Even as the controversy over the abrupt transfer of Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka from the post of Special Collector and Director Consolidation by the Congress government in Haryana refuses to die down,the future for government servants could get better. For,on October 19,a group of ministers is set to take up the long-standing issue of putting an end to frequent and arbitrary postings and transfers of government servants.
The GoM could take a call on whether a high-powered authority one at the Centre and one in each state should be tasked the job of fixing tenure for each government post and finalise transfers and postings.
Sources said that the GoM,headed by Defence Minister A K Antony,will consider the recommendations made by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission in November 2008 in its 10th report titled,Refurbishing of Personnel Administration Scaling New Height.
One of the most important recommendations of the ARC,which was headed by current Power and Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily,was to constitute high-powered Central Civil Services Authority both at the Centre and the states. The authority,the ARC recommendation says,should be charged with the responsibility of fixing tenure for all civil service positions and this decision of the authority should be binding on government.
It is report submitted in 2007,the Moily-led ARC had observed,Unfortunately,frequent transfers of civil servants continue to be one of the most vexatious governance problems still facing India. It adversely affects governance because civil servants are not allowed to stay in a position long enough to acquire adequate knowledge and experience of their job…Frequent transfers and posting lead to lack of accountability and corruption. Incidentally,the Fifth Pay Commission had also said that in order to ensure administrative continuity and stability to incumbents,there should be a pre-determined minimum tenure for each posting ranging between three and five years.
On February 19,1999,the then Prime Minister A B Vajpayee in his speech at a meeting of the National Development Council had said,Bureaucracy is an agent of exploitation rather than a provider of service-peoples perception…