Showing “proof” of works completed

It speaks volumes about how ineffective the system in the administration was in matters of getting necessary instructions followed and guidelines complied with and that too, within fixed time limit. How can instruments of administration at different levels enforce compliance, should in itself, be not found wanting in proper effectiveness. In other words, why should various Government departments in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir default in submitting requisite information in respect of different developmental works completed during the financial year 2019-20 under Capex budget to the Finance Department in spite of repeated reminders? Such proofs were to be furnished by means of nicely clicked photographs which were distinctly and pin pointedly showing a particular work completed . When several of reminders yielded no results , a very light punitive action was taken by directing the Treasury Officers not to entertain any payment of the bills from any department in the absence of the said photographs accompanying the bills while submitting the same for obtaining payment. Even that too has proved ineffective .
The instructions had that, particulars like name of the work, date of start, date of completion, completion cost and other particulars depicted on individual photograph had to reach the Development Expenditure Division by a fixed timeline. Only then, an analysis could be undertaken in respect of such works. Even facilities of furnishing such information through special messengers too was mooted but that too could not work. The idea of photographs accompanying the bills is, besides completing other usual ordinary formalities, to pre-empt any move for obtaining double payment for the same developmental work. That could be both intentional as well as accidental but the immediate effect thereof was the loss caused to public treasury. It is intriguing that the reminders sent by the Finance Department to the respective Administrative Secretaries too yielded no results. Reminders are under the usual officialdom, sent as under ordinary rating or in ordinary course of business followed by- marked as “Urgent” and thereafter, as “Most Urgent”.
One more effective tool, again in the ordinary course, would be sending a DO letter to the head of the concerned defaulting department invoking his or her personal responsibility in arranging the needed information required to be sent and in the event of even the DO letter not proving effective, the concerned head must face immediate but imminent action from the higher authorities. That is how, administration should work. We are, of and on, dwelling upon a technical aspect of the issue in that a Government employee of whichever rank , under implied terms of employment, should continue to be in service only till he obeys and complies with the instructions and orders of the employer (the UT Government). Why should “Most Urgent ” matters too be handled in quite casual manner and quite unmindful of the consequences thereof, is a million dollar question? Why should not the next higher authority visit such defaulting departments to assess the reasons of non compliance preceded by raining of telephonic reminders ? We feel that the next higher authority should not think having done justice to the issue by just writing memos and reminders only but beyond that including taking symbolic action for insubordination and wilful acts pointing to dereliction of duty .
All attempts to make an estimate of various allied important issues get relegated to the background in such a scenario. In other words, unless critical data was available in respect of how many development works were completed, how many more were in the pipeline , again how many were incomplete and how much of cost escalation was involved and the reasons thereof, no further planning could be visualised. Concepts of accountability too get unimplemented as by the time that was thought of, the concerned ones usually manage their transfers and to better places and at “better tables”. Our thrust, therefore, is on effective and assertive administrative machinery.