Highlighting a large number of outsourced employees in the Central Information Commission, a Parliamentary Committee has asked the Staff Selection Commission to look into the reasons hindering direct recruitment in the transparency watchdog. According to the committee, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has filled 100 out of the 160 sanctioned posts by recruiting outsourced staff on a contractual basis.

On being asked about the reasons for recruiting such a large number of outsourced staff, the CIC said it had not been able to fill all the vacant posts due to the non-availability of suitable candidates, the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice said in its recent report.

The committee is of the view that contractual staff can supplement the regular workforce but cannot be a substitute for it, the report stated.

The panel recommended that the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) should look into the reasons hindering the filling up of direct recruitment vacancies in the CIC and apprise it of them, the report said.

The committee also noted that as per Section 25 of the Right to Information Act, there is a statutory requirement for public authorities to submit quarterly returns to the CIC.

“However, it is observed that during 2021-22, only 95 per cent of public authorities submitted all four quarterly returns during the reporting year,” it said.

The committee noted that public authorities are not fulfilling their statutory obligations and recommended that the CIC should impress upon all ministries and independent departments to take steps to ensure 100 per cent compliance, the report said.

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