Internal vigilance

+100%-

Passing the buck, beating around the bush, finding alibis to defer, to prolong and finally to negate any reform in the existing system, perhaps stems from how our political class takes and treats it and gives its response publicly. Why are we hesitant even in accepting a very small reform in the basics like how to mark attendance in offices? Why most of those who are thinking the mechanism of internal vigilance in departments as their Achilles heel be tolerated in service? It is very much true especially of those departments which otherwise are not carrying very fair image in respect of public dealings. Why the very idea of resisting and frustrating measures of bringing in clean and transparent system in Government departments not treated as violation of terms and conditions of employment? How is the disturbing fact of the reported negative response to State Vigilance Commission’s recommendations for instituting and strengthening internal vigilance in Government departments being addressed by the Government? In other words, negative response clearly means not to “interfere” in alleged underhand dealings in catering to and disposing of matters and works of public and fulfilling their official requirements favourably only against illegal gratification and against illegal “considerations”. Who can contest and resist instituting of the mechanism of internal vigilance to check corrupt practices and to ensure transparency in the functioning of different organs of the Government and practically go scot free? In fact, every recommendation made by the commission several years ago, needed full implementation especially when aimed at giving a purposeful boost to the much required internal vigilance as a measure of preventive mechanism. It must be appreciated that the commission did not do it just for the sake of any fun but only as a response to complaints flooding its office made by the public against number of departments suffering from the malaise of corrupt practices. The very constitution of the vigilance commission is due to the fact that massive corruption was rampant in most of such departments which had to deal with critical issues concerning the public. Political leaders, especially when out of power indulge in a lot of rhetoric in context of their “vow” to fight corrupt practices in Government departments and that customary annual ritual of administering of oath of not to encourage or abet corruption in Government departments, mostly prove as deceptions when they are voted to power. If it is not so, then why the Government is failing to show any inclination towards implementing the recommendations strictly in letter and spirit? Bidding adieu to obsolete procedures is paramount in order to obfuscate the ways to exploit applicants visiting “vital and important” offices for getting their work done. Unnecessary paper work, avoidable documents and attestations, visits to the applicants’ residences for “verifications”, sitting over files unnecessarily, absence of net time schedule of which work expected within how much time and displaying the same prominently in offices as a mandatory requirement and other hassles are responsible for breeding of corrupt practices. Employees of all ranks are adequately reasonably paid and have assured job security unlike in the private sector. So why should, at the outset, there be any corrupt practices employed for personal pecuniary benefits? Perhaps deterrence in the form of installing CCTVs at strategic points in the offices and keeping them in operational mode during office hours could do the needful. Also complying with Government recommendations should be treated as part of service rules and any wilful disobedience should be treated as insubordination and gross misconduct. Eagle eyed surveillance is needed in absolute sense.