DoPT spells out quarterly review for early retirement of bureaucrats
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on August 28 has asked all departments and ministries to maintain a register of officers attaining 50/55 years of age or completing 30 years of service who may be asked to take early retirement in ‘public interest’ grounds of ‘doubtful integrity’ and ‘ineffectiveness’.
The notification, viewed by HT, states that the register is to be scrutinised at the beginning of every quarter by a senior officer in the Ministry/Department/cadre and who will undertake a review of the same to decide on pre-mature retirement or retention of an officer. At present, FR 56 (j) and 56 (l) monitored premature retirement of officials from Group A and B and Group C respectively.
The step is being taken to ‘strengthen the administrative machinery by developing responsible and efficient administration at all levels and to achieve efficiency, economy and speed in the disposal of Government functions’.
“In order to bring in better clarity to the existing instructions and enable uniform implementation, an effort has been made to review, consolidate and reiterate the guidelines so far issued on the subject at one place,” the DoPT said in the notification.
The performance review will be done in January to March, for July to September of the same year. Similarly in April to June, the review will be done for October to December of the same year. July to September, will be reviewed from January to March of the next year and October to December quarter performances, will be done from April to June of the next year.
“The move is targeted at removing deadwood and maintaining a high level of efficiency in the bureaucracy,” a ministry of personnel, grievances and pensions official. “It will also help reduce corruption in the system.”
The government has also instituted review committee under the concerned secretary of the Cadre Controlling Authority (CAA) having two members. For Group A officers, the review Committee shall be headed by the Secretary of the concerned CCA. Where there are Boards CBDT, CBEC, Railway Board, etc, the Chairman will head the review committee. For Group B officers, an Additional Secretary/Joint Secretary level officer shall head the Review Committee.
In the case of Non-Gazetted employees, an officer of the level of Joint Secretary will head the Committee. However, in case the Appointing Authority is lower in rank than a Joint Secretary, then an officer of the level of Director/Deputy Secretary will be the head. In the case of Non-Gazetted employees in other than centralized cadres, Head of Department/Head of the Organisation shall decide the composition of the Review Committee.
“Chief Vigilance Officer, in case of Gazetted officers, or his representative in case of non-Gazetted officers, will be associated in case of record reflecting adversely on the integrity of any employee,” states the notification.
On August 5, the DoPT also set up a new Representation Committee for civil servants headed by Leela Nanda, secretary, consumer affairs, Ashutosh Jindal, joint secretary, cabinet secretariat and a member to be nominated by the CCA.
“Government may, at any time after a Government servant has attained the age of 50/55 years or completed 30 years of service, as the case may be, retire him pre-maturely in public interest,” states the notification. It, however, adds that that premature retirement is distinct from compulsory retirement, which is prescribed as a penalty. In its bid to reduce corruption in the bureaucracy, the Central government last year had compulsorily retired at least 30 Indian Revenue Service officials.
There is also no bar on the Government to review any such case again where it had decided earlier to retain the officer, but the Appropriate/Appointing Authority is of the opinion that it is ‘expedient to undertake the review again on account of changed circumstances, in public interest’. “In such cases, the Appropriate Authority is expected to demonstrate visible meticulousness as such Government servants have been found effective on earlier occasion for retention in service,” states the DoPT notification
The broad criteria to be followed, according to the DoPT notification includes doubtful integrity and ineffectiveness. However, it adds, no Government servant should ‘ordinarily be retired on ground of ineffectiveness, if, in any event, he would be retiring on superannuation within a period of one year from the date of consideration of his case’. Ineffectiveness also does not hold if a government servant has been promoted to a higher post during the preceding five-year period and ‘his/her service in the highest post, has been found satisfactory’.