Strengthening of internal vigilance in Deptts, Corporations
ACB website doesn’t have details of DVOs
JAMMU, Jan 24: The Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has yet not started acting on the explicit guidelines/rules of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) regarding strengthening of internal vigilance in the Departments and Corporations. Moreover, neither the vital information about the Departmental Vigilance Officers (DVOs) is available in the public domain nor any proper format devised to review their performance despite the fact that they are considered as extended hands of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in fight against the menace of corruption.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that following repeal of Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Commission Act, 2011 by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs vide Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order dated March 31, 2020 it became amply clear that Jammu and Kashmir Anti-Corruption Bureau will function strictly as per the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission on the lines of other Union Territories in the country.
However, the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory has yet not started acting on the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission, an apex body created to address the menace of corruption, with regard to strengthening of internal vigilance in the Government Departments and Corporations, sources said.
The CVC guidelines/rules clearly state that Chief Vigilance Officers or Departmental Vigilance Officers shall be appointed in each and every department and organization to assist the Head of the Department/ organization in all vigilance matters. “In cases where the scale of operation of a particular organization doesn’t justify creation of a full time post an officer within the organization sufficiently senior in rank may be considered for such appointments”, the guidelines said.
Moreover, the officer to be given additional charge of the post of DVO/CVO should not be one whose normal duties involve dealing with matters sensitive from vigilance point of view like recruitment and purchase etc.
“However, in Jammu and Kashmir all the Departmental Vigilance Officers are those who are already burdened with routine official works as a result of which their duties are mainly confined to submitting replies or records to the Anti-Corruption Bureau whenever some official communication is addressed to them”, sources said.
“No doubt detection and punishment of corruption and other malpractices are certainly important but what is more important is taking preventive measures instead of hunting for the guilty in the post corruption stage but this aspect has also failed to receive due attention of the Departmental Vigilance Officers”, they informed, adding “this is mainly because no step was ever initiated to appoint full-time Departmental Vigilance Officers particularly in those departments which are known for corrupt practices”.
As per the CVC guidelines/ rules, the Departmental Vigilance Officers are required to identify the sensitive/corruption prone spots in the departments/ organizations and keep an eye on personnel posted in such areas; enforce surprise and regular inspections to detect the system failures and existence of corruption or malpractices and to maintain proper surveillance on officers of doubtful integrity.
“None of these aspects receive due attention of the DVOs in majority of the departments/organizations mainly because of their busyness in routine official works”, sources informed, adding “even no mechanism has been evolved for assessing the performance of the DVOs at the end of every year by seeking information from them on the properly devised format”.
As per the format devised by the Central Vigilance Commission, the Chief Vigilance Officers or Departmental Vigilance Officers are required to submit information vis-à-vis complaints handled by them, action taken, number of departmental enquiries going on and their fate, inspections conducted by them during the year and outcome of the same etc.
“In Jammu and Kashmir there is absolutely no focus on this vital aspect and only conference of the Departmental Vigilance Officers is conducted occasionally just for delivery of lectures by the dignitaries”, sources said, adding “while the Central Vigilance Commission website hosts names and contact numbers of the Chief Vigilance Officers for the information of public no such provision has been created in the website of the Jammu and Kashmir Anti-Corruption Bureau although a DVO portal was launched recently”.
Similar is the situation in respect of websites of all the Government Departments and Corporations.
“Due to this, people find it difficult to pass on information vis-à-vis corrupt practices and approach the Departmental Vigilance Officers directly”, sources said, adding “since menace of corruption is still at an alarming level in Jammu and Kashmir, the Government should ensure that all the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission regarding strengthening of internal vigilance in the departments and organizations are strictly adhered to at all the levels”.