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Government advertises for appointment of new Chief Information Commissioner

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has invited applications from the people in a given format before November 24.

Updated:October 24, 2014, 10:25 PM IST
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Government advertises for appointment of new Chief Information Commissioner
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has invited applications from the people in a given format before November 24.

New Delhi: Giving up convention of appointing the senior-most Information Commissioner as the Chief of the Central Information Commission, the Centre on Friday advertised the position inviting applications from the general public.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the nodal ministry for RTI matters, has invited applications from the people in a given format before November 24.

According to the Act, the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) shall be a person of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass-media or administration and governance.

All the CICs appointed so far have been retired bureaucrats. The position has been lying vacant after Rajiv Mathur, former Chief of Intelligence Bureau, retired on August 22.

In an emailed communication sent to activist Commodore (retd) Lokesh Batra, the DoPT has said the file related to the appointment of the CIC has been pending with the Prime Minister's Office since August 1, 2014.

"Persons fulfilling the criteria for appointment as the Chief Information Commissioner and interested for appointment to the post may send their particulars in enclosed proforma by post to Under Secretary (RTI), Department of Personnel and Training, North Block, New Delhi or through email usrti-dopt@nic.in by November 24, 2014," it said.

About the new process, former Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said the issue is not whether the CIC or the Information Commissioners are selected through advertisements or not but the selection process should be made transparent.

"The senior-most Information Commissioner becoming the CIC was a silly idea making the appointment like a relay race. The person selected for the CIC's post should have demonstrated some administrative skills as well as inclination for transparency," he said.

The appointment of the CIC is made by President Pranab Mukherjee on the recommendation of a three-member selection committee headed by the Prime Minister and comprising the Leader of Opposition and a Union Cabinet Minister to be nominated by the Prime Minister.

The CIC is functioning without its Chief as there is no provision in the Right to Information (RTI) Act about handing over the charge to any Information Commissioner.

According to the Act, the CIC is appointed either for a maximum of term of five years or till the age of 65, whichever is earlier. Mathur retired after completing 65. He had in March 2012 joined as Information Commissioner.

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