Landmark bills brought in to Tackle Corruption and Ensure Delivery of Services to Citizens in Time Bound Manner
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions -Year-end Review 2011
The Ministry of Personnel, PG & Pensions brought landmark legislations to check corruption and to put in place measures for ensuring time-bound services for citizens. Further measures were initiated to make bureaucracy accountable and effective. Major initiatives/achievements of the Ministry during the year are as under:
Lokpal Bill, 2011
The Government introduced in Lok Sabha the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill 2011, aimed at setting up the body of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas at the level of the States. The proposed autonomous and independent bodies, Lokpal and Lokayuktas, shall have powers of superintendence and direction for holding a preliminary inquiry, causing an investigation to be made and prosecution of offences in respect of complaints under any law for the prevention of corruption. The Bill provides a uniform vigilance and anti corruption road map for the nation, both at Centre and States. The Bill institutionalizes separation of investigation from prosecution and thereby removing conflict of interest as well as increasing the scope for professionalism and specialisation.
Grievances Redressal Bill, 2011
The Government recently introduced the Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011 in Parliament. Under the Bill every public authority is required to publish a Citizens Charter specifying the category of goods supplied and services rendered by it, the time frame within which such goods shall be supplied or services be rendered; to establish information and facilitation centre for efficient and effective delivery of services and redressal of grievances and to designate Grievance Redress Officers (GRO) in all public authorities to enquire into and redress any complaints from citizens. The Bill provides for constitution of the State Public Grievance Redressal Commission and the Central Public Grievance Redressal Commission for respective appeals against the decision of GRO and imposition of penalties in case of failure on the part of designated official responsible for delivery of goods and services or GRO. The designed authority at the grass-root level will have powers to redress most of the grievances at the district and sub-district level.
Foreign Bribery Bill
The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organizations Bill, 2011 was introduced in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament and is presently before the Department Related Parliament Standing Committee. According to the proposed law, any person “holding a legislative, executive, administrative or judicial office of a foreign country” found accepting or giving bribe to secure a contract in India would be liable to be punished for up to seven years in India. Even the “abetment” of such offences would be a criminal offence under the proposed bill. The Bill “makes provisions declaring the (bribery) as extraditable offence”.
GoM on tackling corruption
A Group of Ministers (GoM)was constituted by the Government in January, 2011 to consider measures that can be taken by the Government to tackle corruption. The GoM has submitted its First Report which has already been accepted by the Government with some minor modifications. Action has been initiated by the Government towards implementation of these accepted recommendations.
IPRs of Group ‘A’ Central Service Officers placed in public domain
It was decided by the Government that the annual return of immovable property (IPR) as on January 1, 2011 of the All India Services officers as well as all organized Group ‘A’ Central Services should be placed in the public domain to bring transparency and accountability in administration.
Guidelines regarding grant of Vigilance Clearance of all the Members of Central Civil Services/Posts have been revised. Vigilance clearance shall be denied to an officer if he fails to submit his annual immovable property return of the previous year by 31st January of the following year, as required under the Rules.
The Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) has taken major Citizen Centric initiatives related to public grievance redress during the year.
The Sevottam compliant Citizen’s/Client’s Charter of DARPG was prepared and published. Also guidelines for implementing Sevottam, were published in September. These documents are also made available on the website of the Department (www.darpg.gov.in).
For strengthening the Centralized Public Grievances Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) in all Central Government Ministries / and State Governments, several initiatives have been taken during the year:
Workshops on Capability Building for Sevottam held
Two workshops on capacity building for Sevottam for all the Central Government Ministries / Departments and two workshops for all States/UTs, were organised. Award winning Best Practices that showcased excellence in public service delivery were presented. These included, (i) PDS in Chhattisgarh, (ii) Activity Based Learning in Tamil Nadu, (iii) Primary Health Centres in Gujarat, (iv) ICDS in Karnataka, (v) Citizens Charter of Gram Panchayat with particular reference to Kerala, (vi) MCA 21 in Ministry of Corporate Affairs, (vi) Sevottam Journey in India Post, (vii) Accountability in Primary Education, (viii) Sevottam in CBDT and (ix) Sevottam in CBEC. In all, 450 officers from Government of India and State Governments / UT Administrations participated in the four workshops.
Modernization of Government Offices
During the year DARPG released Rs.6.50 crore to nine Ministries/Departments/Offices for implementation of the scheme fulfilling the target set in the Results Framework Document. Prominent amongst these include release of Rs.1.74 crore to the Office of CCA-CRPF; Rs.1.34 crore to the Department of Personnel & Training; Rs.1.35 crore to the Ministry of Defence; and Rs.90.83 lakhs to the Department of Economic Affairs. Regular review meetings are held with beneficiary organisations along with CPWD/work agency to ensure implementation as per timelines fixed.
Steps towards e-Governance
The 14th National Conference on e-governance was organised jointly by DARPG and of Maharashtra Government in Aurangabad. Based on the theme of the Conference, ‘Rural e-Service Delivery: Status & Challenges’, wide ranging and useful deliberations were held. National Awards for e-Governance were also presented during the inauguration of this Conference. National Awards on e-Governance was presented to 22 initiatives in the 7 categories during the inauguration of this Conference.
e-Office is one of the Mission Mode Projects (MMP), under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). The project is aimed at significantly improving the operational efficiency of Central Government Ministries and Departments through improvement in the workflow mechanisms and associated office procedure manuals. To begin with the project was implemented at 3 pilot sites i.e. DARPG, Training Division of DoPT and e-Governance Division of Department of Information Technology.
As a second phase of e-Office implementation, DARPG identified 12 Ministries/Department for e-Office implementation during 2011-12 and conducted necessary initial studies therein. A Nodal Officer has been nominated for every Ministries/Departments and a Project team is constituted under him for the purpose. With a view to sensitize and to provide a platform for meaningful interaction, doubt clearance and address of apprehensions, DARPG conducted two workshops for nodal officers and their team members.
The first edition of the Central Secretariat Manual of e-office Procedure (CSMeOP) has been finalized and is under print. The release of the e-Manual will be a significant event, as it has a transformative potential in making systems and procedures efficient and enhancing monitoring capacity substantially. The ICT perspective in the e-Manual gives the officials of the Central Secretariat an additional advantage of a new system facilitating faster retrieval of files and documents from a huge data-base.
CAPAM Leadership Development Programme
The Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) Leadership Development Programme was organized by the Department at Indian Institute of Public Administration in 2011. The programme intended to enhance the leadership competencies of the participants in the competitive world of today and based on experiential learning methodologies, aiming at the development of self awareness, emotional intelligence and strategic intent in decisions. Senior government officials chosen by the Government of India from across the State Governments and the Central Ministries and Departments participated.
The second annual Chief Secretaries’ Conference was held in February, 2011. The conference institutionalizes the process of interaction, and serves as a standing forum for exchange of views between the Centre and the States.
The third Conference of Secretaries of Administrative Reforms of all States/UTs was organized in September, 2011, with the objective of creating a national platform to share experiences of the states in the field of reforms/initiatives undertaken by them to improve public service delivery, make the administration effective, transparent and accountable and to make the administration citizen friendly.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Singapore on cooperation in the field of Personnel Management and Public Administration was signed in November, 2011. The areas of cooperation under the MoU are; (i) capacity building and skills upgrading; improved systems of public service delivery [Customer oriented services, Total quality management, Citizens Charter initiatives, Public grievance redress mechanism]; (iii) Human Resources Management; (iv) Public Sector Reform and (v) Leadership/Talent Development.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between UPSC and Royal Civil Service Commission of Bhutan and the areas of cooperation would include sharing of experience and expertise in Civil Service matters. MoU was signed between the UPSC and the Public Service Commission of Canada regarding sharing and promoting best practices through bilateral exchanges.
Special Drive launched to fill up backlog reserved vacancies
The Government launched a drive to fill up the backlog vacancies of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBCs and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). The number of backlog vacancies is 57947. The bifurcation is : SC- 15323, ST – 20301, OBC – 15323 and PWD – 7000. All Ministries/Departments have been directed to fill up all the vacant posts in these categories by March 31, 2012.
Syllabus and pattern of the Civil Services (Preliminary) been revised from 2011 which now comprises two compulsory papers of objective type (multiple choices) of 200 marks each and the duration is of 2 hours each.
UPSC has launched with effect from February, 2011 on-line receiving of applications for the Engineering Services Examination. The submission of application has also been made on-line and the data is captured on real time basis resulting in reducing the time cycle besides becoming more accurate in capturing of the data since candidates are themselves filing in the required details.
UPSC have developed and implemented a system for offering detailed application form to the successful candidates for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination only through on-line mode under secured environment w.e.f. 2011.
Commission has started sharing question papers for all exams immediately after the conduct of such examinations. The information about marks obtained by successful as well as unsuccessful candidates is provided to the individual candidates once the evaluation process of the examination is completed.
The Commission has recently developed user friendly software for generating e-admit card which will be downloadable by the candidates themselves through the Commission’s website. This system will be in operation shortly.
During the year, the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) has conducted nine different All India Level Open Competitions Examinations. A record 19,42, 289 candidates applied for these examinations and 13,83,281 actually appeared at the examination. SSC has declared results and recommended 67,861 candidates for appointments.
SSC was asked to conduct the common recruitment for recruitment of about 53188 constables(GD) in CPOs. The SSC took up the challenge in a very short time and conducted the recruitment process.
The Sixth Civil Services Day was organized by the Department on 21st April, 2011. The day is celebrated as an occasion for the civil servants to rededicate themselves to the cause of citizens and renew their commitment to public service and excellence in work. On the occasion, the Prime Minister presented the Awards for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2009-10 to five initiatives in three categories viz., individual, group and organization.
Guidelines regarding Official dealings between Administration and Members of Parliament and State Legislatures – observance of proper procedure, have been revised after consulting with the Privilege Committee of the Lok Sabha.