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Information Integration Coalition Award

The Lok Satta movement has won an international award for Excellence in Information Integrity.

Instituted by the Information Integrity Coalition (IIC) of the U. S., a not-for-profit organization, the award honors organizations, which promote awareness and understanding of Information Integrity. Information Integrity is defined as the dependability and trustworthiness of information.

The 12th annual Excellence in Information Integrity (EII) Awards for 2007 were announced at a function held in Chicago recently.

Crystal trophies were presented to gold, silver and bronze winners in for-profit and non-profit categories. In the non-profit category Lok Satta won the bronze trophy.

The Lok Satta pioneered Election Watch as part of its overall campaign for political and electoral reforms. It aims at empowering ordinary voters with accurate information so that they make better electoral choices.

Lok Satta's Election Watch has notched up several victories in its crusade for electoral reforms:

Voter registration: The Lok Satta has succeeded in making voter registration simple, easy and transparent when the Election Commission agreed to make the post office the nodal agency in voter registration.

Disclosure of antecedents of electoral candidates: Following public interest litigation by the Lok Satta and like-minded organizations, the Supreme Court in 2003 mandated the disclosure of criminal and financial antecedents of all candidates contesting for electoral office.

Political Funding Reform: As a result of Lok Satta's initiative, Parliament enacted a reform law providing for full tax exemption to individuals and corporates on all contributions to political parties, bringing expenditure by third parties and political parties under candidates' ceiling limits and mandatory disclosure of party finances and contributions of over Rs.20,000.

Instruments of Accountability: Following Lok Satta's nation-wide civil society movement, Parliament adopted the Right to Information Act. Its efforts have resulted in the implementation of Citizen's Charters across all municipalities of Andhra Pradesh.

The Lok Satta is largely responsible for a number of other reforms like the strengthening of the anti-defection law and the limiting the size of Cabinets and the launching of the rural health mission.

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