Bill to make babus more accountable, transparent

In a significant move to ensure transparency and accountability within the bureaucracy, the government is firming up the draft Civil Service (Performance and Accou-ntability) Bill, which has been vetted by the Prime Minister’s Office.

The proposed Act will be the first of its kind to codify the procedures governing performance of individuals, as well as institutions, of the All India Services. The Bill also seeks to monitor the achievements of civil servants linking it to the performance of their departments, presently being incorporated in the Result Framework Document of government departments.

After opening up government’s records to public scrutiny through the Right to Information Act, top government officials said this is one of the biggest measure being taken by the UPA government to promote transparency in administration.

The Bill envisages the setting up of a Central Civil Services Authority, which will make key recommendations related to appointments to senior government positions. One significant measure is to allow the CCSA, which will be an independent agency, a say in appointments at the level of joint secretary and above.

The CCSA would be mandated to go into the past performance and also evaluate the future potential of an officer before making its suggestions, sources said.

The Bill also includes features such as civil service values, code of ethics and conduct for civil service and performance management of the All India Services. The CCSA may, from time to time, review the implemention of the civil service values.

The Department of Training and Personnel, which has drafted the Bill, had sent it to the PMO recently for comments.

A senior government official said, “The Bill has been in the works for more than three years now and was a part of the recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission.”

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