Centre to set up committee to punish inefficient bureaucrats

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 13 2008, 06:01am hrs
Declaring that incompetency in the bureaucracy should not be tolerated, an official panel set up by the UPA government has recommended setting up a system of assessment that will allow for government servants to be sacked after twenty years of service if found unfit.

However, deserving civil servants needed to be recognised for outstanding work and could be rewarded with foreign assignments, the panel said while suggesting that appraisal mechanisms should be made more consultative and transparent.

The recommendations, intended to bring much required sharpness to the bureaucracy and give government machinery an edge comparable to the private sector, has been made by the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) headed by former Karnataka chief minister M Veerappa Moily.

The commission on Friday released a report on Refurbishing of Personnel Adminstration which has made far reaching changes in the service rules of government servants and suggested two intensive reviews to make civil servants accountable.

The report says that the first review at 14 years would primarily serve the purpose of intimating to the public servant about his or her strengths and shortcomings, while the second review at 20 years would mainly serve to assess the fitness of the officer for further continuation in service.

The services of public servants, who are found to be unfit after the second review at 20 years, should be discontinued. A provision regarding this should be made in the proposed Civil Services Law, the report said. To ensure better accountability, the 377-page report said that for new appointments, it should be expressly provided that the period of employment shall be for 20 years. Further continuance in government service would depend upon the outcome of the intensive performance reviews, it said.

Moily, who released the report at a press conference here on Friday, also said that the annual confidential report (ACR) of civil servants should be revised. He said performance appraisal should be year round and provisions for detailed work-plan and a mid-year review should be introduced for all services. Noting that a good employee performance appraisal system was a pre-requisite for an effective performance management system, the Commission suggested making appraisal more consultative and transparent.

The report said the annual performance agreements should be signed between the department minister and the secretary of the ministry or heads of departments, providing physical and verifiable details of the work to be done during a financial year. The actual performance should be assessed by a third party with reference to the annual performance agreement, it said.

On disciplinary proceedings, it said the proposed civil services law should have a provision that the present oral inquiry process is converted into a disciplinary meeting or interview to be conducted by a superior officer in a summary manner without the trappings and procedures borrowed from court trials.