RTI Judgement Series: Govt departments enter into PPP without the capability of proper monitoring
Moneylife Digital Team 16 April 2013

The CIC expressed concern over unpreparedness and incapability of the transport department of GNCTD in monitoring revenue collections by private dealers under the PPP agreement. This is the 74th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Central Information Commission (CIC), while disposing an appeal, expressed concern over the unpreparedness and incapability of the Transport Department’s Operation Branch, at the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) in monitoring revenue collections by private dealers under the public-private partnership (PPP) agreements.

 

While giving this a judgement on 28 January 2011, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “If the private dealers are honestly giving all the revenue it is only because of the grace of God and their honesty; the department appears to be incapable of doing this. If government departments enter into such PPP models without the capability of proper monitoring and regulating citizens will be short-changed completely.”

 

Delhi resident C Rajaram, on 17 August 2010, sought information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Transport Department at Operation Branch, in the GNCTD about the method and process by which collection of motor vehicle taxes and fees was outsourced to private vehicle dealers. Here is the information he sought and the reply given by the PIO...

 

1. Specify details as to the allotment of numbers by the Transport Department to car dealers having power to register car/four-wheelers.

PIO's reply: The numbers are allotted to the dealer by the manufacturer depending upon the amount of security deposit submitted by the dealer with the Transport Department. After sale when the road tax is deposited with the Department and certificate for the same by the dealer to the manufacturer, the further numbers are allotted to the dealer to the extent of its entitlement. When the dealer exhausts the series, the next new available series is allotted to the dealer upon his application.

 

2. Provide details regarding amount of security deposit taken from dealers of cars/four-wheelers before allotting numbers to register vehicles to self-registered dealers and also provide complete details regarding the amount to be fixed, its derivation and periodicity of allotment of numbers.

PIO's reply: Refer to para 6 and 7 of Terms and Conditions (copy enclosed).

 

3. Provide details regarding the policy framed by Transport Department governing the collection of security deposit from self-registered dealers before allotment of numbers and also provide information regarding such policy being uploaded in the web site of Transport Department.

PIO's reply: Same as above. Policy is not uploaded on the website. Hard copy enclosed.

 

4. Specify the procedure by which department ensures the amount deposited by self- registered dealers as correct and sufficient.

PIO's reply: Security amount is decided depending upon the quarterly trend of sale. If the sale increases, the dealers either approach themselves or are directed to enhance the security deposit.

 

5. Specify the steps taken by Department, more so after the powers of registration of vehicles have been delegated to dealers, in respect to compliance of Section 39 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

PIO's reply: Every self-registration dealer sends the files to the concerned MLO within stipulated time for issue of RC, who examines the files for any discrepancy with respect to compliance of section 39 of MV Act, 1988.

 

6. Details of date of inspection, audit and comments of audit and reply thereof shall be furnished if the necessary checks in compliance of section 39 of MV Act, 1988, is fulfilled.

PIO's reply: The dealers deposit the road tax every week in the account branch of the department which reflects the total sale of the dealer on weekly basis. Accordingly they are asked to maintain the security amount.

 

7. Specify details of action taken by the Department against self-registered dealers for non-compliance of section 39 of MV Act, 1988.

PIO's reply: No such case against self-registration dealers has been reported non-compliance of section 39 of MV Act, 1988.

 

8. Provide details of total number of cars sold by all self-registered dealers for the month of with the sale date and allotted number.

PIO's reply: A total of 9,078 vehicles have been sold during July 2010 by self-registration dealers. The applicant is free to inspect the related record in the concerned zonal office at any working day.

 

9. Furnish with the date of registration of vehicles as mentioned in point 7 and also the amount of registration fees and road tax, etc.

PIO's reply: As above

 

Rajaram, claiming that the PIO did not provide information within the time mandated in the RTI Act, filed his first appeal. In his order, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) said, “As regards question 1 and 2 Deputy Commissioner conveyed his no objection. As regards to question 3 Deputy Commissioner stated the policy shall be uploaded on website. As regards question 4 Deputy Commissioner stated 15 days tax of the last quarter is taken as norm for security deposit. As regard to question 6 and 7 Deputy Commissioner stated its duty of MLOs concerned to check such transactions and all information to be supplied u/s 39/192 within two weeks. As regards question 8 and 9 Deputy Commissioner stated that requisite details shall be obtained from the system analyst.”

 

Feeling aggrieved by the decision of the FAA, the applicant (Rajaram) then approached the CIC with his second appeal.

 

The Transport Department had authorised private vehicle dealers to collect registration taxes on behalf of the GNCTD and some advance payment has been taken by the department equal to fifteen days of taxes.

 

During the hearing, the Commission noted from the information provided to the appellant, it appeared that proper reconciliation for 2009-10 was not done and the Department constituted a committee to reconcile these accounts on 31 December 2010 prompted by the RTI application of the appellant.

 

Rajaram, the applicant, also pointed out that as per the agreement between the government and the private dealers, monthly returns were to be filed in floppies to the Department.

 

Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, observed that as per evidence, this clause was inserted to ensure that it would be possible to reconcile and tally the accounts on computer.

 

The PIO admitted that this condition had been breached and had not been followed so far. “Only hard copies have been obtained and as is evident from the statement of the Respondent reconciliation have not been done,” the CIC noted.

 

In November 2010 the FAA ordered that as per the agreement condition, soft copies of the accounts will be obtained from the dealers and provided to the appellant. “The Department has not been able to enforce this on the dealer so far. However, since the information itself is not available on a vital matter like revenue the PIO has not been able to provide the information so far,” the Commission said.

 

Expressing concern, Mr Gandhi noted how unprepared and incapable the Department appears to be in the process of handling over revenue collection to private dealers.

 

While disposing the appeal, the Commission stated that information available on the records had been provided.

 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/003465/11063

https://ciconline.nic.in/cic_decisions/CIC_SG_A_2010_003465_11063_M_50449.pdf

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/003465

 

Appellant                                  : C Rajaram,

                                                  Delhi 110054

                                                                        

Respondent                                        : Rajeet Singh

                                                  Deemed PIO & Dy. Commissioner (Operations),

                                                  Transport Department: Operation Branch

                                                  Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi

                                                  5/9, Underhill Road, Delhi - 54

Comments
nagesh kini
9 years ago
PPP is just a misnomer.
Narendra Modi has added another "P" for people as he feels neither "Public" nor "Private" represent the "Common People"!
There is no formal or informal policy as to what PPP really constitutes!
Mr. Shailesh Gandhi has exposed cases where in the garb of PPP public assets are grabbed.
PPP has to be properly regulated before matters go out of hand and goons and thugs grab public assets. Sooner the better.
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