Topic: Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
6) Transparency in government is desired, but absolute transparency harms the efficiency of the administration. In this context bring out the ethical aspects involved in use or misuse of RTI.(250 words)
Ethics by Lexicon publications
Why this question:
After an aborted attempt in 2018, the central government proposes to amend the Right to Information Act of 2005 (RTI Act) to change the term of office and service conditions the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioner (IC) at the central as well as state levels. These aspects are now proposed to be determined by the central government.
Key demand of the question:
Explain in detail the aspects of transparency that can go compromised when such severe steps would be taken, discuss from the ethical perspective the associated rights and wrongs.
Structure of the answer:
In brief explain the background of the question.
Explain what are the ethical perspectives involved in RTI.
The Right to Information (Amendment) Act, 2019 proposes two fundamental changes.
One, it proposes to change the tenure of the CIC and IC at the centre and state levels from five years or until the age of 65 years at present to “for such term as may be prescribed by the Central Government”. Two, it proposes change in their salaries and allowances “as may be prescribed by the Central Government”.
Explain how these changes can effect the aspects of transparency, in what way over transparency can become harmful.
Conclude by suggesting way forward.