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SIC asks Agriculture Department, Seed Corporation to publish information

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  15 July 2017 12:00 AM GMT

GUWAHATI, July 14: The State Information Commission (SIC) has asked the State Agriculture Department and Assam Seed Corporation Ltd. to comply with the statutory requirements under Section 4 of the RTI Act to publish suo moto disclosure and update periodically all relevant procurement related information. The SIC said this in response to an RTI petition filed by Joydeb Das.

Joydeb Das, in his RTI petition, sought certain information from Assam Seed Corporation Ltd. regarding procurement of hybrid maize seeds for scientific cultivation against RKVY scheme implemented by the Agriculture Department in the year 2012-13 and 2013-14. The information thus sought are the copies of the minutes of the departmental purchase committee, NIT, newspaper advertisement, comparative statement, work order etc.

State Chief Information Commissioner HS Das, while disposing the second appeal of the petitioner, observed that the information sought for by the petitioner should have been maintained and disclosed pro-actively as per 4 (1) (a) and 4 (1)(b) respectively. The RTI Act, 2005 required compliance with section 4 (1) (b) within 120 days from the ectment of the Act in June, 2005.

In his order, Das directs State’s Agriculture Department and Assam Seed Corporation Ltd. to publish suo motu and update periodically all relevant procurement related information such as: list of items and their quantities proposed for procurement, their respective schemes along with the budget provisions; administrative machinery and arrangement of distribution of procured goods from the agencies to the fil beneficiaries indicating the intermediate stages and agencies in between; information of procured goods whether fully or partly subsidized and their rates and quantum of subsidy; administrative charges or commissions; copy of the NITs with mes of firms or suppliers submitting their bids, list of valid and invalid bids; technical or quality specification of different items, copy of the comparative statement of the selected valid bids, copies of supply orders, copies of technical report of verification of the quality of the supplied seeds or procured items; the report of the procurement agency on the quantities supplied; copies of reports of distribution by the field level agencies like District Agriculture Officers or BDOs etc., to the fil beneficiaries and the list of beneficiaries, copies of bills submitted by suppliers and information about payments made by procurement agencies including transportation bills; verification report of L-1 price with prevailing market price; and in case of procurement seeds, list of seed growers registered with Assam Seeds Certification Authority and whether seeds procured from outside the State have been certified by the Authority.

The Commission views that suo moto disclosure of information in matters relating to procurement by public authority is a necessary pre-requisite for containment of corruption and promotion of transparency and accountability. Moreover, the Commission has directed the Chief Secretary to issue suitable instructions to all administrative department and procurement agencies for similar actions.

The Chief Secretary has also been directed to issue necessary instructions to all work departments to follow the same protocol while awarding contracts for civil construction and various other works.

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