arrangements made by the State/UT Government under section 4 of the RTI Act, to provide suo-motu information to citizens? Have some guidelines been issued? Would issuing guidelines help in dissemination of information, as there is a tendency to hide unpleasant information? If so what all aspects should these guidelines cover?

10.  What are the arrangements made in the offices of the State/UT Government functionaries at the District level under section 4 of the RTI Act, to provide suo motu information to citizens?

11.  Have protocols and formats been developed for uniform application at the level of public authorities for proactive disclosure? Is accessing such information facilitated by simple, citizen-friendly, uniform procedures? Please describe such procedures. Have protocols and formats been developed for easy computerization and web-based access?

12.  Does the State/UT Government think that the state of record-keeping is good enough to provide all the required information as stipulated under the RTI Act? What changes are required?

13.  Is it possible to identify some offices /departments where it could be said that all the required information, subject to availability, would be provided to the citizens?

14.  Has the State/UT Government made any arrangements for storing, disclosure and dissemination of information using electronic means i.e. applying the modes of e-governance?    What would be major difficulties in this?   

15.  Has the State/UT Government initiated any training programme for the benefit of its officers on norms of disclosure of information and implementation of the RTI Act?

16.  Would it be desirable to have a Single Window agency at the State or UT/District/Block levels which receives all information pertaining to the District/Taluka and then processes them further?

17.  What is the feasibility of creating a single window for citizens seeking information? Can web-based and other mechanisms be evolved to create such a single window so that people need not approach various departments separately? What technical and physical infrastructure does the state need to facilitate the creation of the single window at the State/UT, District and Block level?

18.  Many offices especially the District Collectors office, Zilla Panchayat offices  have their own web-sites. But the information available is quite generic. How could these web-sites be enriched? Could there be some guidelines on making these website content rich?

19.  What arrangements have been made for acceptance of fees for seeking information?

AWARENESS GENERATION

20.  Has the State/UT Government made any arrangements for creating awareness about the enactment of the Act pertaining to Right to Information among the citizens?  If yes, does it extend to awareness at the village/ Gram Panchayat level? What are the modes adopted by the State/UT Government for this purpose?

21.  What are the arrangements made by the State/UT Government for spreading awareness about the RTI Act among people who are illiterate or in areas where illiteracy is high?

22.  What are the arrangements made by the State/UT Government for helping people who are illiterate and/or who live below the poverty line to make an application for disclosure of information at all levels?

CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTATION

23.  Does the State/UT Government think that a separate resource allocation is needed for implementing the RTI Act?  Would the existing staff be able to cater to the anticipated demand at all levels?

24.  Does the State/UT Government think that the Official Secrets Act will come in the way of implementation of the RTI Act?  If yes, how? Does the State / UT Government recommend any amendment in the Official Secrets Act?

25.  Is it possible/desirable to have a citizens committee to monitor the implementation of this Act at the District and the State/UT levels?

26.  What arrangements have been made by the State/UT Government for accepting information requests from remote areas?

MONITORING

27.  What monitoring mechanism has the State/UT Government put in place to keep track of all applications received and how they were disposed off?

28.  Would it be desirable to have a system of grading of important offices based on their performance in disseminating information?

29.  Is it possible to involve private sector which can be given the raw data periodically by some offices, it then processes this raw data and makes the desired information available to the public on demand? {The concept of privately operated information kiosks}.

30.  Which are the areas/sectors/offices where effective implementation of RTI Act could lead to curbing corruption? Should these offices be monitored more closely for effective implementation? {ABC Analysis}

31.  The Act stipulates that there no fees is to be paid by persons living below poverty line? What guidelines have been issued for proper implementation of this provision?

32.  What should be done to handle frivolous demand for information?

33.  What can be done to create a single web-based source to give citizens easy access to all proactive disclosures made by public authorities of the Union and all the States/UTs? What can be done to facilitate similar easy access to all reports of Central Information Commission and all State/UT Information Commissions?

34.  What formal and informal mechanisms are needed between the Union and States for effective coordination, sharing and dissemination of best practices, and creating easy single-window access to all citizens? Would a forum of Central Information Commission and all State / UT Information Commissions meeting periodically and taking decisions and pursuing them be of value in this regard? Who should take such an initiative?

 

 

( Note- the respondents may  furnish any other pertinent information/suggestion not included in the questionnaire)
 

1.B. Questionnaire for State / UT Governments which did not have State / UT     RTI Act

 

GENERAL

1.      Before the RTI Act coming into force, what was the mechanism by which the State / UT Government, its agencies and functionaries were providing information to the public? There must have been a system of providing copies of some documents? What were the instructions/guidelines issued by the State/UT Governments  in this regard?

2.      Was there a system for monitoring this system? If a study was done for evaluation of this system, a copy of the same may be furnished?

PREPARATIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS FOR RECORD KEEPING

3.      What are the arrangements made by the State / UT Government under section 4 of the RTI Act, to provide suo-motu information to citizens? Have some guidelines been issued? Would issuing guidelines help in dissemination of information, as there is a tendency to hide unpleasant information? If so what all aspects should these guidelines cover?

4.      Has the State /UT Govt. taken all actions as per sec. 4(1)(b)

5.      What are the arrangements made in the offices of the State / UT Government functionaries at the District level under section 4 of the RTI Act, to provide suo motu information to citizens?

6.      Does the State / UT Government think that the state of record-keeping is good enough to provide all the required information as stipulated under the RTI Act? What changes are required?

7.      Have protocols and formats been developed for uniform application at the level of public authorities for proactive disclosure? Is accessing such information facilitated by simple, citizen-friendly, uniform procedures? Please describe such procedures. Have protocols and formats been developed for easy computerization and web-based access?

8.      Is it possible to identify some offices /departments where it could be said that all the required information, subject to availability, would be provided to the citizens?

9.      Has the State / UT Government made any arrangements for storing, disclosure and dissemination of information using electronic means i.e. applying the modes of e-governance?    What would be major difficulties in this?   

10.  Has the State / UT Government initiated any training programme for the benefit of its officers on norms of disclosure of information and implementation of the RTI Act?

AWARENESS GENERATION

11.  Has the State / UT Government made any arrangements for creating awareness about the enactment of the Act pertaining to Right to Information among the citizens?  If yes, does it extend to awareness at the village/ Gram Panchayat level? What are the modes adopted by the State / UT Government for this purpose?

12.  What are the arrangements made by the State / UT Government for spreading awareness about the RTI Act among people who are illiterate or in areas where illiteracy is high?

13.  What are the arrangements made by the State / UT Government for helping people who are illiterate and/or who live below the poverty line to make an application for disclosure of information at all levels.

CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTATION

14.  Does the State/UT Government think that the Official Secrets Act will come in the way of implementation of the RTI Act?  If yes, how? Does the State / UT Government recommend any amendment in the Official Secrets Act?

15.  Does the State/UT Government think that a separate resource allocation is needed for implementing the RTI Act?  Would the existing staff be able to cater to the anticipated demand at all levels?

16.  What arrangements have been made by the State/UT Government for accepting information requests from remote areas?

17.  Is it possible to involve private sector which can be given the raw data periodically by some offices, it then processes this raw data and makes the desired information available to the public on demand? {The concept of privately operated information kiosks}.

18.  Which are the areas/sectors/offices where effective implementation of RTI Act could lead to curbing corruption? Should these offices be monitored more closely for effective implementation? {ABC Analysis}

19.  Would it be desirable to have a Single Window agency at the State or UT /District/Block levels which receives all information pertaining to the District/Taluka and then processes them further?

20.  What is the feasibility of creating a single window for citizens seeking information? Can web-based and other mechanisms be evolved to create such a single window so that people need not approach various departments separately? What technical and physical infrastructure does the state need to facilitate the creation of the single window at the State/UT, District and Block level?

21.  Many offices especially the District Collectors office, Zilla Panchayat offices  have their own web-sites. But the information available is quite generic. How could these web-sites be enriched? Could there be some guidelines on making these website content rich?

22.  What arrangements have been made for acceptance of fees for seeking information?

23.  The Act stipulates that there no fees is to be paid by persons living below poverty line? What guidelines have been issued for proper implementation of this provision?

24.  What should be done to handle frivolous demand for information?

MONITORING

25.  Is it possible/desirable to have a citizens committee to monitor the implementation of this Act at the District and the State/UT levels?

26.  Would it be desirable to have a system of grading of important offices based on their performance in disseminating information?

27.  What monitoring mechanism has the State/UT Government put in place to keep track of all applications received and how were they disposed off?

28.  What can be done to create a single web-based source to give citizens easy access to all proactive disclosures made by public authorities of the Union and all the States/UTs? What can be done to facilitate similar easy access to all reports of Central Information Commission and all State/UT Information Commissions?

29.  What formal and informal mechanisms are needed between the Union and States / UTs for effective coordination, sharing and dissemination of best practices, and creating easy single-window access to all citizens? Would a forum of Central Information Commission and all State / UT Information Commissions meeting periodically and taking decisions and pursuing them be of value in this regard? Who should take such an initiative?

 

 

 

( Note- the respondents may  furnish any other pertinent information/suggestion not included in the questionnaire)
2. Questionnaire for District Collectors

GENERAL

1.      What was the system of providing information on demand to citizens prior to the coming into force of the RTI Act? What type of information could be furnished?

2.      What are the arrangements made on part of the District Administration under section 4 of the RTI Act, to provide suo motu information to citizens?

3.      Do you think that the state of record-keeping is good enough to provide all the required information as stipulated under the RTI Act? What needs to be done to improve the standard of record keeping?

4.      Is it possible to identify some offices where it could be said that all the required information, subject to availability, would be provided to the citizens?

PREPARATIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS

5.      Has the District Administration made any arrangements for creating awareness about the enactment of the Act pertaining to Right to Information among the citizens? 

6.      If yes, does it extend to awareness at the village/ Gram Panchayat level?

7.      Has the District Administration made any arrangements for storing, disclosure and dissemination of information using electronic means i.e. applying the modes of e-governance?       

8.      If yes, then has the District Administration prepared any standard format for storing, disclosure and dissemination of information at various levels?

9.      What are the arrangements made by the District Administration for spreading awareness about the RTI Act among people who are illiterate or in areas where illiteracy is high?

10.  What are the arrangements made by the District Administration for helping people who are illiterate and/or who live below the poverty line to make an application for disclosure of information at all levels?

11.  Has the District Administration initiated any training programme for the benefit of its officers on norms of disclosure of information and implementation of the RTI Act?

CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTATION

12.  Is the District Administration asking for verification of citizenship status in general and economic status for people lying below the poverty line  in particular from persons making applications under the RTI Act?

13.  Does the District Administration think that the Official Secrets Act will come in the way of implementation of the RTI Act? 

14.  If yes, how?

15.  Do you think that a citizens’ committee may be useful in implementation of this Act?

16.  Would it be desirable to have a Single Window agency at the State or UT /District/Block levels which receives all information pertaining to the District/Taluka and then processes them further?

17.  What is the feasibility of creating a single window for citizens seeking information? Can web-based and other mechanisms be evolved to create such a single window so that people need not approach various departments separately? What technical and physical infrastructure does the state need to facilitate the creation of the single window at the State/UT, District and Block level?

18.  What should be done to handle frivolous demand of information?

19.  What can be done to create a single web-based source to give citizens easy access to all proactive disclosures made by public authorities of the Union and all the States/UTs? What can be done to facilitate similar easy access to all reports of Central Information Commission and all State/UT Information Commissions?

20.  What formal and informal mechanisms are needed between the Union and States/UTs for effective coordination, sharing and dissemination of best practices, and creating easy single-window access to all citizens? Would a forum of Central Information Commission and all State /UT Information Commissions meeting periodically and taking decisions and pursuing them be of value in this regard? Who should take such an initiative?

 

( Note- the respondents may  furnish any other pertinent information/suggestion not included in the questionnaire)


 

 

3. Questionnaire for Citizens

BACKGROUND

1.      Please indicate the type of settlement where you reside (a)village(b)town having population below one lakh(c)town having population between one and ten lakh(d)city having population above ten lakhs(e)four metros

2.      Please indicate your occupation(a)farming(b)agricultural labourer(c)craftsman(d)private business(e)industrial labourer(f)Govt. Servant(g)salaried employee in private sector(h)professional.

SEEKING INFORMATION FROM GOVERNMENT

3.      Have you ever desired to seek information from any Ministry/department/agency of the Central/State (or UT) Government before the RTI Act coming into force?  

4.      If yes, then did it pertain to (a)status of any application made by you (b)reasons of rejection of any application made by you(c) inadequate delay in processing of any application(d)faulty processing of any application(e)issue pertaining to any public/community interest

5.      Did you actually write to the officials concerned for the relevant information?

6.      If yes, then did you receive any information from the official concerned?

7.      If yes, then were you satisfied with the information provided to you?

THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT

8.      Are you aware that the Indian Parliament has passed the RTI Act in 2005, providing every citizen with the Right to Information? 

9.      Are you aware of the provisions of the RTI Act?        

10.  Are you aware that you are not required to disclose any reason for asking the desired information under the RTI Act?

11.  Are you aware about the fees which are to be charged for the disclosure of information under the RTI Act?

12.  Are you aware that there are no fees for citizens who are below the poverty line?

13.  Are you aware that all Ministries/Departments/agencies of the Central/State (or UT) Government are statutorily required to provide the requisite information within 30 days of making the application, which can not exceed 40 days in any case?

EXPERIENCE

14.  Have you made any application under the RTI Act to any Government official?   

15.  If yes, then have you received the information within 30 days of making the application?  

16.  Are you satisfied with the quality of information disclosed to you?  

17.  Do you think the information which has been disclosed to you was quite vague, incomplete or evasive in nature ?

18.  Has the information been provided in the format you had sought?

19.  Whether the official has used standardized computer generated format for providing the information which was sought for?  

20.  Have the concerned authorities denied you the information which you had sought?  

21.  If yes, has the reason for the same been communicated to you?  

22.  Are you satisfied with the reasons so communicated?  

23.  If no, have you preferred an appeal against the said order?  

24.  Which provision of the RTI Act was invoked by the concerned authority to deny the disclosure of information to you (give the specific provision of the RTI Act).

25.  What are the arrangements made in the area of your field work by the State / UT Government for helping people who are illiterate and/or who live below the poverty line in making an application for disclosure of information at all levels?

SUGGESTIONS

26.  What should be done to handle frivolous demand of information?

27.  What in your view are the impediments in getting information from Government?

28.  How could these be overcome?

29.  Does the Official Secrets Act come in the way of ‘Freedom of Information’?

30  What changes are required in the Official Secrets Act?

31.      Would it be desirable to have a Single Window agency at the State (or UT) /District/Block levels which receives all information pertaining to the District/Taluka and then processes them further?

32.  What is the feasibility of creating a single window for citizens seeking information? Can web-based and other mechanisms be evolved to create such a single window so that people need not approach various departments separately? What technical and physical infrastructure does the state need to facilitate the creation of the single window at the State/UT, District and Block level?

33.  What can be done to create a single web-based source to give citizens easy access to all proactive disclosures made by public authorities of the Union and all the States/UTs? What can be done to facilitate similar easy access to all reports of Central Information Commission and all State / UT Information Commissions?

34.  What formal and informal mechanisms are needed between the Union and States / UTs for effective coordination, sharing and dissemination of best practices, and creating easy single-window access to all citizens? Would a forum of Central Information Commission and all State / UT Information Commissions meeting periodically and taking decisions and pursuing them be of value in this regard? Who should take such an initiative?

 

 

 

( Note- the respondents may  furnish any other pertinent information/suggestion not included in the questionnaire)


 

4. Questionnaire for NGOs

BACKGROUND

  1. Please specify the region/area of your field work[village/taluka/district/state(or UT) ].
  2. Is your organization also carrying out the work of spreading awareness about the provisions of the RTI Act in the area of your field work? 
  3. Whether your organization had tried to elicit information from government officials prior to the enactment of the RTI Act? 

EXPERIENCE WITH RTI ACT

  1. If yes, whether you had received the information you had sought ? 
  2. If yes, whether the information provided to you was as per your requirements? 
  3. Whether any Government authority has made any attempts to make the people aware of the provisions of the RTI Act in your field area? 
  4. What will be the nature of information likely to be sought by people residing in your field work area?
  5. Do you think that the concerned government authorities have made suitable arrangements for providing such information to citizens?  
  6. Have you made any request for disclosure of information to any Government official under the RTI Act, in the area of your field work?  
  7. If yes, whether the information sought for has been received by you within the stipulated time?  
  8. If yes, then have you received the information within 30 days of making the application?  
  9. Are you satisfied with the quality of information disclosed to you?  
  10. Do you think the information which has been disclosed to you quite vague, incomplete or evasive in nature ?
  11. Has the information been provided in the format you had sought?
  12. Has the concerned authorities denied you the information which you had sought?  

SUGGESTIONS

  1. What are your suggestions for effective implementation of the RTI Act?
  2. What in your view would be the major impediments in the effective implementation of the RTI Act?
  3. What are your suggestions for ensuring that the maximum amount of information gets disseminated through voluntary disclosure under section 4 of the Act so that the work of providing information gets reduced?
  4. Do you think that the Official Secrets Act would come in the way of effective implementation of RTI Act? If yes. Why?
  5. How to generate awareness among the people? Please give your suggestions.
  6. How to change the mindset of officialdom which is basically inclined towards maintaining secrecy?
  7. What would be the easiest mode of  payment of fees for seeking information? Should there be stamps of fixed value like the revenue stamps to be circulated through all post offices?
  8. What should be done to avoid demand for frivolous information?
  9. Would it be desirable to have a Single Window agency at the State (or UT) /District/Block levels which receives all information pertaining to the District/Taluka and then processes them further?
  10. What is the feasibility of creating a single window for citizens seeking information? Can web-based and other mechanisms be evolved to create such a single window so that people need not approach various departments separately? What technical and physical infrastructure does the state need to facilitate the creation of the single window at the State/UT, District and Block level?
  11. What can be done to create a single web-based source to give citizens easy access to all proactive disclosures made by public authorities of the Union and all the States/UTs? What can be done to facilitate similar easy access to all reports of Central Information Commission and all State / UT Information Commissions?
  12. What formal and informal mechanisms are needed between the Union and States /UTs for effective coordination, sharing and dissemination of best practices, and creating easy single-window access to all citizens? Would a forum of Central Information Commission and all State / UT Information Commissions meeting periodically and taking decisions and pursuing them be of value in this regard? Who should take such an initiative?

 

 

( Note- the respondents may  furnish any other pertinent information/suggestion not included in the questionnaire)
5. Questionaire for the media

EXPERIENCE IN OBTAINING INFORMATION

  1. Whether your organization had tried to elicit information from government officials prior to the enactment of the RTI Act? 
  2. If yes, whether you had received the information you had sought? 
  3. If yes, whether the information provided to you was as per your requirements? 
  4. How does media obtain information from Government Departments? Would the RTI act help the media in getting the type of information they want?
  5. What will be the nature of information likely to be sought by people?
  6. Do you think that the concerned government authorities have made suitable arrangements for providing such information to citizens?  
  7. Have you made any request for disclosure of information to any Government official under the RTI Act, in the area of your field work?  
  8. If yes, whether the information sought for has been received by you within the stipulated time?  
  9. If yes, then have you received the information within 30 days of making the application?  
  10. Are you satisfied with the quality of information disclosed to you?  
  11. Do you think the information which has been disclosed to you is vague, incomplete or evasive in nature?
  12. Have the concerned authorities denied you the information which you had sought?  

SUGGESTIONS

  1. What are your suggestions for effective implementation of the RTI Act?
  2. What in your view would be the major impediments in the effective implementation of the RTI Act?
  3. What are your suggestions for ensuring that the maximum amount of information gets disseminated through voluntary disclosure under section 4 of the Act so that the work of demanding information gets reduced?
  4. Do you think that the Official Secrets Act would come in the way of effective implementation of RTI Act? If yes. Why?
  5. What amendments need to be carried out in the Official Secrets Act to ensure ‘Freedom of Information’?
  6. How to generate awareness among the people about freedom of information?? Please give your suggestions.
  7. What should be done to avoid demand for frivolous information?
  8. Would it be desirable to have a Single Window agency at the State (or UT) /District/Block levels which receives all information pertaining to the District/Taluka and then processes them further?
  9. What is the feasibility of creating a single window for citizens seeking information? Can web-based and other mechanisms be evolved to create such a single window so that people need not approach various departments separately? What technical and physical infrastructure does the state need to facilitate the creation of the single window at the State/UT, District and Block level?
  10. What can be done to create a single web-based source to give citizens easy access to all proactive disclosures made by public authorities of the Union and all the States / UTs? What can be done to facilitate similar easy access to all reports of Central Information Commission and all State / UT Information Commissions?
  11. What formal and informal mechanisms are needed between the Union and States / UTs for effective coordination, sharing and dissemination of best practices, and creating easy single-window access to all citizens? Would a forum of Central Information Commission and all State / UT Information Commissions meeting periodically and taking decisions and pursuing them be of value in this regard? Who should take such an initiative?

 

 

 

( Note- the respondents may  furnish any other pertinent information/suggestion not included in the questionnaire.