मंगलवार, 26 सितंबर 2017

Performance Audit of Odisha Information Commission

 Performance Audit of Odisha Information Commission
 ( From Januarya 2016 to July 2017)

As per section 15 and 16 of the RTI Act,  State Information Commissions  will function as   an independent and autonomous  body  and   final adjudicating  authority  without  being  subjected  to directions  by any other authority  under  this Act.  The State Chief Information Commissioner  and State Information Commissioner  shall be persons of eminence  in public life  with wide knowledge  and experience  in law, science and technology , social service , management , journalism, mass media , administration and  governance.  The  logic  behind   requiring  such qualifications  for      selection of  Information Commissioner  is  that  the people   getting   appointed  as  Information  Commissioner  should be learned ,  knowledgeable, efficient  to hear  and dispose the case  and render justice to the Information-Seekers  who were harassed, denied or mal-treated  by the officials  in their pursuit to access the information,  impose penalty on erring PIO ( section 20) and award  compensation to the affected parties {section 19(8)(b)}.  So the primary work of the Commission is to hear  and  dispose the case at the earliest in order to dispense justice  to the  victims.

 Besides that the Commission has  the power to recommend  to the Public Authorities, if  it appears that  the practice of public authority  in relation to the exercise  of its function  under this Act  does not  conform  with the provisions and spirits of the Act,  to take  the steps  which ought  in their opinion  to be taken for  promoting and conformity.

Keeping in  mind  the above-mentioned  mandate of Odisha Information Commission,  we have    audited  to understand  their performance  by  collecting  the information  from   the office of the Commission through RTI  and  analyse  how the commission has  fulfilled  mandate of the Act.

Needless to mention here that   Odisha  Information Commission  is functioning  with  Sri Sunil Kumar Mishra, Chief SIC,  Sri L.N.Patnaik, SIC  and Smt. Sashi Prava Bindhani, SIC.  Both  the SICs  go appointment  in June 2015, while  Chief  Information Commissioner  was appointed  In Nov. 2016.

 RTI Application was filed  to Odisha Information Commission  seeking information about  details of  Complaints, Second Appeal cases   heard, disposed  per month  by each Information Commissioner and   no. of cases  in which penalty  was imposed from January 2016 to July 2017. On 8.9.17, the PIO   has supplied the  information.

A.   No. of Cases  ( Complaint case and Second Appeal) heard   and dispsoed by Each Information Commissioner   from January 2016 to July 2017  ( 19 months )
Name of  State Information Commissioner
Total Cases heard
Total cases disposed
Penalty imposed  in cases
Sri L.N.Patnaik , SIC
Smt. Sashi Prava Bindhani
Division Bench ( Sri L.N.Patnaik and Sashi Prava Bindhani)

1.       Sri L.N.Patnaik  heard only 200 cases  per months . It means in an average,  Sri Patnaik heard only 10 cases  per day  ( 20 days in a month taken for hearing ).
2.       In case of rate of disposal by  Sri Patnaik , it was found  that  only 68 cases  has been disposed  per month.  The percentage of disposal of total no. of  cases heard by Sri Patnaik is 33%.
3.       The Percentage of penalty imposed on total no. of cases disposed by Sri Patnaik is 3%.

4.        Smt. Sashi Prava Bindhani  heard  222 no. of cases  per month.  In an average, she heard only 11 cases  per day.
5.       In case of rate of disposal by Smt. Bindhani, it was observed that she disposed only 45 cases per month. The percentage of disposal out of of total no. of cases heard within 19 months by Smt. Bindhani is 20 %.
6.       Out of total no. of 868 cases disposed  by Smt. Bindhani, she has imposed penalty only on one case.

7.         In Division bench,   Both L.N.Patnaik and Smt. Sashi Bindhani  heard 443 cases  and disposed 72 cases.  The  percentage of  rate of disposal  by Division  Bench is  16 %.

B.      No. of cases heard and disposed  by  State Chief Information Commissioner  ( SCIC)   from  Nov. 2016 to  July 2017 ( 9 months ).  He got appointment and started hearing from Nov. 16 .
Name of  State Information Commissioner
Total Cases heard
Total cases disposed
Penalty imposed  in cases
 Sri Sunil Kumar Mishra 

1.       Sri Mishra, SCIC heard highest no. of cases   i.e., 273 cases  per month  and  disposed  recorded no. of  86 cases per month.  In an average, he heard 13 cases per day.
2.       The percentage of disposal out of total cases heard  by Sri Mishra is 31%.

C.   Over all Analysis
1.       Sashi Prava Bindhani still stands as worst performing Information Commissioner in  Odisha. The disposal rate of cases by Smt. Bindhani is low in comparison to that of other two Commissioners. When her  case  disposal rate  is  20% ,   the  rate of  disposal of  cases  by  Sri L.N.Patnaik, SIC  and Sri Sunil Mishra, SCIC is 33 % and 31 % respectively.

2.          Smt. Sashi Prava Bindhani stands lowest in rank of disposal of cases per month.  While Sri Sunil Mishra, SCIC disposes recorded no. of 86 cases per month, Smt.  Bindhani disposes just 45 cases per month and Sri Patnaik, SIC disposes 68 cases.  Due to inefficiency, lack of knowledge and expertise, Smt. Bindhani could not perform well and lingers  the cases by fixing date time and again.  As it has been witnessed several times, her performance during hearing of cases is very disgusting and discouraging.

3.       Sashi Bindhani is seen very supportive to erring and corrupt officials and always come forward to protect them. That’s why though she has individually  disposed 868  cases,  but penalty  has been imposed  only  in one case.  But Sri L.N.Patnaik  has imposed penalty in  41 cases . Sri Mishra, SCIC  has imposed penalty in 13 cases. 

4.       It deserves  to be mentioned here that Smt. Bindhani is receiving salary  amounting  Rs. 2,20,000.00 per month excluding other perks. Her appointment is loss to state exchequer.

Srikant Pakal
Team leader of Audit Team
M- 9338455092
Date- 24.9.17

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