Are DVOs irrelevant?

Corruption in different areas of administration is not showing any relent. The disease is deep rooted in our society. There is a plethora of laws purporting eradication of corruption but laws remain a piece of decoration only when these are not implemented in letter and in spirit. Departmental Vigilance Officers (DVOs) is an institution created by the Government with the purpose of maintaining vigil over the activities of departmental functionaries in the State. The Government aims more on prevention of crime or irregularity than on resorting to punitive punishment.
However, the non-serious manner in which the Government allows the DVO institution move is ample proof that the Government is not seriously interested in improving the things by eradicating corruption. The concept of Departmental Vigilance Officers in the Government Departments and Public Sector Undertakings is not a new one. In the Central Government, this institution is in existence since 1950 while as in Jammu and Kashmir the process of appointment of DVOs was started in 1994 with the issuance of GAD Circular No. 12 of 1994 dated February 22, 1994. Under terms of reference the DVOs conference is to be held annually to compare notes and exchange ideas and also induct new ideas to streamline the institution.
It is shocking to know that no conference of the DVOs has been held for last five years. How can we expect that they will succeed in performing their task of maintaining internal vigil. Every year hundreds of complaints about violation of code formalities in the award of contracts in Government works, purchases, appointments, promotions and transfers, denial of services by the Government servants are referred by the State Vigilance Organization to the DVOs for departmental verifications but their disposal rate is not at all satisfactory. The question that may be asked is this: when the DVOs are no more willing to conduct enquiry into alleged cases of corruption reported to them by the vigilance and when they are not prepared to submit  their findings made after due inquiry, is there any sense in keeping the institution alive?
We think that the Government shall have to revisit this issue and take a decision whether the institution is to be liquidated or made effective in letter and in spirit.

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