Friday, 6 September 2013

Planning Commission, PPP, RTI, consultants and what about their adherence to RTI please?

Planning Commission

06th September 2013


1) Please provide me with information on status and progress and action taken as well as follow-up by Planning Commission with Law Ministry or elsewhere, if any, on the following. Please refer to PIB eRelease No. 70554 dtd 04march11 titled -Montek Clarfies on Application of RTI Act on PPP Projects. In this press release quoted below:-

 (Some observations made by Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia regarding application of the RTI Act to PPP projects have been quoted out of context by media. The factual position is, therefore, being clarified through this Press Release.

The Chief Information Commissioner had sent a letter to the Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission suggesting that conditions should be built into every PPP agreement requiring the respective concessionaire to provide information regarding their projects under the RTI Act.

The aforesaid letter of CIC has been referred by the Planning Commission to the Law Ministry for advice regarding the appropriate response. This is because Information Commissions are statutory authorities, and their role and jurisdiction is determined by the RTI Act. Any clarification by the Planning Commission can neither expand nor restrict their role. It is for the Information Commissions to decide, whether and to what extent, the provisions of RTI Act are attracted by the PPP concessionaires. The Deputy Chairman is in favour of full disclosure by public authorities of all relevant aspects of PPPs and performance under them.

It is further clarified that concession agreements are executed by the respective Ministries and not by the Planning Commission. So far as the Planning Commission is concerned, it has published several Model Concession Agreements (MCAs) for PPP projects. These MCAs provide for full disclosure of the Concession Agreement, the Maintenance Manual, the Maintenance Programme and the Maintenance Requirements in respect of each project. Where an MCA is followed, any person can obtain certified copies of these documents from the respective concessionaires.

(Release ID :70554)

2) Please provide me with information including file notings if any on documents pertaining to media report that states that Planning Commission has suggested key infrastructure ministries to review the role and responsibilities of consultants who help the government implement public-private partnership projects.

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