Preventive Vigilance

Yoginder Kaul
Pursuant to Vigilance Awareness Week regarding Anticorruption measures against public servants, the entire nation recalls the Satark Bharth Samriddh Bharth , call given by our Prime minister while inaugurating Annual Senior Vigilance Officers Conference at New Delhi.
The main thrust was on preventive vigilance measures so that it is not permitted to spread its tentacles after taking place in the society ,corroding the public service and eroding public confidence . This has been one of the main reasons why our country has not achieved in development, what many nations have done after their Independence from colonial domination.
The colonial mentality among Public servants has to go with scrapping of discretionary powers though mostly abused now scrapped and accounted for.
All concerned investigating agencies are burdened with day in day out with additional reported cases after it has taken place, which is time consuming even though latest technology has been put into use. The main factor is the responsibility of all the Head of departmants to be actively involved under whom the grants are sanctioned for public developmental activities to augument infrastructure to ease the living of common man by the Govt.
It is generally observed when hue and cry is raised or complaints from public or annoymous inputs/ information is received ,then only enquiry and investigation is carried against the particular department.
It is the responsibility of all Heads of the concerned departments, Public sector undertakings, local bodies of the Govt. that they the carry out of their own periodic surprise check, inspections and monitor all the vital responsibilities assigned to the concerned Deptt. which is of public concern from vigilance point of view.
This is found wanting without any reason as if they are not responsible to see that every penny of tax payers money is rightly used as per the allocated budget with final utilization certificate of its genuine expenditure and its utility to its end users as per the plan. This is generally observed across all important departments in the UT .
Previously, a concept of Depatmental Vigilance Officers (DVO)was put into operation to carry on their departmental responsibilities with full force so that a proper check and balance system is in operation while the works and other subsidiary action are going concurrently to see rightful expenditure, quality control and its genuiness wherever such a significant case of misappropriation, embezzelments ,causing loss to govt comes to lime light for the reasons known to the Depatments so that action will be initiated suomoto .
This is to be initiated on a major scale to have close supervision and direct connect with all concerned at right time.These measures can improve check of mischief and culpability of those who try to find holes in the system for their vested interest.
A new era of pro active vigilance method will get embedded in the system to plug all escape routes of those black sheep who make hay while the expenditures are booked in working season specially in those far flung areas where administrative heads rarely find time to monitor their goal and aspirations of locals are met in any developmental sector nor deviations for exceeding budgets are allowed without timely justification.
The performance of the supervisory officers need to be caliberated i.e HOD supervisory capacity to exercise control on corrupt practices prevailing.This can be especially done in Health, Education, Irrigation, Works sectors,Rural development, Power,Revenue, taxation etc. which is the backbone of removing the general distance between the goverened and the Government.
The timely audit can help find negligence of defaulters who can be booked with cogent and conclusive evidence immediately which otherwise becomes difficult to trace during investigation as fabricated evidences and records are misplaced or built to give a proper shape with winning all those who raise voice against it in time after the period of incidence.
This will help in zero tolerance against the corrupt practices with a systemic check in cooperative spirit to tackle this menace which is eating up its own vitals. This could have helped in the deep rooted corrupt practices in banking frauds for timely detection and prevented many frauds running into huge amount.
Technology is now handy which can monitor the periodic progress of different initiatives with public awareness to raise a banner against by all supervisory officers..
The Senior officers need to build up their capacity to have an eagles eye while contorlling the Departmental activities to improve vigilance till the actual Vigilance Deparment arrives to take the cognizance. This method will add additional hands to ensure that the public money is rightfully used for the bettement of public and help in actual develoment of quality and quantity to end users to their general satifaction .
The Panchayat bodies can also lend their hand irrespective of any affliation in the true spirit of service in their areas to see that the local development plan is implemented efficiently. There will be visible improvement after some time if the system is put into force continously.
Many positive deisions have been taken as Direct Beneficiary transfer(DBT), scrapping interviews of Group C& D posts and by creating a common National recruitment agency to conduct common eligiibility test for employment opportunities to make common level playing ground. This reduces human interference to implement preventive Vigilance which is need of the hour.
The author is IPS officer (Retd)