35,018 files cleared after drive

42,000 files cannot be cleared for legal reasons; 93,000 others still pending

35,018 files cleared after drive

A day after the file clearance drive at the State secretariat, officials of the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) visited various departments in teams for assessment and stock taking.

To be precise, as many as 35,018 files were disposed of during the six-day drive taken up in the secretariat buildings of Vidhana Soudha, Vikasa Soudha and MS Building. The drive, launched on September 2, extended up to Sunday with officials giving up their holiday, and attending to work.

This is not for the first time that such a massive file clearance has been taken up by the government. When R Gundu Rao was the chief minister in the early ‘80s, he had barred the entry of people for some days to Vidhana Soudha to ensure that the pending files were attended to.

According to sources in the DPAR, the total number of pending files in the secretariat stood at 1.76 lakh last week. Of these, 42,000 files cannot be disposed following court cases and legal issues. With 35,018 files being disposed of during the present drive, around 93,000 files still remain pending. The nature of the files disposed varied — ranging from service matters including transfers to complaints against secretariat employees, from grant of sanction for inquiry, to proposal from department for purchases, renovation, from land grant to denotification.

According to the Karnataka Government Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure, files are classified into four categories: A, B, C and D.

For instance, petitions from the public are classified as category D with one-year time limit for its disposal. The case workers open the file and then it  moves up the hierarchy. In many cases the file does not move beyond the case worker, section officers resulting in pendency, the sources said.

The data on clearance of files is being fed into the government’s official portal sachivalaya vahini. Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee will hold a meeting of secretaries to decide the next step of action.

The file clearance drive followed a decision of the State cabinet late last month that pending files across departments should be disposed of at the earliest.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, at the meeting, had expressed his displeasure at the pendency of files and directed Mukherjee to take up remedial measures.

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