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BW Businessworld

Govt To Review Anti-Graft Measures In Ministries

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Taking a step forward in its fight against corruption, the Centre has decided to review anti-graft measures being taken by central ministries, departments and public sector undertakings.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has sought details from all government departments on the progress of all pending disciplinary inquiries, work load and manpower deployment for vigilance work.

The action came following a recommendation by the Group of Ministers(GoM) to check corruption, which were accepted by the Government.

The Centre in September last year advised departments under it to strengthen vigilance set-up and consider, where appropriate, setting up of a monitoring cell to review and monitor the progress of all pending disciplinary inquiries on a day-to-day basis, with a view to ensuring their timely conclusion.

"In order to assess the work load relating to vigilance administration... it has been decided to collect information relating to the strength of the present vigilance setup and volume of vigilance related work in various Ministries or Departments along with details of recent increase in staff strength for handling vigilance work from each Ministry or Department," said Dr S K Sarkar, Additional Secretary, DoPT.

The departments have been asked to give details by month-end including details of vigilance mechanism, disciplinary proceedings and prosecution sanction carried out by them in the past one-and-a-half years (between 2011 and June 2012), volume of vigilance work and their needs.

The Ministries have been separately asked to furnish details of vigilance mechanism in public sector undertakings under their administrative control. 

The Government will also try to gauge the adequacy of present vigilance administration in various ministries as also strengthening them adequately to meet the challenges posed by the ever increasing volume of vigilance-related work.

The Government had constituted a GoM on January 6, 2011 to consider measures that can be taken to tackle corruption. One of the terms of reference (ToR) of the GoM was to consider and advise on "Fast tracking of all cases of public servants accused of corruption".

The GoM, while considering this (ToR), also considered certain important recommendations of the Hota Committee which made a recommendation that vigilance administration of the Central Ministries or Departments may be strengthened.

The Hota Committee comprising a panel of Experts was set up to review the procedure of Disciplinary or Vigilance Inquiries and recommended measures for their expeditious disposal.

The Centre accepted the recommendation and accordingly advised all ministries to strengthen their vigilance administration with requisite manpower with a view to ensuring expeditious disposal of disciplinary cases.

It has also accepted another recommendation of the GoM and asked all departments to carry out an exercise for putting in place regulating parameters for exercise of discretionary powers and putting them in public domain so as to minimise arbitrariness in exercise of such powers.

Meanwhile, the Government has also decided to assess anti-corruption measures being taken in the country and invited expression of interest from experts to undertake a self evaluation study as part of mandatory obligation after ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on May 9 last year.

(PTI)