Sub-section (1) of Section 5 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 mandates all public authorities to designate as many Public Information Officers as necessary to provide information under the Act. Where a public authority designates more than one Public Information Officer (PIO), an applicant is likely to face difficulty in approaching the appropriate Public Information Officer. The applicants would also face problem in identifying the officer senior in rank to the Public Information Officer to whom an appeal under sub-section (1) of Section 19 of the Act can be made. Therefore all public authorities with more than one PIO should create a RTI Cell within the organisation to receive all the RTI applications and first appeals and to route them to the concerned PIOs/FAAs. Detailed instructions regarding setting up of RTI Cell, its functions and financial assistance in setting up RTI Cell have been issued by the Department.
Roles of RTI Cell
- Coordinate all the work of relating to the implementation of RTI Act, 2005
- Serve as the nodal point for receiving applications and appeals physically as well as online and forward it to the concerned CPIOs/Appellate Authority within the Department or to other public authority if the matter does not concern this department
- Coordinate matters relating to Central Information Commission in terms of hearing, orders and other matters related to Department of Expenditure
- Appointment of new CPIOs/Appellate Authorities, compiling the list of CPIOs/Appellate Authorities at regular intervals and circulating the same within the Department
- Serve as a nodal point for applications received by the office of Minister and forward it to the concerned Department of Ministry of Finance
- Coordinate all the work of Personnel Division of Department relating to the preparation of quarterly returns to be submitted to CIC as per RTI Act, 2005.
- Any other work related to the RTI Act, 2005