Now, Narendra Modi govt wants outgoing officials to leave behind 'note to successor'

Written by Express news service | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 30 2014, 13:22pm hrs
The Union government now wants its officers to leave behind a note for the successor when they leave their posts.

The move is aimed at ensuring that knowledge acquired by an official while discharging his duties is not lost once he leaves office and the successor too is able to learn the ropes quickly.

The idea was spoken about by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a presentation of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions on June 12.

Acknowledging that all employees have invaluable knowledge of their areas of responsibility, which may be much more nuanced and integrated than the information available in files, notesheets, correspondence, documents and electronic databases, the government has underlined that such innate knowledge is at risk of getting lost when the incumbent leaves the seat or gets transferred or demits office.

New employee will take time to understand issues of current importance, appreciate urgency of actionable points, recognise strengths and weakness of different subordinates for suitable work allocation, and comprehend critical issues by trial and error. This time spent in negotiating the way in new environment, spent in trial and error, may turn out to be the critical difference between success and failure of the unit, the department or even the organisation, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has stated.

To tackle this, the government has said that knowledge continuity in wake of employee transition needs to be recognised as a key challenge, more so in the government where rule based Personnel policies mandate a fixed tenure.

The DoPT has also stated that the problem of knowledge continuity could be significantly tackled if the incumbent employee, with overall goal of success of the organisation in mind, considers the successor as part of same team and transfers the knowledge that he/she considers critical.

Such knowledge transfer can be by personal interaction and briefing. However, written notes for the successor serve the purpose more effectively and also help build institutional memory in government. Though this practice used to be in vogue, of late it is becoming rare, the DoPT has observed.