Pro-Active Disclosure

Pro-Active Disclosure:

Subject to the provisions of this Act, a public body shall proactively disclose–

       (a)   Particulars of the public body, its functions and duties;

       (b)   Powers and functions of its officers and employees;

       (c)   Norms and criteria set by the public body for the discharge of its functions;

       (d)   Acts, Ordinances, rules, regulations, notifications, circulars and other legal instruments being enforced, issued or used by the public body in the discharge of its functions;

       (e)   A statement of categories of information being held by the public body;

       (f)    A description of its decision-making processes and any opportunities for the public to provide input into or be consulted about decisions;

       (g)   A directory of its officers and employees with their respective remuneration, perks and privileges;

       (h)   Budget of the public body including details of all proposed and actual expenditures;

       (i)    Amount of subsidy and details of beneficiaries if the public body provides any subsidy;

       (j)    Particulars of the recipients of concessions, permits or authorizations granted by the public body;

       (k)   Facilities available with the public body for obtaining information held by it;

       (l)    Name, designation and other particulars of the public information officer of the public body; and

      (m)   Any other information that the Government may notify in the official Gazette.

Application Procedure for Proactive Disclosure:

(1)   An applicant may make an application to a public information officer on an information request form or on plain paper and the public information officer shall acknowledge receipt of the application.

(2)   A public body shall make easily available to the public the information request form both in printed and electronic form.

(3)   An applicant shall not be required to provide reasons for request for information and shall only be required to provide an adequate description of the information and the details necessary to provide the requisite information.

(4)   Where an applicant is having difficulty making a request, including because he cannot describe the information in sufficient detail or because he is disabled or illiterate, the concerned public information officer shall provide reasonable assistance to the applicant.

(5)   Where an applicant has indicated a preferred form of access, including a physical copy, an electronic copy or an opportunity to inspect documents, the public body shall provide access in that form unless doing so is likely to interfere with its operations or harm the document and in that case the information shall be provided in such form as may serve the purpose.

(6)   The public body shall not charge any fee for making a request other than cost of reproducing or sending the information in accordance with a centrally set schedule of costs stipulated by the Commission.

(7)   The public information officer shall respond to an application as soon as possible and in any case within fourteen working days, provided that this may be extended by a maximum of a further fourteen working days where this is necessary, including because the request requires a search through a large number of records or consultation with a third party or any other public body, but the public information officer shall provide the information relating to life or liberty of a person within two working days of the receipt of the application.

(8)   Where the public information officer decides not to provide the information, he shall intimate to the applicant the reasons for such decision along with a statement that the applicant may file an internal review or a complaint against the refusal under this Act.

(9)   The information from, or the copy of, any public record supplied to the applicant under subsection (1) shall contain a certificate at the foot thereof that the information is correct or the copy is a true copy of such public record, and such certificate shall be dated, signed and stamped by the public information officer.