Babus to be Protected from Netas


TNN

New Delhi, Jun 9: The end of the transfer-posting raj is in sight. Bureaucrats are set to get new deal from the new government with the Centre readying a legislation that will not only assure babus of fixed-tenure postings but also protect them from political interference in their day-to-day functioning.

Besides, all bureaucratic appointments, transfers and postings will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny. As a consequence, the IAS and IPS officers in the country will no longer be at the mercy of the whimsical transfer and posting regime that operates currently.

However, along with these comforts will come added responsibility. The government plans to bring in a new public service code that will lay down a strict performance evaluation regime for promotions and postings of babus.

All these provisions are expected to be part of the Civil Services Bill, 2009, a draft of which is being fine-tuned. It's expected to be an improved version of the Public Service Bill, 2007 which could not see the light of the day in the previous Manmohan Singh-led government.

These provisions, officials indicated, will first be applicable for IAS and IPS officers and may later be extended to all services that come under the all India service category, including the Indian Forest Service.

The Bill, which incorporated various suggestions of the second Administrative Reforms Commission, has envisaged setting up of a new Central Public Service Authority (CPSA) which will not only professionally manage the civil services but also serve the interests of babus and citizens alike through checks and balances.

If the Civil Services Bill becomes an Act in its present form, all bureaucrats will get a minimum fixed tenure of three years. An official said if any bureaucrat is transferred before three years, he or she will have to be compensated for the inconvenience and harassment caused due to such a move.

Regarding top-level appointments in states, the draft states that the chief secretary and director general of police of the state will be selected out of a panel of suitable candidates to be drawn up by a committee comprising the chief minister, leader of opposition and home minister. Currently, the chief minister alone decides such appointments.

Similarly, the leader of opposition will also have a say in the appointment of the cabinet secretary at the Centre. The CS will be selected from a panel by a committee comprising the prime minister, the leader of opposition and the home minister.

The official said: ``If the government deviates from these norms while appointing bureaucrats, it will have to inform Parliament about the reasons for doing so. The new rules also give enough importance to performance parameters of officers considered for top posts.''

The new Bill will put in place a different kind of performance evaluation system. Unlike the current practice of annual confidential reports (ACRs) which take a panoramic view of a civil servant's work, the new performance management system will evaluate babus on their job-specific achievements and the number of tasks that they perform as a team leader in a particular department.

These system will be managed by the CPSA which will work under a chairman whose rank will be equivalent to that of the chief election commissioner. The chairman will be appointed for five years by a committee comprising the PM, a Supreme Court judge, a Union home minister and the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha. The cabinet secretary will act as convener of the committee.

The CPSA will aid and advise the central government in all matters concerning the orgnization, control, operation and management of public services and public servants. The authority will also be the custodian of the public service code for babus.

These codes will be framed to facilitate civil servants ``in discharging official duties with competence and accountability; care and diligence; responsibility, honesty, objectivity and impartiality; without discrimination and in accordance with the law''.

The CPSA, comprising three to five members, will have the power to recommend action against the public servants who do not adhere to the codes and public services values.

The central authority will, after the end of each financial year, compile and submit a report to the government indicating the compliance with the provisions of the new legislation by every ministry and department of the government. 

  

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