Typo trouble for Govt

One might brush this aside as a mere typographical error but almost everyday tens of...

Written by Agencies | Hyderabad | Published: June 28, 2010 3:39 pm

One might brush this aside as a mere typographical error but almost everyday tens of government orders (GOs) are issued containing blunders.

Just take this. The Social Welfare Department of Andhra Pradesh recently purchased “Bislari (water) battles and canes” for “official use of officers and staff” of the department.

On June 25,this GO was issued sanctioning Rs 13,350 for purchase of Bisleri bottles. The GO was issued by the Deputy Secretary to Government “By order and in the name of the Governor of Andhra Pradesh.”

Though it is not mandatory,GOs can be issued in Telugu,the State’s official language that conveys matter easily to common man. But no department does this and almost every GO is issued only in English,often mutilating the alien language.

Whenever an IAS or an IPS officer goes on leave,a GO is issued. The GO,in its standard format,mentions the leave period of the officer and the balance of leaves in hisher credit.

Now consider this butchery of the language. It contains a horrendous entry that says: “It is hereby certified that the member of service would have continued in (a particular) scale of pay but for his going on leave.” The GO should actually read as “The member of service would continue in (a particular) scale of pay despite going on leave.”

In most cases,such GOs are issued by the Principal Secretary (Political) in the General Administration Department. Hundreds of such GOs were issued over the past few years but so far none seemed to have realised the grammatical blunder in them. And the GOs continue to be issued almost every day.

All this is done “By order and in the name of the Governor of Andhra Pradesh!”

“Any government order has some sanctity. Such GOs only make us a laughing stock and expose the lackadaisical manner of the administration’s functioning,” a senior bureaucrat pointed out.”Such a GO could land any IAS or IPS officer in trouble if someone,even for fun,challenges the service record. Luckily,nobody pulled such a prank so far,” the bureaucrat said.

Recently,a GO was issued sanctioning Rs 1,608 towards payment of cell phone charges for D K Aruna,Minister for SSI,Sugar,KVIB,Printing and ‘Stationary¿. This happened not just once as every month a similar GO is issued for reimbursement of cell phones charges of Aruna,who is always referred to as “Minister for Stationary” among other portfolios.

Interestingly,when he was state Home Minister between 2004 and 2009,K Jana Reddy also used to be mentioned in the GOs as “Minister for Stationary” apart from other portfolios he held.

And,an IPS officer of the rank of Additional Director General of Police is posted as “Commissioner of Printing and Stationary,” going by the GOs!

It’s not just the junior-level officers who issue such orders without looking into the errors but senior officers of the rank of Principal Secretary to Government too commit the same mistake.

The ludicrous GOs indicate that different departments of the State government purchase lakhs of rupees worth “stationary” and “non-stationary” items periodically for official use. Of course,the “stationary” and “non-stationary” items are generally not specified in the orders. About 190 such GOs are currently available online.

Interestingly,there are another 1,838 GOs online that reveal purchase of “stationery” and “non-stationery” items by various departments. In one such instance,a Principal Secretary of the Transport Department purchased three pen sets worth Rs 19,200. In another case,the Irrigation Department purchased two pen sets worth Rs 38,250 for “use of officersoffice.”

The buzz in the corridors of power is that “stationary” is like the “number two” account maintained by some businessmen to evade tax.

“In our case,it is to escape public scrutiny of our expenditure on items like pens,towels,soaps and such innocuous things that some people deliberately use the word ‘stationary.’ This way they cannot be caught when people search online for GOs related to stationery purchases,” one officer pointed out.

All this only expose the sorry state of affairs in the State administration.

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