Jun 09, 2006 at 09:45pm IST

Panel tells Govt to end secrecy

New Delhi: The Administrative Reforms Commission on Friday suggested that the Official Secrets Act of 1923 should be repealed and suitable safeguards to protect the

security of the state should be incorporated in the National Security Act.

In its first report on “Right to Information – Master key to good governance” which was submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by the chairperson of the commission headed by Veerapa Moily, it said the Official Secrets Act in its current form is incongruous with the regime of transparency in a democratic society.

The report said at least half the members of the Information Commissions should be drawn from a non-civil service background to represent the various sections of the society.

It said a complete re-organisation of public records is a pre-condition for effective implementation of the Right to Information Act.

A public records office should be established in each state as a repository of expertise to monitor, supervise, control and inspect all public records.

One per cent of the funds of all flagship programmes of the Centre should be earmarked for five years for updating all records and building necessary infrastructure.