Integrity, specialisation and capacity to perform are the keystones of the corporate type new annual performance appraisal prescribed for the Indian bureaucrats.
The new eight-page appraisal report to be filled by the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers from this year aims at making the process more objective and result-oriented with time limits to perform specific tasks.
Signalling the change in the view about bureaucracy’s failure to prevent recent scams, the department of personnel
and training’s new performance appraisal report seeks a specific answer from bureaucrats — whether they have the courage and willingness to take a professional stand. There have been claims that bureaucrats have bowed to political pressure as was the case in the 2G scam.
If there is a suspicion on the integrity of an official, his or her reporting officer will have to make a detailed comment covering not just the financial aspects, but also moral and intellectual integrity. Not in the appraisal report but through a secret note with specific instances for a follow-up action.
“In case the suspicion is neither confirmed nor cleared the officer must be put in the watch list,” says the new appraisal format. The officers will also be judged on the basis of their attitude towards weaker sections of society, with the reporting officer having to pen-picture their overall qualities including their outlook towards the deprived.
Each official in the government will get a quantifiable target of deliverables, depending on the person’s posting, for a year and his performance will be reviewed twice a year. He will be judged on specific tasks like conducting Kumbh Mela or relief work after a disaster.
To make civil service career-oriented, the appraisal for the first time seeks expertise of officers in 12 core areas such as agriculture, social development, environment plus natural resource management, public finance, urban affairs, trade and science and technology.
The reporting officers will have to record specific domain expertise of an officer to provide the government a database of civil servants so that their career progress can be planned. “An IAS officer who specialises in agriculture can be posted in agriculture or rural development ministries for longer period. Same can be with the case of officers who specialise in economic areas” a senior government functionary said.