eGovWatch: Govt mulling extension of e-IPO to state governments

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RTI users may now use the facility of electronic postal orders, e-IPO to file their applications for seeking information from public authorities under the state governments also, if a proposal from the Centre is accepted by the states.

The Department of Personnel and Training, nodal ministry for RTI matters, has written to state governments to explore the option of providing e-IPO facility to citizens to pay the fee of their RTI application. The facility which helped Indians living abroad to file RTI applications during e-IPO was extended to citizens residing in India on February 13, 2014.

“Department of posts has now proposed that the feasibility of extending this facility to the state government(s) also, where IPO is one of the of the modes of payment of RTI application fee, may be explored,” the DoPT wrote to all the Chief Secretaries of states recently. RTI activist Commodore (Retd) Lokesh Batra has given number of representations for extending the facility for public authorities under state governments.

“I humbly propose Secretary (Posts) and Secretary (P) to consider extending e-IPO Facility to the states whose RTI rules permit payment of RTI fee through Indian Postal Order (IPO),” he had said in one of the communications on the issue. The e-IPO facilitates RTI applicants seeking information from Central Public Information Officers (CPIOs) under the RTI Act, 2005. Debit or Credit Cards of any bank powered by Visa or Master can be used to purchase e-IPO.

This facility is only for purchasing an Indian Postal Order (IPO) electronically. An e-IPO so generated must be used only once with an RTI application. To check any multiple use of an e-IPO, the public authority shall maintain a record of those received by it. To use the facility, a user needs to get registered at the website – www.epostoffice.gov.in.

He has to then select the ministry or department from whom he desires to seek the information under the RTI Act and the e-IPO so generated is to be used to seek information from that particular office only.