To curb corruption at the grassroots level, the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has drawn up plans to reach out to vigilance officers in government departments.
“We have prepared a list of vigilance officers across Maharashtra in government departments. We will ask them what precautions they have taken to ensure there is no corruption in their departments and to address grievances,” said a senior ACB officer.
The ACB functions across Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Amravati, Aurangabad and Nanded. All have been instructed to prepare a list of vigilance officers.
The ACB website states, “With the limited staff available to them (bureau), it is not possible for officers of the bureau to act as the internal vigilance organisation of all the departments. The responsibility of rooting out corruption is that of the heads of the respective departments and the vigilance officers appointed for this work. The bureau is expected to supplement these efforts. The bureau will take up only those cases which cannot be investigated or enquired into by the officers of the departments, especially when, the enquiry involves the recording of statements of a large number of witnesses outside not belonging to the concerned department and collection of documents from banks and other offices. The bureau investigates such cases thoroughly and ensures that the corrupt officials are brought to book to set an example to others.”
ACB officials said the internal intelligence should be enhanced.
“Vigilance officers are the first authority for the common people who visit government officers for various works. However, there is not much awareness about these officers. Even the departments do not take it seriously,” said the officer.
He added, “It is the duty of the vigilance officers to take action against dereliction in duty and corruption.”