A Public Information Officer has received an application under RTI Act. Having gathered the information, the PIO discovers that the information pertains to some of the decisions taken by him, which were found to be not altogether right. There were other employees also who were party to these decisions. Disclosure of the information is likely to lead to disciplinary action with possibility of punishment against him as well as some of his colleagues. Non-disclosure or part disclosure or camouflaged disclosure of information will result into lesser punishment or no punishment.
The PIO is otherwise an honest and conscientious person but his particular decision, on which the RTI application has been filed, turned out to be wrong. He comes to you for advice.
The following are some suggested options. Please evaluate the merits and demerits of each of the option:
(a) The PIO could refer the matter to his superior officer and seek his advice and act strictly in accordance with the advice, even though he is not completely in agreement with the advice of the superior.
(b) PIO could proceed on leave and leave the matter to be dealt by his successor in office or request for transfer of the application to another PIO.
(c) The PIO could weigh the consequences of disclosing the information truthfully, including the effect on his career, and reply in a manner that would not place him or his career in jeopardy, but at the same time a little compromise can be made on the contents of the information.
(d) The PIO could consult his other colleagues who are party to the decision and take action as per their advice.