By Aires Rodrigues
In a very highhanded act, the Goa Legislature Secretariat has declined to furnish me information sought under the Right to Information Act by claiming that the information sought is exempt from disclosure as it falls within the ambit of Section 8 (1) (c) of the RTI Act and Rule 37 (16) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Goa Legislative Assembly.
On June 28th had sought a copy of the file notings and correspondence pertaining to the two day training workshop for MLAs held on 27th and 28th June at the Taj Vivanta and also complete details of the expenditure incurred on the event.
Mr. Mohan Gaonkar, the Public Information Officer (PIO) at the Legislature Secretariat has very strangely informed that the disclosure of the information would cause breach of Privilege of State Legislature and also against the Rules of Conduct of Business of Goa Legislative Assembly.
This denial of information is in rank violation of the RTI Act. This veil of secrecy being unacceptable will be filing an appeal against the denial of information by the PIO.
The same Legislature Secretariat had earlier furnished me information pertaining to a similar two day orientation programme conducted for Goa’s MLAs on 8th and 9thJune 2012 at Hotel Mandovi.
The expenses on that orientation programme amounted to Rs 4,87,880 of which Rs 1, 25,550 was spent on Air Tickets for the guest speakers and Rs 25,000 on the honorarium paid to them while another Rs53,265 was spent on Hotel accommodation. Rs 14,190 on Mementos given to guest speakers while Rs 42,450 was spent on Printing, Stationery, folders and banner. The Video recording cost Rs 8,000 while the flower bouquets for the occasion cost Rs 6,200. A further amount of Rs 2, 13, 225 was spent on food and refreshments for the MLAs during those two days.