NEW DELHI: In a move to weed out ‘vested interests’ from growing roots in Union ministries and Central government departments, the government has initiated a cleansing operation by which bureaucrats and officials in “sensitive and non-sensitive” posts will not only be rotated but also those with doubtful integrity asked to avail of premature retirement.
Following a meeting of senior officials chaired by new cabinet secretary P K Sinha, ostensibly to restore probity in public life, on August 10, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued a circular — an office memorandum, in government parlance — on Monday, September 14, rolling out the decision.
Accordingly a new mechanism will be put in place to ensure corrupt practices can be weeded out as also vested interests do not come to unduly influence bureaucratic functioning.
It has been decided that the Central government will carry out “rotation” in “respect to sensitive and non-sensitive posts and review/screen officers under FR (Fundamental Rule) 56(J)”. This will be carried out in all ministries and Central government departments.
Though the circular’s nature is nothing new — in the UPA tenure, in 2012, a similar memo was issued making it mandatory for IAS, IPS, IRS and other officers from the all-India services to retire in public interest if they fail to clear the 15-year service record review — what is new is the intent behind the move.
The cleansing exercise will be carried out in a time-bound manner, the DoPT memo makes it clear. All ministries and departments have to comply with the direction on a priority basis with reports should be filed in the internal vigilance sections without delay. The secretary will have to send in an appraisal note to the Cabinet Secretary.
The DoPT has also been given the charge of monitoring the implementation and more importantly obtain compliance from all ministries in this regard.