The Right to Information Act, 2005 (No. 22 of 2005) received the assent of the President on 15 th June, 2005. It aims to provide the right to information for the citizens to secure access to information under the control of various public authorities, with a view to promoting transparency and accountability in the day-to-day functioning of every public authority. The Government requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption to a certain extent as well as to hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the people. All the provisions of the Act came into force with effect from 12 th October, 2005.
All the Departments of the State Government including Raj Bhavan were supposed to take certain preliminary steps in relation with enforcement of this Act prior to its coming into force from 12 th October, 2005. In this regard, the Raj Bhavan Secretariat initiated the following steps.
- Appointment of authorities as envisaged in the provisions of the Act, and
- Preparation of manuals as envisaged in the provisions of clause (b) (i) to (xvii) of Section 4 (a) of the Act as shown below.
- The particulars of its organization, function and duties;
- The powers and duties of its officers and employees;
- The procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability;
- The norms set by it for the discharge of its functions;
- The rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions;
- A statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control;
- The particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof;
- A statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public;
- A directory of its officers and employees;
- The monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the systems of compensation as provided in its regulations;
- The budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made;
- The manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes;
- Particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorization granted by it;
- Details in respect of the information, available to or held by it, reduced in a electronic form;
- The particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use;
- The names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers;
- Such other information as may be prescribed and thereafter update these publications every year.
Accordingly, two offices of the Raj Bhavan viz. Office of the Secretary to the Governor and Office of the Comptroller of Household to the Governor prepared detailed information manuals with reference to the above provisions of the Act. The details of these are furnished herewith in Annexure-I and Annexure-II for the information of the general public.
As per the provisions of Section 28 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (22 of 2005) the competent authority has to make Rules to carry out the provisions of this Act . In this context, the Raj Bhavan Secretariat has adopted the Rules framed by the State Government in the General Administration Department vide its Notification No. GS-30-2005-VHS-1005-2664-RTI Cell , dated 5 th October, 2005, mutatis mutandis for its both the offices namely (i) the Office of the Secretary to the Governor of Gujarat and (ii) the Office of the Comptroller of Household to the Governor of Gujarat . The said Rules will remain in force until such time, His Excellency the Governor of Gujarat deems it feet to frame or further amend the same.
Order dated 10 th October, 2005 passed in this regard and details of the Rules thereunder are given in Annexure- III.