Thursday, December 31, 2009
1) Third Party Assessment Of IAS
Third party assessment of Indian bureaucrats began with a pilot project of selecting 80 out of 130 empanelled officers for the posts of joint secretary. The experiment was done with a panel of four retired bureaucrats as experts, and it could turn out to be a regular feature in selecting bureaucrats for various posts in the years to come.
2) Not Every IAS, IPS Or IFS Be Dhoni Or Tendulkar
The government came out with a guideline saying saying that officers should not be given 10 out of 10 in a routine manner by the reporting or reviewing authorities, and this should be restricted to 20% of the officers under their supervision, and any grading of more than 8 for each attribute must be justified by giving reasons in writing in a separate sheet.
3) No To Random Transfers
If Dr Manmohan Singh’s new government has its way, bureaucrats may not be at the mercy of their political masters in matters related to transfers. If the government is able to convert the proposed Civil Services Bill into an Act of Parliament, the success of government programmes will be linked to the performance of bureaucrats who run those at the ground level, and politicians will have the least control over those bureaucrats, initial reports on the content of the Bill have suggested. Though the bill could not be introduced during the year, there is a possibility that it would come up next year.
4) File Notings In Public Domain
The government officials need to be much more careful in file notings as those are already in public scrutiny under the RTI. The summoning of two DoPT officials by CIC to explain why they should not be prosecuted under RTI provisions, finally led the government agree that file notings would come under the RTI. It means whatever you write in official files would be under public scrutiny.
5) Performing Officers To Get Higher Increment
If DoPT has its way, performing government officials may end up receiving better yearly increment than what was even promised in the 6th Pay Commission recommendations. While modifying the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission that up to a 20% of the performers among officers may be given an annual increment of 3.5% instead of a normal practice of 2.5%, the government proposed that performers may be granted even 4% of increment.
6) Dr Singh Is Keen On Implementing Ethical Governance Codes
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh wants design of government’s development programmes to be transparent, simpler, decentralized and less discretionary so as to bring in accountability to the administrative system. While addressing a conference of CBI and state anti-corruption bureaus recently, Prime Minister of India said that recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) on ‘Ethics in Governance’ were examined in great detail, and some of those could be implemented.
7) Nilekani And Pitroda's Entry Into Babudom
In a rare instance of choosing a corporate honcho over a politician or a bureaucrat to spearhead a mega government initiative, Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of leading software company Infosys Technologies, was appointed as chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as chairman in the rank of a cabinet minister. Similarly, IT czar Sam Pitroda was appointed as adviser to PM on infrastructure, innovation and information. The move is significant as more such technocrats could get preference over seasoned bureaucrats or politicians for getting appointment in key government posts in 2010 and beyond.
8) Facing The Challenge Of Disclosing Assets
Bureaucrats are under pressure to disclose their assets under the Right To Information Act (RTI). After agreeing to disclose file notings which civil servants successfully blocked for quite sometime, they may have to make public their total assets, a norm which is being routinely practised by politicians. Senior bureaucrats in the government of India participated in a DoPT-initiated meeting in November to discuss the matter.
9) New Instructions To Help Babus Communicate With Netas
In yet another tale of Netagiri and babudom, Indian political masters imposed a set of additional instructions on how officers should behave with the Members of Parliament. This set of detailed instructions issued on the conduct of government servants in official dealings and correspondence with the Members of Parliament are in addition to the provisions in the Conduct Rules, and the Manual of Office Procedure.