Transparency, accountability, institutional and other measures to improve governance

Transparency, accountability, institutional and other measures to improve governance
Posted on 13-07-2022

Transparency, accountability, institutional and other measures to improve governance

Most governments and their agencies have a hierarchical structure. In such a  framework, one of the important functions of each officer is to supervise the work of the officer immediately below him, who reports to him. There should be an effective oversight and balance against the prudence inherent in public functionaries. The inspection provides a similar mechanism. The mere fact that the department does not initiate action against corrupt officials in many cases, shows that training is not being given as much attention as it deserves.


Controlling corruption in an office or organization should be the primary responsibility of the head of the office. Then there is a bureaucratic structure in all government offices/agencies, the existing structure at each level should be responsible for taking preventive measures, minimizing the scope of corruption for the level below it. It is often seen that with the formation of independent agencies to check corruption, the departmental officers have started feeling that they do not have the responsibility to prevent corruption in their offices/subordinate employees or they ignore this problem. It needs to be noted that the external anti-corruption system, with its limited resources and access, somehow occupies leading positions. Cannot replace anti-corruption measures taken by the authorities.


Such measures may be as follows: indiscriminate inspection, surprise inspection,  taking confidential information from citizens/customers, adopting a methodology that makes it difficult to take bribes, using fraudulent lures to catch customers, etc. It is, therefore, suggested that the reporting officers should clearly comment on the efforts made by them to check corruption while assessing the performance of the officers under them. The self-appraisal part of the annual performance report should contain a column in which every inspecting officer should write about the measures that the subordinate officer has taken to prevent corruption in his office and among his subordinate employees. have been taken and what were the results of such measures. The reporting officer will then give his comments on this self-assessment.


It has been observed that the officers reporting for the confidential reports of the officers do not always write carefully and diligently. Reporting officers want to be safe by not writing any remarks on the integrity of a public servant, even if some immoral things have come to the notice of that officer. This is mainly because the way they assess their subordinates leaves very little accountability for the reporting officer. Neutral entries like 'nothing to the contrary are very common. However, there is a need to make oversight more active to eradicate corruption. To ensure that the reporting officers take care of their subordinate employees. Accurately record his assessment of integrity, it should be made mandatory that if the reporting officer gives a 'clear image' in the evaluation report of any of his subordinate officers and such officer shall be liable for any offense under the Prevention of Corruption Act. and the corrupt act is committed wholly or partly during the year in which the report is made, the reporting officer shall give a reasonable explanation as to why the 'integrity certificate' was issued in respect of that officer.


Carrying out surprise inspections by the inspecting officer is another weapon to catch wrongdoers in public offices. Such inspection should be carried out more strictly in those offices which have direct contact with the public. Such as inspection centers, toll tax collection points, parking lots, pollution checks, weights and measurements, meter checking centers, open mines, mines, pay and accounts offices, relief distribution centers during crises, etc. should be inspected by the inspecting officer. On-site inspection of works being executed and verification of genuineness of beneficiaries is another form of such surprise inspection. The work of surprise checks can also be extended to establishment sections and cash branches, especially those received in tax departments. To verify the accounting immediately after cash, credit of checks and drafts to Government accounts,  accuracy in the preparation of wage bills, credit of amounts recovered from the salaries of Government servants to Government accounts, etc. to avoid embezzlement of funds. (misappropriation)  can be detected. The random verification of personal cash holdings of officials directly engaged in government work with the public is beneficial in discouraging bribe-taking while in office. This is a measure that should be done in all offices, making it mandatory for senior officers to do this work from time to time.


Stationery, computer aids and office equipment,  consumer goods and departmental-specific items such as lighting and cleaning requirements, medicines and by various sectors, departments, local bodies, and parastatals (institutions/organizations controlled wholly or partly by the government  ) Medicines, Hospital Requirements, Hospital Clothing Requirements, Uniform Services,  Books of Educational Institutions and Hostels and Other Educational Aids and Construction Materials Information relating to the price paid for widely purchased goods should be conducted internally. These verifications can be done by comparing the value of goods purchased at any point of time in an office against the market prices only. The same should not be limited to the same but should be extended for a period of one or two years with the prevailing market value. Such comparison should be made with the prices paid by different offices of the same department during the same period and the prices paid by different departments for the same output. Similar comparative analysis can be useful in those departments which have to obtain periodic returns from citizens such as miscellaneous tax departments.


Corruption occurs when a public servant does some illegal act so as to benefit a citizen. Corruption can also result from willful neglect on the part of a public servant. Allowing an illegal consignment to pass through a check-post is an example. In order to prevent corruption,  setting up an institutional mechanism after carefully analyzing the chronology of corruption is the first essential step in tackling corruption effectively. This should be the primary responsibility of all inspecting officers.


Recommendations related to the fourth report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission-

(Related recommendations in Fourth Report of the 2nd ARC)


1. The monitoring role of officers needs to be re-emphasized. It would be necessary to mention again that the supervisory officers are primarily responsible for removing corruption among the employees subordinate to them and for this purpose they should take all preventive measures.


2. Every supervisory officer should carefully analyze the activities in his/her organization, and office,  detect such activities which lead to corruption and then take appropriate measures for prevention and vigilance. The government or the public should investigate all major cases of damages caused by the wrongdoings of officials and fix the responsibility of the erring officer within a stipulated time-bound period.


3. Every officer's annual performance report should have a column where the officer should disclose the measures he has taken to control corruption between his office and his subordinates.


4. Those supervisory officers should be asked to explain their position, and give a certificate of the clean image in their annual performance reports to the corrupt officers subordinate to them if the officer to whom the report is being reported is under the Prevention of Corruption  Act. Under the charge of the crime. Further, the fact that he has not made any contrary remarks about the integrity of corrupt officials subordinate to him should be recorded in his reports.


5. The supervisory officers should ensure that all the offices under them follow the policy of suo motu reporting of information under the Right to Information Act.


Thank You