Appointment bungle: Retired officer named for Defence job, wants PM Modi to ensure he gets it

It was on December 2, 2016, that the ACC issued an empanelment order to promote A K Saxena to the post of CGDA, a Secretary-level position.

Written by Ritu Sarin | New Delhi | Published:February 8, 2017 4:00 am

A RETIRED Defence Accounts official has written to the Prime Minister, asking him to implement a decision by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) to appoint him as Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA) six months after he had left service.

It was on December 2, 2016, that the ACC issued an empanelment order to promote A K Saxena to the post of CGDA, a Secretary-level position. The order stated that the promotion had been approved by the ACC; in the same order, the names of two other officers from the Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS) had been placed on a “extended panel”.

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But what the order did not mention was that Saxena had retired as Additional CGDA on May 31, 2016, and that no rules exist for the empanelment of a retired officer to the top post. As it turned out, no fresh order was issued by the ACC, and N Nehisial, another Additional CGDA, was picked from the extended panel and appointed CGDA, a post he now holds.

The CGDA heads the Defence Accounts Department (DAD) and is responsible for all financial advice, payments, accounting and internal audit of the defence services and other defence-related organisations, such as DRDO, Coast Guard and the Ordnance factories.

The CGDA’s empanelment is usually notified after the file moves from the CGDA to the Ministry, Union Public Service Commission, Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC), Cabinet Secretariat and ACC.

On learning about his “empanelment”, Saxena wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, who chairs the ACC, and the Defence Ministry seeking “immediate directions” be issued for his appointment.

Officials in the Ministry of Defence said that in his letter dated January 30, 2017, Saxena referred to the December 2 order and wrote: “I have not received any appointment order till date…it is requested that immediate directions may be issued to implement the ACC order.”

A copy of the letter was marked to the Defence Minister, the Cabinet Secretary and the Establishment Officer of the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT), they said.

When contacted by The Indian Express, Saxena said, “If the ACC headed by the Prime Minister has taken a conscious public policy decision to appoint someone to some senior position in the government, this decision must be honoured and implemented by all concerned. The Indian defence system needs internal driving forces to initiate massive reforms to bring down revenue expenditure and increase the teeth-and-tail ratio of our defence services.”

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