Tarun Reflex

December 20, 2008

Govt panel for sacking of babus if found unfit after 20 yrs service

In an attempt to make bureaucracy accountable, a radical system of assessment has been mooted by an official panel allowing government servants to be sacked after 20 years of service if they are found unfit to continue.
The Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) headed by senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily recommended unprecedented and far-reaching changes in the service rules of government servants and suggested two intensive reviews to make civil servants accountable.
The first of its kind report in 150 years suggests far-reaching recommendations, including removal of non performing bureaucrats and perhaps even a formal degree in public policy.
The report on ‘Refurbishing of Personnel Administration’ said the first review at 14 years would primarily serve the purpose of intimating to the public servant about his or her strengths and shortcomings, while the second review at 20 years would mainly serve to assess the fitness of the officer for further continuation in service.
“The services of public servants, who are found to be unfit after the second review at 20 years, should be discontinued. A provision regarding this should be made in the proposed Civil Services Law,” the second ARC said in its latest report released today.
To ensure better accountability, the 377-page report said that for new appointments, it should be expressly provided that the period of employment shall be for 20 years. “Further continuance in government service would depend upon the outcome of the intensive performance reviews,” it said.
“The ACR will not exist in its present form,” M Veerappa Moily, who heads the panel, told reporters at a press conference where he released the report.
In the aftermath of Mumbai terror strikes, as political heads roll, the report is being seen as the government’s effort to bring babus within the accountability umbrella.
Sensing massive public outcry, the politicians have closed their ranks to send a positive message to the people that they are united in their war on terror. Hence the pressure is on the babus to follow suit.
Following are the three key recommendations of the panel:
The officers can be removed within the 14th and the 20th year of an officer’s tenure.
To encourage bright candidates for a long stint in the services, the upper age limit is also being lowered to 25 years for general candidates.
A formal degree in public policy and management is also being proposed.
“The first review will be held after 14 years and the second one after 20 years. It will assess whether the officer is fit to continue. If the recommendations are followed it will end the politician- bureaucrat nexus,” says Administrative Reforms Commission Chairman, Veerapa Moily.
Among the high-profile bureaucrats getting to complete their tenure is the troika responsible for maintaining internal security: National Security Advisor MK Narayanan, Intelligence Bureau Chief PC Haldar and Research and Analysis Wing chief AK Chaturvedi.
“The time has come for bureaucrats to put their hand up and be counted,” says ex-IPS officer Ved Marwah.
Key recommendations:
Government servants could lose their job after 20 years of service if they failed to come up to the expectations of their superiors.
The report on ‘Refurbishing of Personnel Administration’ said the first review at 14 years would primarily serve the purpose of intimating to the public servant about his or her strengths and shortcomings, while the second review at 20 years would mainly serve to assess the fitness of the officerfor further continuation in service.
To ensure better accountability, the 377-page report said that for new appointments, it should be expressly provided that the period of employment shall be for 20 years. “Further continuance in government service would depend upon the outcome of the intensive performance reviews,” it said.
It also said that performance appraisal should be year round and provisions for detailed work-plan and a mid-year review should be introduced for all services.
Noting that a good employee performance appraisal system was a pre-requisite for an effective performance management system, the Commission suggested making appraisal more consultative and transparent.
The report said the annual performance agreements should be signed between the department minister and the secretary of the ministry or heads of departments, providing physical and verifiable details of the work to be done during a financial year.
The actual performance should be assessed by a third party with reference to the annual performance agreement, it said.
For motivating civil servants, the report said, there was a need to recognise their outstanding work.
It said selections of foreign assignments should be made on the basis of recommendations of the Central Civil Services Authority.
On disciplinary proceedings, it said the proposed civil services law should have a provision that the present oral inquiry process is converted into a disciplinary meeting or interview to be conducted by a superior officer in a summary manner without the trappings and procedures borrowed from court trials.
On relations between political executive and civil servants, the panel said there was a need to safeguard the political neutrality and impartiality of the civil services.

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: