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Now, govt officials can face probe for delays

mumbai Updated: Feb 15, 2013 01:49 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

If you don’t get your marriage certificate or home registration completed on time, the official in-charge could face a departmental inquiry.

Nearly seven years after an Act pertaining to government officials’ duties and privileges was passed, the state government has now framed rules that specify the responsibilities of government employees at all levels, as mandated by the law, to ensure its implementation.

The Maharashtra Government Servants Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of Delays in Discharge of Duties Act, 2007, has two aspects – one which ensures a fixed, three-year tenure for government officials, to safeguard them from political interference and arbitrary transfers, and the other that ensures officials are held accountable for sitting on files regarding important decisions. Under the law, they can face disciplinary action for the delay.

The draft rules, issued through a notification in January, make it mandatory for all department secretaries to list the officials who are responsible for handling files and capable of taking the final decision.

These officials will be held accountable if files are not disposed of or moved to the next table within the mandated seven days. It is mandatory for the department to dispose of a file or take a final decision on it within 45 days.

Every state government department and its divisional and district heads will also have to prepare a citizens charter for their office.

“This charter will be publicised and updated on May 2 of the every year, after taking into consideration people’s suggestions and objections,’’ said a senior general administration department official. The charter will include a list of services provided by the department and the time frame for provision of services.

“The concerned head of the department, on noticing any dereliction in providing services and facilities, will hold a preliminary inquiry within 15 days," state the rules.

If the official is found neglecting his duty, he will face a departmental probe.