Saturday, October 10, 2015

Now, retired babus with clean service record to probe serving ones in the government

It is often seen that departmental enquiries against government servants involved in illegal activities don't make much headway. However, to make sure that enquiries are conducted in a fair manner, the government has decided to engage retired officers with "impeccable integrity" and a "clean service record" to probe serving officers. 

Retired government servants, not below the rank of deputy secretary at the Centre and equivalent rank in state government and PSUs, hired as inquiry officers will give their reports on delinquent officers within 90 days. 

Ministries/departments will appoint a retired officer for conducting enquiry only if the former official was not a witness or a complainant in the matter to be inquired into or a close relative or a known friend of the delinquent serving official. "It was seen that people under departmental enquiries managed to influence the inquiry officers as they earlier worked together in the same department or were batchmates, or known as friends or relatives. The enquiries were either delayed or inquiry reports were kept pending. This move should change this practice," a senior government official said. 

The retired officials will also maintain secrecy while conducting inquiries. 

An office memorandum issued by the department of personnel and training on Thursday said retired officers will be provided a honorarium ranging between Rs 20,000 and Rs 75,000 per enquiry, in addition to transport allowance of Rs 40,000 and Rs 30,000 per case if no secretarial assistance is provided by the department concerned. 

A three-member committee in the respective cadre controlling authority will decide empanelment of retired officers. 

"The panel of retired officers created for the purpose of appointing inquiry officers for conducting departmental inquiry will be valid for a period of three years," the DoPT said. 

Retired officers willing to serve as inquiry officer should not be more than 70 years of age as on April 1 of the year of his/her empanelment. They should be in sound health and "should not be an accused officer in any pending inquiry". 

The officer will be required to submit the inquiry report within 90 days from the date of his/her appointment as inquiry officer. Extension of time beyond 90 days can be granted only by the disciplinary authority, the DoPT said.

Source : The Economic Times

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