‘Not a penalty’: All you need to know about govt’s latest performance review order
The central government last week issued a notification tweaking the rules of performance review to weed out inefficient and corrupt officials from the system. The notification, issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), asked all departments and ministries to maintain a register of officers attaining 50/55 years of age or completing 30 years of service.
The notification said that the government has taken this decision in “public interest” to ask officials with “doubtful integrity” and “ineffectiveness” to take early retirement.
Here are some of the steps taken by the government in its latest order:
• The notification states that the register is to be scrutinised at the beginning of every quarter by a senior officer in the ministry/department/cadre who will undertake a review of the same to decide on pre-mature retirement or retention of an officer.
• The employees’ performance review is conducted under the Fundamental Rule (FR) 56 (J) and 56 (I), and also under Rule 48 (1) (b) of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, that gives “absolute right” to the appropriate authority to retire a government servant, “if it is necessary to do so in public interest”.
• 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.
• 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, reads the criteria mentioned in the order.
• However, in case where there is a sudden and steep fall in the competence, efficiency or effectiveness of a government servant, it would be open to review such a case also for premature retirement, it said. The entire service record, in addition to the Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR), of a government servant should be considered at the time of review, the order said.
• “It is clarified that premature retirement of government servants under these rules is not a penalty. It is distinct from ‘compulsory retirement’, which is one of prescribed penalties under Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965,” the order said.
• The DoPT has also mentioned composition of a review committee and broad criteria to be followed by it while conducting assessment of the employees’ performance. For Group A officers, the review Committee shall be headed by the Secretary of the concerned CCA. Where there are boards (like 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 centralised cadres, head of department/head of the organisation shall decide the composition of the review committee.
• The government order also said that there is no bar on to review any such case again where it had decided earlier to retain the officer.
• Instructions have been issued from time to time for undertaking periodic review of performance of government servants with a view to ascertain whether they should be retained in service or retired prematurely, the ministry said.The latest order has been issued in order to bring in better clarity to the existing instructions and enable uniform implementation, the government said.