PM assuages IAS officers' fears of retribution

PM assuages IAS officers' fears of retribution

PM assuages IAS officers' fears of retribution

At a time when a former IAS officer facing charges in the coal block allocation scam has given rise to concerns among bureaucrats, who feel that such actions could tie their hands, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that there is a need to remove the perception that it could discourage government functionaries from taking decisions.

In his message to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), which is celebrating Vigilance Awareness Week from Monday, the Prime Minister said the positive contribution of vigilance in promoting good governance is “very important”, because the ultimate objective of any vigilance activity should be to improve governance.

He said there is a need to make the role of vigilance mechanisms more positive. He also emphasised the need for “removing the perception that these mechanisms sometimes discourage government functionaries from taking decisions”.

His comments came against the backdrop of an association of senior bureaucrats finding fault with the CBI FIR against former Coal Secretary P C Parakh in connection with coal block allocation to Aditya Birla group company Hindalco. The bureaucrats are of the view that such actions would instil a fear of future retribution and dissuade them from taking decisions.

In his message, President Pranab Mukherjee said an effective and proactive vigilance machinery could contribute towards improving the quality of governance.

Sushma Swaraj, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, said vigilance is an important tool of management in its endeavour to achieve goals of excellence in governance.

Preventive vigilance, like identification of cumbersome procedures and elimination thereof, is crucial, she said.

“The structure, systems and processes in any organisations should be built to maximise output within given resources by plugging areas of leakage," “he said.

“It is in the interest of every organisation, striving to bring in efficiency and transparency, to re-engineer its processes for effective use of information technology,” she added.

In its advisory on the observance of the awareness week, the CVC has reminded officers that no amount of developmental schemes can bring in improvements in the quality of life of citizens without good governance. It said a lot more remains to be done, despite several initiatives having been taken to improve the quality of governance.

“Improved governance in the form of eliminating corruption by strict action in respect of tax evasions and black-market economy, as well as increased transparency in public procurements, is very necessary,” said the CVC.

Experience has shown that increased transparency, competition and leveraging of technology lead to decline in corruption, it added.

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