Healthy competition amongst distts in providing good governance
*Existing gaps in citizen-centric admn to be bridged
JAMMU, Jan 28: The recently launched District Good Governance Index (DGGI) will make the District Officers of the majority of the departments, Deputy Commissioners and Administrative Secretaries accountable as the Government will critically compare the scores achieved during the current index with that of next year. Moreover, the performance in achieving maximum scores on the existing as well as the parameters to be adopted next year will help the Government in assessing these officers’ annual performance.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that district being a basic unit of field administration and governance, implementing various programmes and innovative projects for the well-being of citizens, its performance on various governance indicators is required to be measured to attest the development.
“The Good Governance Index at the district level will enable each of the 20 districts of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to rise to the level of best administered districts of the country by judging the performance of each district in different areas, schemes and programmes announced by the J&K and Union Governments from time to time for the well-being of the people”, sources said.
The ranking of the districts would bring about healthy competition from which the citizens would be immensely benefitted. “Further, the Good Governance Index will make the District Officers of the majority of the departments, Deputy Commissioners and Administrative Secretaries accountable”, they said.
While the District Officers of those departments which performed poorly as per the recently released index will have to improve their performance on the given parameters, it would be the sole responsibility of the Deputy Commissioners to get the same done by constantly monitoring the performance by directly obtaining feed-back from the fields instead of analyzing the situation from their offices only, sources further said.
“Likewise, the districts which have performed up to the satisfaction of the Government on the given parameters will have to make all out efforts to maintain the status during the next year’s Good Governance Index as such there will be tough competition among the districts”, they added.
Moreover, it would be the added responsibility of the Administrative Secretaries to ensure effective implementation of schemes and programmes pertaining to their respective departments by remaining in constant touch with the Districts Officers otherwise poor performance in obtaining good scores on the given parameters would be indirect reflection on Administrative Secretaries’ performance.
“This will ultimately help the administration and other stakeholders in addressing existing gaps, in making plans to bridge these gaps and aid as decision making tool”, sources further said, adding “the index is a tool which can be used to assess the status of governance and impact of various interventions taken up by the districts and UT Administration. Moreover, DGGI would provide a framework to assess the performance of the districts in specific sectors and provide useful information to the districts enabling them to formulate and implement suitable strategies to improve ease-of-living and service delivery”.
Stating that the ranking of the districts has led to healthy competition among the districts from which the citizens would be immensely benefited, sources said, adding “by making the DGGI an annual feature and a move towards sustainable data collection protocol, it is hoped that the base line data developed will assist in bridging the performance gaps which keeping the real time check on the credibility, quality and outreach of governance to the citizenry”.
Further, the performance in achieving maximum scores on the existing as well as the parameters to be adopted next year will help the Government in assessing these officers’ annual performance and the same will also be considered while writing the Annual Performance Reports (APRs) as sufficient hints in this regard have already been given by the Government.
It is pertinent to mention here that since the formation of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Government and J&K administration in tandem are making all out efforts to enhance the ease of living and holistic development. The District Good Governance Index is also part of the J&K Government’s mantra of “Maximum Governance, Minimum Government”.