Saturday, October 31, 2009

Right to Information? Now babus seek to cover up

After judges, it is the babus' turn to take a call on disclosing their assets under the Right to Information Act. A confidential memo in TOI's possession shows that senior, secretary-level bureaucrats in the government of India plan to meet on November 3 to discuss assets disclosure public employees. The meeting has been convened by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), a ministry that hasn't supported the spirit of transparency embodied in the RTI Act. Government sources say the ministries and departments whose opinion has been sought have been encouraged to come up with a negative view on assets declaration. Points such as ``intimidation of civil servants by busybodies'', ``mocking media analyses'' could be over-emphasized by bureaucrats at the meeting in order to make a case for non-disclosure, the sources claim.

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