DOPT issued the guidelines for disclosure of third party information under the RTI Act 2005
In the process of interdepartmental consultations, a public authority may send some confidential papers to another public authority. A question has arisen whether the recipient public authority can disclose such confidential papers under the RTI Act, 2005. If yes, what procedure is required to be followed for doing so? DOP&T issued the guidelines for disclosure of third party information under the RTI Act,2005.
It has been stated in the OM issued by DOP&T on 27th April 2010 that, Section 11 of the Act provides the procedure of disclosure of ‘third party’ information. According to it, if a Public Information Officer (PIO) intends to disclose an information supplied by a third party which the third party has treated as confidential, the PIO, before taking a decision to disclose the information shall invite the third party to make submission in the matter. The third party has a right to make an appeal to the Departmental Appellate Authority against the decision of the PI0 and if not satisfied with the decision of the Departmental Appellate Authority, a second appeal to the concerned Information Commission. The PI0 cannot disclose such information unless the procedure prescribed in section 11 is completed.