Monday, June 01, 2009
SENIOR home ministry officials have already been jittery over home minister P Chidambaram's habit of writing long comments on annual performance appraisal reports (PAR) of senior officials. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) officials have learnt from their colleagues in finance ministry, where Mr Chidambaram spent most of the time during the last government’s tenure, that he won’t hesitate to write even negative comments overruling the marks given by an officer’s immediate senior, BoI (Babus of India) has learnt. Most other ministers normally don’t add any extra line, but just write the customary word “accepted”. Mr Chidamabaram’s habit of writing long observations on appraisal forms of senior officials above the joint secretary level, may however increase productivity among top bureaucrats. In fact, Performance Appraisal Report (PAR) is the new format of apprising an official’s character, capability and other attributes in place of Annual Confidential Report (ACR). Whereas PAR, which is based on marks system replacing the earlier grading method of ACR, is at present mandatory for IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service (IFS) officials. The PAR method, which is indispensable for an official’s promotions in future, is likely to be introduced for other Group A civil servants as well. If sources in finance ministry are to be believed, Mr Chidamabarm at times even added an extra page to write his “endless” comments. In fact, annual performance appraisal report is finally disclosed to the concerned officials under The All India Services (Performance Appraisal Report) Rules, 2007. Despite his unpopularity among officials and journalists, Mr Chidambaram is considered to be a tough administrator and one of the most performing ministers in Dr Manmohan Singh’s cabinet.