It seems there are bad days ahead for laggards in the state administration. The general administration department headed by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has directed all department heads and authorities at the district level to send a list of officials guilty of keeping the red tape in place.
A circular issued earlier this month (copy with MiD DAY) has asked for such officials to be named who have not delivered when it comes to a state law to prevent administrative delays, the Maharashtra Government Servants’ Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of Delays Act.
The circular seeks the names of those who have failed to discharge their official duties on three counts.
These three counts are failure to publish the Citizens’ Charter, not cutting down on the various stages a file goes through, and not adhering to the specific time limit suggested for disposal of files.
The government directives also ask for details of action taken by the respective heads against errant juniors.
The government wants to initiate disciplinary action against bureaucrats who have failed to adhere to the provisions made to ensure efficient governance.
Secretaries who head a particular department will have to submit a list comprising specific data from the department, its wings, field offices and state undertakings, if any.
The data will consist of details such as number of offices within a particular department and how many of the offices have published the Citizens’ Charter.
The Citizens’ Charter gives complete details of government offices, elaborates on the subjects and schemes handled by a particular section, provides information for citizens who want to visit these offices and wish to submit an application or proposal.
The circular also seeks details of the offices that have eliminated the maximum number of stages in dealing with files and proposals.
The general administration department also wants to know about offices that have failed to eliminate more than three stages, thereby defeating the purpose of decentralisation of power.
Names of government officers who have not been following the state directives on disposing of files and papers have to be submitted to the government.
What the law to prevent delays says
> According to the provisions of the Maharashtra Government Servants’ Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of Delays Act, any file should not remain with a government officer for more than seven working days
> Urgent files have to be forwarded within a day or two, and such files where it is necessary to seek the comments of a particular department should be disposed of within three months
> Officials who fail to follow these directives can face disciplinary action