Many central ministries have failed to comply with a government directive to put details of foreign and domestic tours by their ministers and senior officials in public domain,a year after the government made it mandatory to do so.
The Ministry of Personnel had on September 11,last year asked them to make public the details of tours including its nature,places visited,the period,number of people in the delegation and total cost incurred on such travels.
Except for Ministry of Personnel,which had put online the tour details till June this year,none of the central government ministries have put an up-to-date list so far on its website. The Prime Minister’s Office has put the detail of tours undertaken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh till April 2013 but failed to update the list of tours by its officials.
The tour details in respect of PMO officials is available on its website for January,February and March 2012.
The ministries of External Affairs,Agriculture,Power,Environment and Forests and Home Ministry among others have also failed to put the updated detail of tours undertaken by their ministers and officials on their websites.
“We have already asked all government ministries to provide full information in respect of foreign and domestic tours by ministers and senior officials online. A reminder will again be sent to them to comply with the directive at earliest,” a senior Personnel Ministry official said.
The Ministry had in April this year reminded all ministries to comply with the government’s directive in-toto and put tour details of their officials in public domain.
The suo motu decision to put detail of tours in public was taken after central government departments received frequent applications under the Right to Information Act seeking information on such visits.
The decision to put the tour details online is also in compliance with the RTI Act which mandates a public authority to provide as much information to public at regular intervals through various means of communications,the official said.
Each central government ministry or department has been directed to put the details including nature of the tour,places visited,period,number of people included in the official delegation and total cost of such travel undertaken by a minister or senior officer.
However,intelligence organisations,including RAW,IB,CBI and Enforcement Directorate,among others are exempted from the directive.