New parameters to review IAS officers' performance

Top IAS officers at the level of secretary and additional secretary will soon be assessed on their attitude towards weaker sections of the society, among other qualities, according to draft appraisal forms finalised by the Personnel Ministry. File photo for representation

Does an IAS officer have the courage to "stand up" against wrong and take "ownership" of his responsibilities? What is his attitude towards weaker sections?

These are among a series of questions that are likely to be posed to IAS officers, including secretaries, and their seniors during their annual appraisal with the Centre now planning to introduce a new set of parameters to review their performance.

The proposal, shared with state governments, comes at a time when the Centre has initiated a process of inducting professionals from the private sector directly into the bureaucracy at the level of joint secretary.

Officials said the proposed changes, if accepted, in the Performance Appraisal Report (PAR) would help in assessing the officers in a better manner and assigning them new challenges.

Top officials in the rank of secretary and additional secretary will be assessed on both "financial integrity" and "moral integrity" while junior will be appraised on their "integrity" in general, according to the draft modifications proposed in the PAR.

The PAR, as per the draft, will assess an officer's "strengths and lesser strengths and his attitude towards weaker sections". The latest additions also include the officer's ability to take timely and effective decision especially in complex, ambiguous and critical situations", innovativeness, the track record of delivery and ability to lead a team with coordination and collaboration.

It will also assess the officer's ability to take "ownership of responsibilities with courage for what is right". The reporting officer and reviewing officer will have to comment on the remarks made by the officer being assessed. If the reviewing officer disagrees with the reporting officer, he will have to give reasons.

In their self-appraisal, the officers will also be asked to indicate four domain assignments from areas like agriculture and rural development, internal affairs and defence, industry and trade, public finance and financial management, natural resource management and personnel and general administration, governance reforms and regulatory system, science and technology among others.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has written to chief secretaries of all state governments and the Union territories seeking their views on the changes in the PAR with a June 28 deadline.

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