Chapter 4: The complaint Procedure.
- What is complaint?
If the person does not get the information from the Designated Officer within the time limit specified i.e. 20 days (if information is sought from one unit), 30 days (if information is sought from more than one unit or authority) and 24 hours (information related to life and death and release from jail).
In case of points given above, a complaint can be filled with the Information Commission any time.
- Why and how to complain to the Information Commission as per RTI Act, 2009?
Step 1: The applicant is required to decide the procedure to complain to the Information Commission, by personally or through a lawyer.
Step 2: Decide the reason to complain. Any person can submit a complaint to the Information Commission for the following reasons –
- Non-appointment of a Designated Officer by an authority or refusal to accept applications for information.
- Refusal upon request for any information.
- Not being given either a response or the information requested within the specified time period as given in the Act.
- If the complainant is asked to pay a fee or is compelled to pay an amount of fee which he/she thinks are unreasonable.
- If the complainant feels that the information given is incomplete, false or misleading.
- In respect to any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining information under this RTI Act, 2009.
- If the applicant is aggrieved by the decision on his/her appeal.
- If the applicant does not get the information from the Designated Officer within the specified time limits.
Step 3: The applicant is required to fill up the complaint ‘A’ form which is provided by Information Commission.
Step 4: An information Commissioner has the power to enquire into any complaints received. After the completion of the enquiry, a decision-paper regarding the complaint shall be prepared within 30 days from receiving the complaint. This paper has to be presented before the Information Commission in the next meeting where the decision will be taken.
Step 5: According to the RTI act, the Information commission shall provide the requested information within 45 to 75 working days from the date on which the complaint is received.
- The responsibility of the Information Commission.
While taking a decision on a complaint, the Information Commission shall have the following powers –
- a) To direct the authority or the Designated Officer to take the following steps:
- To provide the requested information in a specified particular manner.
- To appoint Responsible officers.
- To publish any special information or special class of information.
- To bring necessary changes in the procedures followed by the authority with regard to preservation, management or publication of information.
- To impart better training on Right to Information for officers of authorities.
- To provide compensation to the complainant for any loss or damage.
- b) To impose Penalty as provided in the Act.
- c) To uphold decisions of the authorities.
- d) To reject complaints.
- e) Re-classification of information by the authorities.
- f) To interpret any matters relating to nature, classification, preservation, publication and supply of information as per the Act.
- The fines and punishment as per RTI Act, 2009.
The information commission may impose fines due to the Following reasons.
- If any Designated Officer has refused to accept any request for information or an appeal without assigning any reasons.
- If he fails to provide information to the applicant or to make decision within the time limit determined by the RTI Act.
- If any designated officer provides incorrect, incomplete, confusing and distorted information in place of the information that was sought for.
- If he has created impediments in receiving information.
The information commission may impose fine 50 (fifty) taka per day from the date of doing such action by the officer-in-charge to the date of providing information, and such fine shall not exceed more than 5000 (five thousand) taka.
If the information commission is satisfied that the officer-in-charge has created impediments in getting information of any citizen than, it may, in addition to imposing fine under the Act, recommend the concerned authority to take departmental action against the officer, treating his such act to be a misconduct and may request the authority to inform the Information Commission about the last action taken, in respect of this matter.
If any fine or compensation payable under this Act is not paid, it may be recoverable from the concerned officer through such procedures as are applicable for the recovery of a land revenue in accordance with the provisions of Public Demands Recovery Act, 1913 (Act IX of 1913).