HoDs of majority of deptts, PSUs unaware of instructions
JAMMU, Sept 1: Detailed guidelines prepared by the General Administration Department over 15 years back in order to tackle the menace of corruption with iron hands by strengthening the vigilance and anti-corruption mechanism in all the departments and Public Sector Undertakings are being completely ignored at all the levels in the Government.
The most shocking aspect is that those at the helm of affairs in majority of the departments and other wings of the Government are completely unaware of these guidelines and even General Administration Department has not posted the same on its official website for unknown reasons.
As the corruption has remained the issue to be tackled with strongly, the General Administration Department vide Circular No.12-GAD(Vig) of 2003 dated May 26, 2003 issued detailed guidelines for strengthening vigilance and anti-corruption mechanism in all the Government departments and Public Sector Undertakings in coordination with the State Vigilance Organization.
In the circular, the copy of which has somehow been managed by the EXCELSIOR, Revenue, Roads and Buildings, Public Health Engineering, Flood Control, Police, Excise, Sales Tax, Forest, Power Development, Rural Development, Food and Supplies, Jammu Develo-pment Authority, Srinagar Development Authority, Transport, Education and Social Welfare Departments were identified for focused attention vis-a-vis implementation of the guidelines.
As per the guidelines, lists of officers against whose honesty or integrity there are complaints, doubts or suspicion were required to be prepared after consultation between the officers of the departments concerned and the State Vigilance Organization for closer and more frequent scrutiny and inspection of their work and performance by the department concerned particularly in spheres where there is scope for discretion or for showing favours.
It was also mentioned in the guidelines that there shall be discreet check of such officers’ reputation both by the departments concerned and the State Vigilance Organi-zation, un-obtrusive watch of their contracts, secret inquiry about their assets and financial resources and collection of information of specific instances of bribery and corrupt practices.
“If these secret checks and enquiries reveal positive material then open enquiries will be started by the State Vigilance Organization and further action taken in the light of the result of the inquiry”, read the guidelines.
However, no exercise was ever initiated in any of the Government departments or the Public Sector Undertakings for preparation of lists of such officers, which otherwise was the foremost step towards implementation of the guidelines, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
Similarly, lists of points and places where corrupt practices are prevalent in substantial measures were required to be prepared by the departments concerned in consultation with the State Vigilance Organization.
It was specifically mentioned in the guidelines that the points will be those items of works and those stages of which decisions are taken or orders are passed which scope for corruption like processing of tenders, appraising, grant of quota certificate, licenses and permits etc. Similarly, places were defined as sections, sectors, units of an office of the department or the Public Sector Undertaking.
“Even these lists have not been prepared by any of the Government departments or the Public Sector Undertakings till date”, sources said, adding “similar is the fate of the direction regarding preparation of lists of unscrupulous contractors, suppliers, firms and clearing agents, who are suspected of indulging in corrupt practices”.
As per the guidelines, even the lists of the unscrupulous contact men who are suspected of resorting to corrupt or irregular practices in their dealings with the official agencies were required to be prepared by the departments and Public Sector Undertakings and communicated to the State Vigilance Organization for necessary action after collecting information about specific instances of malpractices.
Even a provision for scrutiny and checks by departments of files and records to discover malafide orders of decisions and to detect malpractices was made in the guidelines. But all these aspects have not received attention from any quarter till date, sources said.
For preventive and administrative measures, it was mentioned in the guidelines that heads of the departments and Public Sector Undertakings will plan necessary measures in accordance with the scheme and issue suitable directives to subordinate officers and also coordinate action to detect and deal with corrupt elements and practices. Moreover, the departments were supposed to prepare quarterly reviews giving the particulars of the vigilance and anti-corruption work done during the preceding quarter. Even annual report containing a complete record of vigilance and anti-corruption activities during the preceding year along with statistical statements was required to be prepared by each and every department and Public Sector Undertaking.
“In the absence of necessary action on the part of the concerned departments and PSUs the State Vigilance Organization is finding it difficult to implement the guidelines issued 15 years back”, sources said.
“It is unfortunate that despite corruption still remaining major issue for the State, these guidelines have remained out of the focus of all the concerned authorities during the past 15 years”, sources said, adding “had these guidelines been implemented in letter and spirit menace of corruption would have been checked up to large extent”.