Maximise transparency, minimise RTI Act usage: CIC

New CIC A N Tiwari says, mere dependence on the RTI Act will not promote openness in the system.

Last Updated: Oct 02, 2010, 00:12 AM IST

New Delhi: To make transparency regime more effective, the government should prepare a list of documents which cannot be made public and open up remaining records, new
Chief Information Commissioner A N Tiwari said on Friday.

"My proposal to government is that they create a negative list of documents which cannot be disclosed. The rest of the files should be open which can be accessed by citizens without the use of RTI. RTI works best when it is used the least," Tiwari said in his first interview after taking oath of office.
He said in such a regime, the use of RTI Act would be limited to documents and records which have not been brought in the open category thus making the use of transparency law even more effective.

Speaking on the success of transparency regime in the country, Tiwari said mere dependence on the RTI Act will not promote openness in the system which is trained to have an "intuitive reflex to secrecy.
"Everyone in government is scared to what will happen if we become transparent," he said. He said while the present system of getting information through RTI should continue, at the same time there should be a dialogue with all the "government instrumentalities about an institutional adherence to transparency.

"Secrecy is part of the system. To attack it, someone at the top most level should say you become transparent. Nobody becomes transparent unless they are forced to," he said.

PTI