The Right to Information in local governments in Kerala state was in force since 1962, at a time when the right was not well established anywhere in our country. It was as per the Kerala Panchayats(Custody of records and Grant of Copies of Proceedings or Records) Rules 1962 formulated as per the Kerala Panchayat Act 1960. The provisions of the statute, were further refined as part of the amendment of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act in 1999, as per the recommendations of the S B Sen Committee, with refined provisions. Later, in 2005, the RTI act of Government of India superseded the provisions and the Right to Information Act 2005 is in force in local governments in Kerala now.
Right to Information means right to:-
1. Inspect works, documents, records
2. Take notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records
3. Take certified samples of material and
4. Obtain information in form of printouts, diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts.
Information in this context is defined so broadly and includes any material in any form including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by the local government under any other law in force.
In every local government, a Public Information Officer (PIO) as well as an appellate authority is designated to provide information to the citizens, as follows:-