BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s order for timely promotion of eligible Government employees in a transparent manner is stuck in Home department, the cadre controlling authority of nearly 3,000 employees of the Odisha Secretariat Service (OSS). At least 28 officers of the OSS cadre retired in last five months without being promoted and many more are going to face the same fate in the coming months as the department has held up promotion under legal pretext.
At present, eight posts of additional secretary, one post each of joint secretary and deputy secretary and four post of under secretary in OSS cadre are lying vacant.“If consequential vacancies arising out of retirement and promotion are taken into account, the total vacancies in different ranks will be 81 during 2020 calendar year,” said deputy secretary Chittaranjan Hota, in a joint petition to the Chief Minister.
The Home department that comes under the Chief Minister is apparently violating his December 24 order directing all departments to send their recommendations for promotion of suitable employees by December 31 every year.As per promotion rules, vacancies including existing and consequential are assessed for a calendar year. Suitable officers are selected by the department promotion committee (DPC) in January for promotion against vacancies likely to arise during that year.
However, the department has not held DPC from the rank of desk officers up to joint secretaries on the ground that a case related to promotion of law officers of different departments to post of under secretary is pending before the Supreme Court. This, despite the fact that there is no restriction from the apex court from holding DPC to give promotion.
The matter was decided at various levels of the government including the then Additional Chief Secretary on April 26, 2019 and it was resolved to keep three posts of deputy secretary and seven posts of under secretary for the law officers and give promotion to suitable OSS cadre officers to the post of deputy secretary against vacancies subject to the outcome of the apex court order.
“Promotion of officers belonging to the OSS cadre was smooth till 2019. Fate of officers due for promotion hangs in balance due to reluctance of department to convene DPC for 2020 without any legal impediment,” said an officer who is due for retirement next month.