When we checked the website, we noticed that users have to sign up with their email address and password. After signing up, users can either file RTIs with correct address and PIOs information or view RTIs filed so far. Users can file RTI applications free of cost. In the back end, the company has a person who does the manual filing of the applications. Once the response is received, it is uploaded into their database and a scanned copy of the response is sent to the applicant.
In addition to filing RTIs, the platform also has provision for users to file first and second appeal to higher authorities as well. The company plans to add status update on the filing soon.
Speaking to Medianama, Raj Shekhar Singh, co-founder of RAACI said that they had initially tried to aggregate RTI responses by asking applicants to upload their responses to RAACI’s website so that all others in need of the same information could also access it. However, they had to pivot due to difficulties in getting people to upload their responses.
Private filing: The company has kept its plans for private RTI filing on hold since there may be legal issues with respect to private filing. Physical signature of the applicant may also be required for private filings in case of documents like passport applications, among others.
While the company intends to keep the platform free for users, Singh said that they are looking at B2B monetisation of this platform.
Online government filing of RTI: In April 2013, the government of India had launched www.rtionline.gov.in, an online platform to file applications under Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI). At the time of launch, this website was accepting RTI applications only for the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT).
However, it looks like the platform is now accepting RTI applications for several departments including Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Department of Commerce, Department of Consumer Affairs, among several others. Users are required to pay for the filing of application on this website, either through Internet banking or using debit/credit cards.