STARTING THIS year, the annual appraisal of officers in the Indian Police Service (IPS) will be done online as part of a move to introduce greater transparency in the process, it is learnt.
Appraisal of officials of the Indian Administrative Service has been done through an online process since 2011.
The government has introduced the Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window (SPARROW), under which the entire yearly performance review will be conducted online with set deadlines both for the appraisee and the appraiser.
The system makes its binding on the appraiser to key in his or her comments while appraising an officer. In the past, officers used to document their performance report in writing.
“There have been instances where performance appraisal reports (PARs) were stalled for years by seniors just because they had a grudge against you. Similarly, sometimes the annual credit ratings (ACRs) would be downgraded without a sound justification or on frivolous grounds. With SPARROW, there would be more transparency in the system,” said an officer welcoming the recent move.
“The appraisals are timed and if the officers fail to key in their feedback within the stipulated period, it Is deemed that he agrees with the appraiser and has no contrary points to make,” said an officer, adding, “With the performance review going online, we will know the exact feedback of our superiors and the actual reasons for the points the appraiser has given.”
According to the new online system, an account has been generated for each officer who is required to submit their personal details to the Inspector General, Establishment, before April 5.
“IDs have been created in their names and the details on the user names and passwords have been sent on their registered mobile numbers. This can be used for logging into the SPARROW project,” explained a senior official from the state home department.
The next step involves filling the form by the appraisee (see box). One of the mandatory requirements is the use of digital signatures while submitting the forms. Digital signatures have to be used by all the parties concerned involved in the appraisal process.
Once the application is submitted, the seniors are required to review the performance and the final approval will be given by the Director General of Police (DGP). At every stage, a deadline has been fixed and as the file moves to the next stage, a notification is sent to the officer. A dedicated helpline number has also been generated where an officer can voice his query through an SMS or a WhatsApp message.
“In case the officer is unhappy with the appraisal by his or her senior, the person can make a representation. There is a deadline even for that,” said the officer. The entire process for the year 2015-16 is scheduled to be completed by March 2017.