Government, civic bodies, cops to review Delhi public officials’ integrity
The Delhi government, Delhi Police, the capital’s three municipal corporations and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) have set up review committees for the periodical assessment of the probity of government servants, after Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal told top government officials to ensure the compulsory retirement of “tainted” officials, senior government officials said on Sunday.
The Delhi government has circulated a form to all departments demanding details such as leaves availed by employees in last five years, their state of health and whether that has a bearing on discharge of duties, status of “integrity”, details of “doubt” on integrity (if any), details of promotion, annual performance reports of the last five years as well as details of penalties levied.
“The frequency of the periodical assessment will be decided by the review committee. This exercise is separate from the routine annual process under which performance reports are prepared for all government servants. As part of the first review, all departments have been asked to send the reports by the end of this month,” a senior Delhi government official said.
On July 9, the services department of the Delhi government wrote to the social welfare department about setting up the review committee and elaborated upon its objectives.
The letter stated: “Government employees whose integrity is doubtful will be retired… Government employees who are found to be ineffective will also be retired… While the entire service record of an officer should be seen at the time of review, no employee will ordinarily be retired on grounds of ineffectiveness if his service in the past five years is found to be satisfactory… No employee shall ordinarily be retired on grounds of ineffectiveness, if, in any event, he is retiring on superannuation within one year from the date of consideration of his case.”
The reports from the individual departments, however, were initially sought by July 15, but were delayed. On July 24, the Delhi government’s social welfare department issued a circular regarding the “review of mechanism to ensure the probity of government servants”.
The 0.2 million-odd government workforce is under the ambit of the review.
The workforce includes employees of the Delhi administrative subordinate services (DASS) cadre, steno cadre, officers directly under the various departments’ administrative control as well as DANICS officers working on an ad-hoc basis, senior government officials said.
It also applies to over 80,000 police officials, 4,000-odd employees of the DDA and more than 0.30 million people employed with the municipal bodies, senior officials said.
The initiative is in line with a policy recently implemented in several Central government departments under which 27 income tax officials and 15 custom department officials were forced to retire in June.
Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on July 4 told top government officials in the city to “weed out deadwood” by ensuring the compulsory retirement of “tainted” officials. The directions were issued to the Delhi government, Delhi Police, Delhi Development Authority and commissioners of the three municipal corporations.
In a circular issued this week, the Delhi Police stated it has entrusted screening committees that already exist in the 11 police districts in the city as well as all special units to carry out the review exercise.
“It is stated that a comprehensive exercise is to be carried out to screen the record of police officers to weed out deadwood—officials suitable for compulsory retirement on a premature basis,” the circular said. It added that the parameters for screening would include doubtful integrity, moral turpitude, habitual absence, alcoholism and drug addiction, and indiscipline.
“The parameters of assessment are at par with instructions drafted by the union government’s department of personnel and training,” DDA vice-chairman Tarun Kapoor said. In the DDA’s case, he added, the review was being conducted by two committees—the screening committee that already exists, and another one that approves findings and recommendations of the screening committee.
A senior MCD official said, “We have taken up the assessment process as per the L-G’s directives.”