IRS OFFICER TRAINEES: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu with the 71st batch of Indian Revenue Service officer trainees from National Academy of Direct Taxes, in New Delhi, on March 20

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

5 years old circular flashed to warn ministries bypassing ACC

THE government has culled out a five-year-old office memorandum to remind ministries and departments that they should not scrap a search committee or search-cum-selection process mid-way without the approval of Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister. In another way, this is a subtle warning to powerful departments which often attempt, directly or indirectly, to bypass or influence ACC in matters relating to key appointments. 
“This is not a healthy practice”, a new office memorandum dated July 17, 2012 said. But which are the ministries and departments that have indulged in such an “unhealthy practices”?
The recent OM did not name those departments but it indicated in clear terms that ACC was bypassed in certain cases. “It has been observed that there are a number of instances of scrapping of panel by various Ministries/Departments without the approval of ACC… The powers rested with the ACC should not be exercised by the Ministries/Departments without the approval of ACC”, the office memorandum said.
In fact, the guidelines mentioned in a July 2007 office memorandum prescribed that the panel recommended by the Committee will be valid for one year. “If no selection is made within a period of one year, a fresh committee shall be constituted to prepare a fresh panel,” it said. The guidelines further stipulated that the panel recommended by the committee will have to be “accepted in toto by the Ministry/Department”. Any deviation in such matters will require the prior approval of ACC.

Action and Appointments
The Institute of Secretariat Training and Management (ISTM), which conducted 297 courses and trained 7,841 government employees in 2011-12, may introduce online training modules. It is also setting up a Centre for Transparency for more effective implementation of RTI Act.

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