No transparency even after mounting stress: CIC
*SWD requested to furnish particulars, file compliance report
JAMMU, Dec 14: Sixty two Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory being funded considerably by the Union Ministry of Girls and Youngster Growth beneath Social Welfare Schemes are displaying reluctance in furnishing details about their working and expenditure beneath the Proper To Info Act.
This has been seen severely by the Chief Info Commissioner within the Central Info Fee Y Ok Sinha, who whereas issuing needed instructions to the Social Welfare Division of Jammu and Kashmir, has noticed, “regardless of mounting stress for extra openness and transparency, it seems that a variety of NGOs stay reluctant to share info and acknowledge the necessity for accountability”.
The case earlier than the Chief Info Commissioner was that the appellant (applicant earlier than the PIOs), who seems to be on a mission to conduct a efficiency audit of the NGOs, had sought details about utilization of funds being granted to those organizations by the Union Ministry of Girls and Youngster Growth.
Nevertheless, the appellant was not furnished the requisite info and this compelled him to knock the doorways of the CIC with Second Appeals.
The competition of the appellant earlier than the Fee was that he has filed these RTI purposes for the aim of bringing transparency within the public dealings and probity in public life and in NGOs or different our bodies by the involved division; to put down pointers for accreditation of NGOs and devise a correct accounting system to create a correct channel for utilization of funds from the Authorities.
“Each citizen has a proper to know as as to whether his/her cash which has been given to an NGO or every other physique is getting used for the requisite objective or not”, the appellant additional talked about within the Second Appeals.
“These 62 NGOs have been considerably funded by the Ministry of Girls and Youngster Growth by J&Ok Social Welfare Division and this being funded by public cash, the related details about these NGOs must be disclosed beneath the RTI Act”, the appellant submitted.
He additionally highlighted earlier than the Chief Info Commissioner the difficulty of lack of transparency and probity within the area of the functioning of those NGOs as these stay distant from public scrutiny.
In view of the averments raised by the appellant and perusal of the data, the Chief Info Commissioner noticed, “it is crucial for NGOs to attain and preserve a excessive diploma of transparency in not simply their work but additionally their monetary dealings”.
“Retaining the monetary statements and operations open to public scrutiny will support in garnering higher public confidence in regards to the organizations. Nevertheless, regardless of mounting stress for extra openness and transparency, it seems that a variety of NGOs stay reluctant to share info and/or acknowledge the necessity for accountability”, the Chief Info Commissioner stated, including “extra accountability and higher transparency are important components of excellent governance and responsiveness to public wants”.
Upholding the competition of the appellant in search of info in bigger public curiosity, the Fee stated, “the well timed availability of dependable info is crucial for the efficient regulation and monitoring of NGOs by beneficiaries, donors and Governments”.
Accordingly, the Chief Info Commissioner has impleaded J&Ok Social Welfare Division as respondent and accordingly directed the PIO of the division to offer related info in respect of those 62 NGOs to the appellant.
“In case the data just isn’t out there then the PIO should procure the identical from the precise custodians of knowledge by invoking related provisions of the RTI Act and supply it to the appellant Ashok Kumar freed from value”, the Fee stated.
The PIO has additional been directed to submit an in depth compliance report earlier than the Fee enumerating all the data supplied to the appellant by March 31, 2021.
“A duplicate of this order be additionally furnished to the senior functionaries of the Social Welfare Division in order to make sure compliance inside the stipulated time interval”, the CIC stated whereas disposing of all of the Second Appeals with a single order.
The NGOs from whom the data had been sought by the appellant included Society for Welfare of Downtrodden, NEAT, Zabar-Wan Girls’s Welfare and Childcare Growth Group, Lal Ded Mahila Mandal Committee, Alima Iqbal Growth, Environmental, Sports activities and Cultural Society, Ganit-ul-Aloom Charitable Belief, Noor Academic Society, New Girls’s Welfare Society, Hassina Women Vocational Centre, J&Ok State Social Welfare Institute, Border Space Growth Council, Majestic Voluntary Group, Hidden Treasure Academy, Mighli Women Establishment, Khakni Women Vocational Centre and Sain Baba Welfare Society and many others.