Disposal of files in Govt Departments

In the absence of a well defined and prescribed code of time in attending to a particular issue enveloped in files within a time frame or return the same with usual remarks of such returning , mere instructions and sending circulars would serve no worthwhile purpose. The phraseology of “has been viewed seriously” too was not serving any purpose as the reluctant officialdom has acquired enough immunity to feel serious about disposing off the matters as quickly as possible, with exceptions of course. We must cite instances of some public sector concerns as to how even crucial financial decisions are taken where considerable stake is involved , within specific time frame and where “journey” from one table or the other or the authority is well documented and that becoming an inalienable part and parcel of the case itself . In other words , there is no scope left for taking any liberties with the case or deferring a decision for no reason whatsoever. It is not that introducing such procedures would be that easy nor that the present system would at once adopt and get acclimatized with it but a beginning would be not that discouraging as well .
It is not disputed that several meetings in this connection were not held and revisions of instructions not done as also some positive responses did not emanate but again the temporary tempo slowly started receding and returning to its original position. Since files have to travel from one authority to the other for according sanctions, taking appropriate decisions etc , the best way to deal with such issues is to delegate more powers to the junior level of officers or limit the number of authorities the particular cases have to pass through.The other way is visiting offices personally in cases where some issues or hitches were involved and get things and approvals by hand to cut down on time which otherwise would consume days together defeating the very purpose of quick disposal.
We do not opine for bypassing of rules and regulations in the burst of disposing files reasonably smoothly with speed but are highly critical of sitting over them to strengthen irritating red-tape. If the General Administration Department has issued a detailed circular wherein specific guidelines have been given,then that should be made strictly applicable and treated as working manual in respect of how much time for disposing off a particular case or file was required.
Three to seven days should be the benchmark prescribed and practiced for attending to and disposing of a file in a department . However, the same needs to be displayed in the office premises prominently so that the visiting public are aware of the prescribed time so that in case of inordinate delay caused, they could write to the higher authority for redressal. The name of the higher authority along with telephone number and designation etc should be prominently displayed to facilitate the aggrieved one to lodge complaint . And complaints should receive prompt attention to lend credibility to fixing time schedules for disposing off files . It is a welcome step on the part of the Chief Secretary in personally monitoring and taking interest in respect of quick disposal of files in Government departments and we suggest that any wilful noncompliance should not be condoned to set a good precedence as well as a deterrent. It would be quite easy for those departments where heterogeneous working is not handled as handling the same type of work almost daily can best fit in how much time was required for disposal based on guidelines.