BHUBANESWAR: The role of Assistant Section Officers (ASOs) posted in Odisha Secretariat will not be confined to routine file works. They will be utilised for formulating policies and programme monitoring as per their expertise.
Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy has asked departments to utilise the expertise of newly-appointed officers of Odisha Secretariat Service (OSS) cadre instead of engaging them in mundane works.
While the State Government has recruited around 1,300 ASOs in two phases to strengthen the Secretariat Service cadre, more than 70 per cent among them are graduate engineers. Three IITians, two IIITians and five MTech degree holders have also joined the service.
The direction, however, came after the Chief Secretary interacted with several ASOs from different departments and realised that they are under utilised. The officers are restricted to only file jobs, which hardly add any significant value to the governance.
Tripathy said the OSS cadre officers can discharge important responsibilities in preparing policies, monitoring different Government schemes and programmes. “The challenges of present times throw up myriad issues in public administration requiring appropriate responses and therefore, the role of the officers need to undergo significant changes, both in outlook as well as capacity,” he stated in a letter.
A definite set of roles and responsibilities have been charted for the officers, who can utilise their expertise and contribute to the State. The ASOs would be given responsibilities associated with projects and schemes. They would directly report to Deputy Secretary, Joint Secretary or Additional Secretary.
The OSS cadre officers will be sent on field trips regularly to collect feedback from beneficiaries and ascertain the difficulties in implementation of schemes, if any. They will also interact with different directorates and prepare power point presentations for review meetings.
The departments have also been asked to involve ASOs in their respective project management units and groom them properly through training in reputed institutions so that they can pick up the style and orientation of consultants to handle technical assignments.
Earlier, Tripathy had asked Additional Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary and Secretaries in all departments to identify talents among Government employees having basic technical knowledge and right aptitude to do away with outsourcing of consultants.