Calling the Right to Information Act (RTI), 2005 a revolutionary legislation, the Governor of Goa, Shri P.S. Sreedharan Pillai said that the RTI Act has become somewhat like a fundamental right. He said the spirit of legislation or policy depends on the success amongst the people and that educating masses about important legislations should be looked into by the public authority.
The Governor was speaking at the inaugural of the one-day conference on ‘Role of Public Authorities under the RTI Act, 2005’ held for Heads of Departments in commemoration of Right to Information Day today at Dona Paula. The conference was organized by Goa State Information Commission (GSIC) and Goa Institute of Public Administration and Rural Development (GIPARD).
The Governor urging the gathering to repose faith in ordinary people stressed on how people in a democracy are supreme. He said that Public Information Officers (PIOs) are guardians of the RTI and asked them to look into the aspirations of the people.
“Go through verdicts of Honorable Supreme Court and High Courts,” advised the Governor saying that such verdicts often are binding as the law of the land.
The Governor expressed his opinion that every public worker should come under the purview of the Act and said that the Raj Bhavan in Goa will be people friendly. He cautioned the gathering how sometimes people could file queries with vindictive motives, he however, said that one should rise to the occasion and do justice to the people.
State Chief Information Commissioner, GSIC, Shri Vishwas Satarkar spoke of the hurdles they face and of their success rate in disposing backlog cases. He said that transparency and accountability was the basic feature of a democracy and that the aim of the RTI was to promote these features in the working of public authorities.
Chief Secretary and Chairperson of GIPARD, Shri Puneet Kumar Goel, IAS, spoke of the activities of GIPARD, and Mission Karmayogi launched by Prime Minister to enhance governance through civil service capacity building which also targets training lower functionaries in Government who interact with the public.
Present on the occasion were Director General, GIPARD, Dr V Candavelou, IAS, Director, Information and Publicity, Shri Dipak Bandekar; Assistant Director, GIPARD, Ms Seema Fernandes, Secretary, GSIC, Shri Bhushan Savaikar, were among those present on the occasion.
Resource person former Additional Collector, Government of Maharashtra, Shri Pralhad Kachare spoke about the important sections of RTI Act, 2005 and role of public authorities under the RTI Act 2005 at the conference.