GUWAHATI: Only six departments of the Government of Assam submitted their respective annual administrative reports to the 'Assam Information Commission' for the year 2019-2020 within the set deadline. The very fact that repeated reminders had to be issued exposes the lack of sincerity among the majority of departments. This revelation has come to the fore in the Commission's latest annual report.
It is mandatory for each of the departments to submit their reports under Section 25 of RTI Act-2005. The administrative reports comprise the details on RTI (Right to Information). It indicates the total number of applications received; the number of replies given by a department; those rejected and also the fees collected during a mentioned period.
On June 5, 2020, the Commission wrote to the departments for submission of their respective annual administrative reports within July 30, 2020. However within the timeframe, only the following six departments submitted their reports: Soil Conservation; Mines & Minerals; Skills, Employment & Entrepreneurship; Parliamentary Affairs; Assam Legislative Assembly; and Administrative Reforms & Training.
The response from the defaulting departments was lukewarm even after five reminders from the Commission. After the first reminder, a total of 15 departments submitted their reports, namely Pension & Public Grievances; Border Protection & Development; Chief Minister's Secretariat; Information Technology; Information & Public Relations; Sport & Youth Welfare; Labour Welfare; Implementation of Assam Accord; Act East Policy; Excise; Tea Tribes Welfare; Environment & Forest; Guwahati Development; Personnel (A); and Election.
However, 27 departments submitted their reports only after the fourth and fifth reminders on October 10, 2020 and October 19, 2020 respectively. These are the Secretariat Administrative; Home; Higher Education; Hills Areas; Food, Civil Supply & Consumer Affairs; Animal Husbandry & Veterinary; Agriculture; Fishery; Urban Development; Legislative; Political; Transport; Welfare of Plain Tribes & Backward Classes; Transformation & Development; GAD; Cultural Affairs; Passport; PWD (Building & NH); Panchayat& Rural Development; Tourism; Secondary Education; Health & Family Welfare; Elementary Education; PWD (Roads); Social Welfare; Power (Electricity); and Finance.