Timely disposal of files remains least priority in most of deptts

Govt wants GAD model to be adopted everywhere
Inaction despite numerous instructions since 2006

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Jan 16: Timely disposal of files has not received due attention of the concerned authorities in most of the departments despite repeated instructions since 2006 and this has been viewed seriously by the Government which has now issued directions for adaptation of General Administration Department (GAD) model by all the Administrative Secretaries.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that vide Circular No.35-GAD of 2006 dated December 7, 2006 the Government had issued instructions for the efficient and speedy disposal of files and transaction of Government business. Thereafter, thrust on speedy disposal of files was laid a number of times in the official meetings.
Initially, these instructions received good response in almost all the departments but with the passage of time compliance level declined considerably and disposal of files remained the discretion of the officers concerned in most of the departments.
Taking serious note of inordinate delays in the disposal of office files both in the Secretariat and other offices due to the large number of hierarchical levels through which the files have to pass, the Government vide Circular No.39-GAD dated July 8, 2019 issued fresh instructions for strict compliance and follow-up action.
Vide Circular No.39-GAD of 2019 different timelines were fixed for various level of officials for disposal of files in the Secretariat Departments, Heads of Department and other subordinate offices and all the Administrative Secretaries, HoDs, Deputy Commissioners and subordinate offices were asked to ensure compliance in letter and in spirit.
However, timely disposal of files has not received due attention of the concerned authorities in most of the departments despite repeated instructions since 2006 and this has been viewed seriously by the Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, who has directed that circular dated June 21, 2007 issued by the General Administration Department for its subordinate offices shall be circulated among all the Administrative Departments for adoption as early as possible. This circular contains guidelines in addition to the directives issued vide Circular No.35-GAD of December 7, 2006.
As per this circular, Dealing Assistant/Section Officer/ Statistical Officer/ Assistant Accounts Officer are required to dispose of references, letters and files within a period of three days while as Under Secretary/ Assistant Director/ Deputy Secretary are supposed to clear the file within three days of receipt.
Likewise, Additional Secretary/ Financial Advisor/ Chief Accounts Officer are required to dispose of the file within a maximum period of two days. Same time-frame has been fixed for the Principal Secretary while as three days have been prescribed for conveying of approval of the competent authority through letter/order.
It has clearly been mentioned in this circular that non-compliance of the guidelines will be viewed seriously and reflected in the Annual Performance Reports (APRs) if post warning corrective action is not taken at the earliest.
“The Administrative Secretaries can ensure strict compliance to instructions regarding timely disposal of files by their subordinate offices only when they adopt the same practice in their own offices”, sources said.
They disclosed that on June 30, 2019 the then Governor of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik, while chairing a meeting of the officers, had disclosed that Government was in the process of creating a mobile based Application that would ensure quick disposal of cases at different levels and will also help in monitoring the movement of files.
However, till date such an Application has not been developed by the Government, which otherwise was imperative to improve work culture.
“Now, it is to be seen whether the latest instructions of the Chief Secretary are strictly followed by the departments in Civil Secretariat as well as out of the Secretariat or the same will be allowed to meet the fate of earlier directions”, sources remarked, adding “unless Government starts reflecting in the APRs the poor performance in this regard the situation is not going to improve up to the desired level”.