The Ministry of Personnel, PG & Pensions brought landmark legislations to check corruption and to put in place measures for ensuring time-bound services for citizens. Further measures were initiated to make bureaucracy accountable and effective. Major initiatives/achievements of the Ministry during the year are as under:
Lokpal Bill, 2011
The Government introduced in Lok Sabha the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill 2011, aimed at setting up the body of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas at the level of the States. The proposed autonomous and independent bodies, Lokpal and Lokayuktas, shall have powers of superintendence and direction for holding a preliminary inquiry, causing an investigation to be made and prosecution of offences in respect of complaints under any law for the prevention of corruption. The Bill provides a uniform vigilance and anti corruption road map for the nation, both at Centre and States. The Bill institutionalizes separation of investigation from prosecution and thereby removing conflict of interest as well as increasing the scope for professionalism and specialisation.
Grievances Redressal Bill, 2011
The Government recently introduced the Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011 in Parliament. Under the Bill every public authority is required to publish a Citizens Charter specifying the category of goods supplied and services rendered by it, the time frame within which such goods shall be supplied or services be rendered; to establish information and facilitation centre for efficient and effective delivery of services and redressal of grievances and to designate Grievance Redress Officers (GRO) in all public authorities to enquire into and redress any complaints from citizens. The Bill provides for constitution of the State Public Grievance RedressalCommission and the Central Public Grievance Redressal Commission for respective appeals against the decision of GRO and imposition of penalties in case of failure on the part of designated official responsible for delivery of goods and services or GRO. The designed authority at the grass-root level will have powers to redress most of the grievances at the district and sub-district level.
Foreign Bribery Bill
The Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organizations Bill, 2011 was introduced in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament and is presently before the Department Related Parliament Standing Committee. According to the proposed law, any person “holding a legislative, executive, administrative or judicial office of a foreign country” found accepting or giving bribe to secure a contract in India would be liable to be punished for up to seven years in India. Even the “abetment” of such offences would be a criminal offence under the proposed bill. The Bill makes provisions declaring the (bribery) as extraditable offence”.
GoM on tackling corruption
A Group of Ministers (GoM)was constituted by the Government in January, 2011 to consider measures that can be taken by the Government to tackle corruption. The GoM has submitted its First Report which has already been accepted by the Government with some minor modifications. Action has been initiated by the Government towards implementation of these accepted recommendations.
IPRs of Group ˜A™ Central Service Officers placed in public domain
It was decided by the Government that the annual return of immovable property (IPR) as on January 1, 2011 of the All India Services officers as well as all organized Group ˜A™ Central Services should be placed in the public domain to bring transparency and accountability in administration.
Guidelines regarding grant of Vigilance Clearance of all the Members of Central Civil Services/Posts have been revised. Vigilance clearance shall be denied to an officer if he fails to submit his annual immovable property return of the previous year by 31st January of the following year, as required under the Rules.
The Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) has taken major Citizen Centric initiatives related to public grievance redress during the year.
The Sevottam compliant Citizen™s/Client™s Charter of DARPG was prepared and published.Also guidelines for implementing Sevottam, were published in September. These documents are also made available on the website of the Department (www.darpg.gov.in).
For strengthening the Centralized Public Grievances Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) in all Central Government Ministries / and State Governments, several initiatives have been taken during the year:
- training was provided to officials of 62 Ministries / Departments / Organizations of Government of India on CPGRAMS version 4.0.
- Number of field offices linked to CPGRAMS was increased from about 1500 in 2010, to about 6000 during 2011.
- The CPGRAMS with a local language interface was installed and made functional in Government of Rajasthan in May 2011. Chief Minister of the State Government inaugurated the system.