Madhya Pradesh ranks sixth in Overall Public Satisfaction (OPS) according to a performance review of Information Commissions and Commissioners carried out by the National RTI awards Secretariat.

Analysing orders passed in 51,128 cases by information commissioners and benches across India during 2008, the first of its kind study has ranked commissions and commissioners on several criteria, including effectiveness, Deterrent Impact(DI), Pro-Disclosure Factor(PDF) and OPS.

M.P. ranks low on almost all indicators of the study conducted by a unit of Magsaysay awardee Arvind Kejariwal’s Pulic Cause Research Foundation. At 31%, the State Information Commission (SIC) ranks sixth on the OPS list, while one of its Commissioners Mahesh Pandey, ranks 11th. Karnataka tops the list with 55% OPS, while West Bengal is at the bottom with an OPS of 6%.

Other Commissioners from the MPSIC rank 24th (D.C.Jugran), 30th (P.P.Tiwari) and 41st (Iqbal Ahmed). Interestingly, Mr. Pandey, a former journalist with BBC and Jansatta, is the only one from a non-bureaucratic background.

With 40% effectiveness, M.P. ranks 7th on the effectiveness scale. Even here, Mr. Pandey, with 51% effectiveness, ranks higher than his colleagues at the SIC. Again, Karnataka, along with Kerala, tops the list with 60% effectiveness, while West Bengal is at the bottom with 8% effectiveness.

In terms of DI rakings, M.P. bagged an abysmal 20 rank with a DI of 0.2%. The DI is a measure of “exactly how scared officials are of the RTI act” or in how many cases of willful non-disclosure or deemed refusal, was a penalty levied on an official. The list is topped by Mizoram with a DI of 25%.

PDF ranks commissions based on how many pro-disclosure orders they passed. Here M.P. ranks 7th with a PDF of 89%, while interestingly, neighbouring Chhattisgarh ranks 2nd with a PDF of 95%.

Interestingly, the Central Information Commission as well as the Central Information Commissioners fared quite badly in the analysis, with Chief Information Commissioner Wajaahat Habibullah being the only saving grace with a rank of 4 on the effectiveness indicator (63%).

Seven of the Central Information Commissioners are at the bottom of OPS indicator, while the commission itself ranks 16th. Similarly, in effectiveness, the commission ranks 18th.

The states of Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Sikkim could not be made a part of the survey.