CALL it a new avatar for Indian bureaucrats. Having remained at the mercy of politicians for decades and becoming victims of random transfers and politically-motivated postings, bureaucrats have now discovered a new role --- assessing their political masters!
If Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh-backed innovative idea of assessing his ministries by a group of bureaucrats goes through, it will be the first case of babudom over netagiri in Independent India. Yet, with some senior cabinet ministers opposing the system in public, there are doubts whether the efficiency enhancing tool, aimed at improving administrative delivery and accountability, will actually take off in real sense.
A number of senior Congress leaders have raised their voice against the newly introduced Performance Monitoring and Evaluation System (PMES) as it will allow a select group of bureaucrats assess the work of a minister, according to a media report.
The system, the first phase for which is implemented in 59 of 84 ministries and departments from January 1--
March 31, 2010, allows the Committee on Government Performance (CGP) reviewing the performance a ministry. Incidentally, the committee comprises cabinet secretary, finance secretary, expenditure secretary, secretary (Planning Commission), secretary (Performance Management) and secretary of the concerned ministry or department. According to the PMES, Results-Framework Document (RFD) tracking the targets of a ministry, needs to be signed both by the concerned minister and secretary which then is reviewed by the group of secretaries (CGP), thereby giving bureaucrats an upper-hand over their political masters.
Those ministers who are opposed to this move, believed to be a pet project of incumbent cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar, include health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, road transport minister Kamal Nath, information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni and minister of state for environment Jairam Ramesh.
“I would like to make it clear that the very concept of evaluation of the performance of a minister by a bureaucrat is totally ill-conceived. It is the minister who is supposed to evaluate the performance of the bureaucrat and not the other way round,” Indian national daily Hindustan Times quoted health minister Azad saying it. According to the report, both Kamal Nath and Jairam Ramesh have not signed the document so far.
The ministers who are however kept out of this assessment are finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, external affairs minister SM Krishna, defence minister AK Antony (defence) and home minister P Chidambaram.
November 3, 2009, cabinet secretary inaugurated a workshop on Results Frameworks Documents (RFD) which was attended by 250 officials.
Action and Appointments
Nine IAS officers transferred in AP
In a major reshuffle of senior officers in Andhra Pradesh, Shekhar Prasad Singh (1983 batch) has been appointed principal secretary information and communications whereas MT Krishna Babu (1993 batch) will be the CMD of AP Central Power Distribution Company Limited. The other appointments are:
G Sai Prasad (1991 batch): Vice-chairman of AP Housing Board
D Vara Prasad (1997 batch): Collector of Nizamabad district
D Sambasiva Rao (1984 batch): Secretary, secondary education
K Sunitha (1996 batch): Director, Youth Services
D Kadmiel (1993 batch): Chief Commissioner of Land Administration (CCLA)
R Subba Rao (1992 batch):
, ST Commission Secretary SC
Yogita Rana (2003 batch): Deputy Commissioner Commercial Taxes