The State Information Commission will soon be put on the e-governance map, said Commissioner R. Perumalsamy here on Tuesday.
He told reporters that the e-governance project was being fully sponsored by the Government of India.
Once the commission’s administrative functions come under e-governance, the day-to-day functioning will be possible at the click of a mouse at Chennai.
Even the Commissioner can deal with petitions pending for long, from the headquarters through videoconferencing and save thousands of rupees over transport and other expenses.
He said the Right to Information Act came into effect in Tamil Nadu from January 1, 2006. After that up to August 31 this year 1,18,400 petitions were received from the public seeking information from various government and government-aided departments.
Out of these petitions 22,450 did not come under RTI purview, hence they were kept aside.
The commission instructed the authorities to reply to the petitioner within the stipulated period as per the Act.
The commission disposed of 8950 appeals up to July, while 850 were pending. These would be disposed of possibly before October.
Since the Act came into effect, 40 officers were fined for not complying with it. They were fined a maximum of Rs. 25,000 under section 20(1) of the Act. In some cases, the commission had the power to recommend departmental disciplinary action under section 20(2). The commission was also empowered to direct the official to give compensation to the petitioner under section 19(8).
Asked if there was any measure to curtail non-serious petitions, he said there was no such provision in the Act.
Mr. Perumalsamy was here to enquire about 20 RTI petitions pending for the past 7 to 8 months. He said 9 petitions are from Salem; Dharmapuri accounted for 4, Villupuram (3), Krishnagiri (2), and Erode and Namakkal one each.