In a major follow-up of the recent interaction that secretaries to the government had with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cabinet secretary Ajit Seth has asked all of them to immediately identify in their respective departments a minimum of 10 redundant rules, processes and archaic Acts that can be repealed.
He also asked the secretaries to ensure that unnecessary or irrelevant information is not sought from the public, and all government forms are as short, simple and precise as possible, official sources told FE.
Besides, Seth wanted all decision-making to not only be done in a 'collaborative' manner, involving 'teamwork' through frequent consultation within and between departments, but at the same time also sought it to be reduced to a maximum of four layers.
He wanted the secretaries to keep the Cabinet Secretariat and the Prime Minister's Office informed about all contentious issues so that they can be resolved at the earliest. All departments have also been asked to weed out files and papers, expedite digitisation and increase usage of information technology. A deadline of four weeks has been given for this exercise to be completed. In addition, Seth asked the departments to resolve public grievances in a timely manner and make sure that they work out specific modalities to “fulfil the promises made by the NDA government to the people”.
The cabinet secretary asked the secretaries to come up with a plan of action on all these aspects by June 9. After that, he would monitor the progress on these aspects in meetings with the secretaries. The secretaries have also been asked to file monthly reports on all these aspects.
The cabinet secretary also asked the secretaries to analyse the goals set by the government during the 2009-14 period of the UPA regime and make presentations on how much of these have been met, before the Prime Minister.
They said the recent flutter in many departments, where the staff went about cleaning their respective offices, was not because of rumours of Modi visiting them (as reported in some section of the media), but was actually due to a circular from the cabinet secretary to all secretaries asking them to ensure that their departments are 'spruced up' and, then, file a report on it by June 6.
The 'sprucing-up' exercise is meant to create a 'positive' work environment, they said.