PMO declines info on Shunglu’s recommendation on CAG, CVC

NEW DELHI, Jan 15:
The Prime Minister’s Office has declined to share information on recommendations made by the Shunglu Committee, which went into alleged irregularities in 2010 Commonwealth Games projects, saying it was being examined by a Group of Ministers (GoM).
The High Level Committee led by former Comptroller and Auditor General V K Shunglu had in March 2011 written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggesting changes in CAG, Controller General of Accounts (CGA), Controller of Accounts under Delhi Government, Central Vigilance Commission and Delhi Development Authority.
“The said letter dated March 29, 2011 from V K Shunglu former CAG and Chairman of High Level Committee has been referred to a Group of Ministers… To look into issues relating to the reports of the High Level Committee and consider the views expressed on the findings and recommendations by the concerned ministries or departments,” the PMO said in reply to an RTI query filed by PTI.
It declined to share information including details of action taken on the HLC’s recommendations citing an exemption clause of the transparency law.
“In terms of rule 6 (4) of the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, a Group of Ministers is an ad hoc committee of the Cabinet.
“As such, the information sought is exempt from disclosure in terms of Section 8(1)(i) of the Right to Information Act,” the reply said.
The Section bars disclosure of information including cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers.
A Group of Ministers led by Defence Minister A K Antony is looking into six reports by the HLC pointing out acts of alleged omission and commission by officials and lack of oversight by the government. Besides, the GoM is also examining the recommendations by the HLC on CAG, CVC and other government departments.
The term of the GoM, which was constituted in August 2011, has been extended till the completion of its “assigned mandate”.
When asked whether the Government was considering to make CAG a multi-member body and give greater autonomy to Chief Technical Examination Wing of the CVC, the PMO declined the details saying information regarding future course of action cannot be given under the RTI Act.
“As per Section 2 (f) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, only information which is available in material form can be accessed.
“Information regarding the future course of action does not constitute information that can be accessed under the Act,” the PMO said in the RTI reply.
The Shunglu Committee had suggested structural changes in CAG by making it a multi-member body. (PTI)

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