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Transparency

Better Procedure for Transparency in Government to remove flaws of RTI

1. Need for a transparent government site displaying all the government data -- Citizens will be NO MORE HAVE TO BEG THE GOVERNMENT for public records all the time.

We propose and demand a government site “IndiaSpending.gov” which will display ALL the government records of different departments for the benefit of the masses. This will make it easier, cheaper and faster for a citizen to become a watchdog. You don't have to beg the information from the government and you don’t have to pay any fees for getting public records—the information will be there for you on this proposed government website.

2. Right to Information law is flawed - Citizens cannot do anything to stop the RTI from being misused.

The flawed RTI law is a defunct tool in the fight against large cases of corruption / nepotism in Judges, Ministers, IAS, and IPS.

The top 4 flaws of this law are:

-  RTI application cannot be scanned onto any national government website - The existing RTI law does not enable a citizen to put his RTI application on a Government of India website so that thousands/lakhs of other citizens can see it `as it is`, word by word and so the RTI cannot  be easily be suppressed by corrupt RTI officials.
-  Numerical support of citizens for an existing RTI application cannot be proved - The existing RTI doesn‘t allow citizens to add their names to an existing RTI application and thus lower middle class and lower class citizens cannot prove numerical support to an RTI application. Today, we have to beg paid media-men to help to promote a cause, but the paid media-men often refuse to help those who do not have money or connections because paid media needs huge expenses to run and function.
- NGOs, Trusts and companies are not explicitly covered under RTI act - In the existing RTI law, which was made by Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and others, information from Trust, NGOs and companies was not covered, so that their corrupt friend corporate and corrupt friend netas like Modi and Sonia could put their black wealth and bribes in trusts, NGOs and companies without the public having any proof. Even today, all major parties like AA party, BJP, Congress etc. refuse to demand that Trusts, NGOs and companies be covered under RTI.
-  Citizens do not have procedure to any day replace the inefficient Chief Information Commissioner - The existing RTI
doesn't have procedure by which citizens can recall / replace / retain Chief Information Commissioner or State Information Commissioner (i.e. there is no Right to Recall RTI Commissioner) and so most Information Commissioners will become corrupt and RTI will become a useless tool in fight against corruption. Because of these reasons activists who’re trying to access information via RTI are either getting threats or getting killed to suppress the RTI.

Since citizens cannot expel the RTI commissioner, there is no guarantee that RTI commissioner will not sell out to corrupt netas and corporates and suppress the required information and refuse to give the required information.

That is why we need to put all the information regarding the government and government employees on internet so that citizens NO LONGER HAVE TO BEG for the information.

Officials used to be able to hide behind excuses such as cost and time when they had to provide printed documents, but with technology today, sharing information with citizens has never been easier, quicker, or cheaper. Authentic transparency is defined as exposing how the government spends taxpayer money. Governments have an obligation to proactively disclose information about how they are conducting the public’s business and it is through proactive disclosure that voters will be able to hold public officials accountable.

 

3. Key Contents and advantages of the proposed “IndiaSpending.gov” website

 

This proposed “IndiaSpending.gov” website-

▪ Will contain Cheque-book level information on government spending.

▪ Will save lakhs of money from paper and postage cost.

▪ Will stop wasteful spending.

▪ Will lower the rate of contract bids.

▪ No need to beg every time for almost all the information in all government departments.

▪ Accessing public information will become very cheap.

▪ Proactive disclosure occurs when the government releases information and raw data on its own, rather than responding to requests for information.

▪ No risk of life while accessing information.

▪ Any citizen can use the website.

▪ Citizens need not be reporters or pay exorbitant fees to access public records – the information belongs to us, common citizens.

 

Comprehensive: A user-friendly Web portal will provide residents the ability to search detailed information about government contracts, spending, subsidies, and tax expenditures for all government entities.

 

One-Stop Government Website: Residents can search all government expenditures on a single website.

 

One-Click Searchable: Residents will be able to search data with a single query or browse common-sense categories. Residents can sort data on government spending by recipient, amount, legislative district, granting agency, purpose, or keyword. Residents can also download data to conduct detailed off-line analyses.

 

□ There is no way to fully hold public officials accountable if voters do not possess accurate information about government actions.

 

□ If you want the government to improve and become more efficient, you must demand this government website displaying transparently all the government records of all the departments.

If this proposed Transparency web portal law gets passed then it will be the single most effective safeguard against political mischief and corruption because of RTR-CIC, RTR-SIC and TCP.

 

4. Proposed Gazette Notification Draft for ‘Better Transparency in Government to be printed on PM’s orders

4.1 “IndiaSpending.gov” website

 

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Procedure

For

Procedure / Instruction

1

Instruction to

CIC & SIC

The president hereby orders CIC (Chief Information Commissioner) to create Transparency Web portal called “IndiaSpending.gov” and orders all SIC (State Information Commissioner) to create state wise web portal and link with the main “IndiaSpending.gov” website.  CIC & SIC will put all the information in these websites mentioned in clause 2.

2

Instruction to FM (Finance Minister)

(Union & States)

The President hereby orders Union Finance Minister to give CIC and similarly orders State Finance Minister to give following information on daily basis:


1) Counter Pad info of all Cheque-books issued for government expenditure.

2) Salaries given to Judges, Ministers etc.

3) PM / MPs / CM / MLAs Funds.

4) State Revenue and State – both public & private Property.

5) Contract bids and Vendors info.

6) Loans and National / States Debts.

7) Grants awarded to States, Municipalities and their purpose.

 

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The Finance Minister (Union & States), CIC and SIC will directly be responsible for given information in “IndiaSpending.gov” website.

 

3

Instruction to Wealth Tax Officer & CIC

All records of land other than state property will be collected by wealth tax officer and given to CIC. CIC will put this info on “IndiaSpending.gov” website.

4

Instruction to CAG

The President hereby orders to CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General)of India to provide audit report to both CIC and SIC respectively.

5

Instruction to CIC & SIC

CIC will provide the Audit report for Union Government in “IndiaSpending.gov” website and similarly SIC will provide the Audit report according to their state government.

6

Instruction to DC (District collector) / DM (District Magistrate)

If any registered-voter citizen proposes any changes or wants any more information in websites or wants to file any RTI application or a complaint against CIC or SIC on an affidavit or any other affidavit, then the collector will take the person’s affidavit and scan and put it on “IndiaSpending.gov” website. Collector will issue a serial number against the person’s affidavit.The collector (or his clerks)will takethe fee of Rs. 20 per page.

7

Instruction to BLRO (also known asVillage Officer, Patwari,

Lekhpal, Talati etc.)

If any citizen-voter comes with voter ID, and specifies Yes / No on an proposal / complaint or any affidavit submitted in clause-6,  the BLRO will enter the citizen Yes / No on the “IndiaSpending.gov” website, with the citizen’s voter-ID and give a printed receipt for Rs 3 fee. The BLRO will also allow citizen to change his Yes No for Rs 3 fee. The fee will be Re 1 for BPL card holder.

8

 

This is not a referendum procedure. The Yes No count will not be a binding on PM, CMs, officers, judges etc.

 

4.2. Right To Recall over CAG,Finance Minister, CIC and SIC

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Procedure for

Procedure / Instruction

1

Instruction to

Collector

Any citizen of India can pay a deposit same as MP election to the Collector and register himself as a candidate for CAG or Finance Minister or SIC or CIC.

2

Instruction to

Patwari (Village Officer, Talati )

Any citizen of India can walk to Patwari‘s office (Village Officer), pay Rs 3 fee , approve at most five persons for CAG or FM or CIC  or SIC position. The Patwari will give him a receipt with his voter-id# and the persons he approved.

3

Instruction to

Patwari

A citizen can cancel his approvals any day as well.

4

Instruction to

Patwari

The Patwari will put the preferences of the citizen on districts’ website with citizens’ voter-ID number and his preferences.

5

Instruction to

PM

If a candidate gets approval of over 30% of ALL registered voters and at least 2% more approvals than the present, sitting official (ALL, not just those who have filed their approval) then PM may expel the existing CAG or FM or CIC, and appoint the person with highest approval as CAG or FM or CIC.

6

Instruction to

CM

If a candidate gets approval of over 30% of ALL registered voters and at least 5% more approvals than the present, sitting official (ALL, not just those who have filed their approval) then CM may expel the existing SIC and appoint the person with highest approval as SIC.

 

4.3 General Section related to Govt. Employees

#

Procedure for

Procedure / Instruction

1

Instruction to Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT)

The President hereby orders CCIT to provide the Chief Information Commissioner the following data regarding all class IV Government employee or above in government or PSU or Judiciary or Regulator, Minister, MLA, MP or District Panchayat Chief or Mayori.e. any person who is obtaining salary directly or indirectly from an organ of Govt.:

1) Income Tax / Wealth Tax Return

2) Income Tax / Wealth Tax Return of trusts and companies that the government employee are partner or trustee in.

2

Instruction to

Chief Information Commissioner

(CIC)

Put all the records of the government employees mentioned in clause-1 and the followings in “IndiaSpending.gov” website:

1) Whether Government employee has applied for visa or residency in a foreign country or not.

2) Whether Government employee has wife, children, any parent or any sibling living in foreign country for over 182 days in past year or current or not.

3

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Every Government of India officer is hereby ordered to put every non-confidential information on Government of India websites at links decided by the Secretary of respective Department.

4

Trustee of every Trust

Every trustee of every trust is hereby ordered to submit his PAN-ID to Income tax Dept along with PAN-ID of the trust. In addition, the trustees would submit following information on closing date of quarter by end of next quarter

  • List of plots trust owns and their areas, location, Jantri (circle rate) prices
  • List of buildings trust owns and their areas, location, Jantri (circle rate) prices.
  • List and amount of cash, shares, FDs, bonds, loans given and other financial assets.
  • Aggregate book value of all other assets (list not required)

5

Income Tax Chief Commissioner, CIC

IT Chief Commissioner is hereby ordered to give all the information on wealth disclosed by the trusts and trustees’ PAN-IDs and names to the CIC, who will put them on the “IndiaSpending.gov” website and will also provide the information on DVD for the cost of Rs. 100 per DVD . And this DVD shall have no copyrights.

6

Companies’ Chairman

All companies except Proprietorships and Partnerships will also provide list of the assets mentioned in clause-5 to Income Tax dept. The companies will also submit the Tax-IDs of the owners and/or shareholders with their holdings.

7

Income Tax Chief Commissioner, CIC

IT Chief Commissioner is hereby ordered to give to the CIC, all the information on companies’ wealth and PAN-ID of those income owners and their holdings who are MLA, MP, Minister, Class-I officer, trustees in any trust, class-II officer or judge in any court or tribunal, or who is son, daughter or wife of the above. The Chief Information Commissioner will put all this information on the “IndiaSpending.gov” website.

8

NGO Chairman

All NGOs will also provide list of the assets mentioned in clause-5 to Income Tax dept. The NGOs will also submit the Tax-IDs of the owners with their holdings.

9

Income Tax Chief Commissioner, CIC

IT Chief Commissioner is hereby ordered to give to the CIC, all the information on NGOs wealth and PAN-ID of all owners and their holdings. The Chief Information Commissioner will put all this information on the “IndiaSpending.gov” website.

 

4.4 Section for Candidates - IT return and other information. 

#

Procedure for

Procedure / Instruction

1

Instruction to CEC (Chief Election Commissioner) & SEC (State

Election Commissioner)

The President hereby orders Chief Election Commissioner& State Election Commissioner to provide to CIC all the following information of candidates provided by the candidate:
1) Income Tax Return and Wealth Tax Return

2) Details of property or trust owned like Income Tax / Wealth Tax return.

3)Has applied for visa or residency in a foreign country or not

2

Instruction to

CIC (Chief Information Commissioner)

Put all records and database of the candidates mentioned in clause-1 in “IndiaSpending.gov” website.

 

4.6 Section specific to Judiciary

1.

SC judges, HC judges and all other lower court judges

The President orders that all the judges of SC, HC and lower courts to ensure that EVERY judgment and EVERY court proceeding with all intermediate rulings should be posted on website of court and companies like google etc. should be allowed to download them and keep them in their repository. In rape cases, the judge may change names etc. to keep victim identity secret.

2.

Instruction to CIC

Put all records and database of the candidates mentioned in clause-1 in “IndiaSpending.gov” website.

 

4.5 Functions of SIC (State Information Commissioner), CIC (Chief Information Commissioner) and their clerks to run and maintain websites.

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Procedure

for

Procedure / Instruction

1

SIC, CIC or their clerks

Cheque-book-Level Website -- Detailed expenditure information that allows one to view individual payments made to vendors. The expense record will also have explicit mention of the names of the officers who recommended and cleared the expenses.

2

SIC, CIC or their clerks

Review of government expenditure by Jury -- 1. The accountant will post details of every transaction at least 7-45 days before he makes that transaction, except emergency transactions.

 

2. A citizen can challenge any transaction before Jurors, and Jurors can cancel the payment.

3

SIC, CIC or their clerks

Search by Contractor -- Ability to search expenditures by contractor or vendor name.

4

SIC, CIC or their clerks

Search by Activity -- Ability to search expenditures by type of service or item purchased (either the website allows a keyword search, or provides a list of categories).

5

SIC, CIC or their clerks

Contract or Summary Information -- A copy of the contract must be included with the expenditure entry and also summary of the information should be provided.

6

SIC, CIC or their clerks

Downloadable -- Information can be downloaded for data analysis (via xls, pdf, etc.)

7

SIC, CIC or their clerks

Past Contracts -- Contracts and expenditures from previous fiscal years must be included on the website.

8

SIC, CIC or their clerks

Information on Tax Expenditures -- The state’s tax expenditure report to be linked on the website.

9

SIC, CIC or their clerks

Economic Development Incentives and Grants -- Economic development incentives and other grants to specific recipients to be included on the website.

10

SIC, CIC or their clerks

Feedback -- A link on the transparency website allows users to give feedback about the site.

11

SIC, CIC or their clerks

Quasi-Public Agencies (Private Agencies getting government funding) -- Expenditures from quasi-public agencies to be included on the website.

12

SIC, CIC or their clerks

Funding -- A link to provide the state’s website that tracks funding related

CM and MLAs.

13

SIC, CIC or their clerks

State Budget -- Financial information for local governments to be included on the website.

14

SIC, CIC or their clerks

More powerful searches:  Tracking vendor specific payments easier for residents so they can now easily search for the vendor’s location or the month the payment was awarded, or easily distinguish grants from contracts.

15

SIC, CIC or their clerks

More sources of data: To post new sets of fiscal data to their sites, such as data on state loans, bonded indebtedness, and registries of state property.

16

SIC, CIC or their clerks

Glossary of Complex financial terminology and Surveys on the site`s performance-

To add tools to their websites to increase citizen involvement, such as providing a glossary of terms (empowering users with the knowledge to navigate complex financial terminology) and surveys on the site’s performance.

17

SIC, CIC or their clerks

To provide user-friendly searches of a comprehensive range of current and historical government expenditures, including detailed information about government contracts with private entities, subsidies, spending through the tax code, and transactions by quasi-public agencies.