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Bureaucrats and Action Taken Reports

Legislative Assembly constitutes various committees from time to time in respect of different issues with intent to submit their considered views and recommendations which obviously have to be given due attention and timely actions on them expected from the administration. Bureaucrats have a tremendous responsibility in this respect. The fact of the matter is that the Chairmen of various Committees of the Legislative Assembly have expressed perturbation and anxiety over the recommendations of these committees being not given practical shape so far as implementing them is concerned. It is not that the General Administration has not been taking stock of the situation as it has been issuing circulars, instructions and guidelines from time to time but what impact do such circulars and communiqués make, is important.
The whole gamut of things crash gates at the State bureaucrats and their response to such recommendations as ultimately, they are the carriers of the changes , prompt decisions and rectifications in the administrative system to suit the compliance levels of such  recommendations .They must decidedly be made answerable and timely submission of Action Taken Reports (ATRs) ensured  from them without any delays.
The practice of submitting of action taken reports or rectification reports and compliance certificates even in critical matters of irregularities and procedural “jumping” as pointed out in audits and inspections of various departments, is either optional or left to the whims of the Departmental Heads as to when they bring about due corrections and rectifications as pointed out in audit reports. It is that peculiar inveterate mindset which works, perhaps, in respect of House Committee recommendations too which definitely does not augur well. A paradigm change is need of the hour which perhaps speaks for the Chairmen of Financial and other Committees of the Legislative Assembly having jointly conveyed to the speaker Dr. Nirmal Singh about the whole issue of no action being visible in respect of majority of recommendations made by such committees in their respective reports. This scenario of post recommendations response, it is feared, defeats the very purpose of establishing of such Committees. How can such committees function, like this in order to register net results on the ground and sustain their credibility?
The matter does not end here. It has been observed that the requisite avidity of many senior officers in attending meetings of the House Committees has been found to be not of encouraging levels and “skipping” is rather conveniently preferred which calls for moral introspection by such defaulting officers and administrative actions at the highest levels to lend credence and legitimacy to meetings of House Committees where actions, plans and responses are deliberated upon.
Merely by issuing circulars by the General Administration Department won’t suffice especially when proper notice, intimations and memos are issued, well in advance, to these officers for attending the requisite meetings. We, at the same time, cannot write off the intentions to stem the rot by the General Administration Department as they sincerely have been expressing anguish over failure of the Administrative Secretaries to ensure participation of senior officers in the meetings of the Financial and other Committees of the Legislative Assembly as also non furnishing of action taken on the reports presented by these Committees.
Since the importance of such Committees cannot be underestimated as  they are also known as “Miniature House”, and the entire Government being answerable to such committees and the Legislature , it is expected that the current scenario does not , rather is not, allowed to continue and remedial measures are taken in the right earnest.

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