Functions of Public Information Officer

Functions of Public Information Officer:

  • Shall deal with request from persons seeking information
  • Shall render reasonable assistance to the persons seeking such information
  • May seek the assistance of any other officer as he or she considers it necessary for the proper discharge of his or her duties
  • Shall transfer the application or such part of it as may be appropriate to other public authority and inform the applicant immediately about such transferas soon as practicable but in no case later than five days from the date of receipt of the application.
  • Shall, as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within thirty days of the receipt of the request, either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in sections 8 and 9, provided that where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty-eight hours of the receipt of the request.
  • To give a written notice to third party within five days from the receipt of the request, if the Public Information Officer intends to disclose any information or record, or part thereof on a request made under this Act, which relates to or has been supplied by a third party and has been treated as confidential by that third party, of the fact that he/she intends to disclose the information or record, or part thereof, and invite the third party to make a submission in writing or orally, regarding whether the information should be disclosed, and such submission of the third party shall be kept in view while taking a decision about disclosure of information: Provided that except in the case of trade or commercial secrets protected by law, disclosure may be allowed if the public interest in disclosure outweighs in importance any possible harm or injury to the interests of such third party.
  • The Public Information Officer shall, within ten days from the date of receipt of such notice, give the opportunity to make representation against the proposed disclosure.
  • The Public Information Officer shall, within forty days after receipt of the request from the applicant, if the third party has been given an opportunity to make representation, make a decision as to whether or not to disclose the information or record or part thereof and give in writing the notice of his decision to the third party.
  • The Public Information Officer shall include a statement in the above notice that the third party is entitled to prefer an appeal against his/her decision.

Where a request has been rejected, the Public Information Officer shall communicate to the person making the request :

  • The reasons for such rejection
  • The period within which an appeal against such rejection may be preferred; and
  • the particulars of the appellate authority.