Early retirement: Haryana has policy for ‘dead wood’ https://indianexpress.com/article/india/early-retirement-haryana-has-policy-for-dead-wood-5597440/

Early retirement: Haryana has policy for ‘dead wood’ 

The detailed policy, which runs into 20 pages, has alarmed the rank and file of Haryana Civil Services (HCS) officers and thousands of other government employees in the state.

Early retirement: Haryana has policy for ‘dead wood’ 
Illustration: C R Sasikumar

A government employee whose integrity has been doubted in the last 10 years; at least 50 per cent of ACRs in the last decade should be “Good” or above; “personal files” in the service record of officers should be taken into consideration.

These are among the new parameters the Haryana government has drawn up to “weed out the dead wood” and government officers with “doubtful integrity”. The government intends to retire such officers prematurely in “public interest”.

The detailed policy, which runs into 20 pages, has alarmed the rank and file of Haryana Civil Services (HCS) officers and thousands of other government employees in the state. According to the new policy, officers of the age of 50 or above or who have completed 25 years of service can now be sent home, if their integrity is found doubtful or if they have become “inefficient”.

To enact the new policy, the state government recently junked 49 “instructions” that were issued occasionally in this regard since 1955. In the last order on December 3, 2018, the state government has laid down fresh parameters to clarify doubts raised by Administrative Secretaries and heads of various departments in adopting the procedures to prematurely retire a government employee.

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Citing Supreme Court and High Court judgments over the last few years on premature retirement, the Haryana government drafted the new policy that was sent to all the concerned officers on February 5, for further necessary action.

“A government employee whose integrity has been doubted during last 10 years of service will be retired prematurely. However, the doubtful integrity during the period of service before last 10 years will be ignored”, says one of the parameters for premature retirement.

In another one on annual confidential reports (ACRs), the policy says, “Service record of last 10 years should be taken into account and out of this 50 per cent of Annual Confidential Reports in case of retention beyond 50 years and 70 per cent of ACRs in case of retention beyond 55 years or on completion of 25 years qualifying service, should be ‘Good’ or above.”

According to a senior officer, a number of government employees would “get away” because of certain ambiguities in the regulations governing premature retirement conditions. “That is why the government has now come up with detailed guidelines and specified parameters under this policy that need to be followed while sending an ineffective officer or an employee with doubtful integrity, home,” said the officer.

Regarding “inefficiency”, the policy says, “No employee should ordinarily be retired on the grounds of ineffectiveness if his service during the preceding five years, or where he has been promoted to a higher post during the five year period, his service in the promotional post has been found satisfactory”.

The new policy also specifies that not just the ACRs but “personal files” in the service record of officers should also be taken into consideration while deciding premature retirement.

“Doubts may have arisen relating to the bona fide nature of action taken by the officer, but on account of inadequate proof, it may not have been possible to initiate action for a regular departmental inquiry, leading finally to a punishment of the nature that may find entry in the ACRs of the officer/ official,” says the new police.

“Personal file of the officer/official may have details on the nature of doubt that arose regarding integrity of the officer and result of the preliminary investigation that was carried out. Matters found on personal file can and should also, therefore be placed before the Administrative Departments/ Officers’ Committee and not only the ACRs of the officers/ official concerned.”