Wednesday, November 04, 2009

CIC selection system farud: RTI activists

Shouldn't there be transparency in the selection of the person who will be in charge of ensuring transparency in governance on behalf of one billion Indians? This is the question posed by citizens and Right to Information (RTI) activists to the PM who has to select a new chief information commissioner (CIC). Wajahat Habibullah, a former bureaucrat who was appointed the first CIC in October 2005, resigned recently and is waiting to take over the job of the first chief state information commissioner of Jammu & Kashmir. He remains CIC till his successor is appointed.

The current method of appointment of the CIC and even SICs is based on insider-information, contacts and recommendations and is violative of Section 12 of the RTI Act of 2005 as the post is not advertised, say the city's RTI activists who met on Tuesday to devise protest strategies. Section 12(5) of the RTI Act states,"The CIC and the information commissioners under him shall be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.''

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