The world’s top four audit firms would soon be in a race to bag the mammoth assignment of suggesting the country’s largest employer, Indian Railways, ways to revamp its age-old policies on recruitment, appointments, management, and requirement of workforce.
The idea of such an exercise has come from former CAG Vinod Rai, brought in by Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu earlier this year as an honorary adviser heading a “one-man committee” to bring in transparency in the internal process governing the transporter.
Accordingly, the Railways is gearing up to float a tender inviting the four biggest audit firms — KPMG, Deloitte, Pricewater-houseCoopers, and Ernst and Young — to bid for the first-of-its-kind contract offered by it.
The aim is to get the process completed by the end of this financial year, so that the policymakers could take a call on refreshing the Railways’ recruitment and career-progression norms under a new policy.
The process of awarding the tender is likely to be over by June. Speaking on the need for involving a private player for the job as opposed to a government entity, Vinod Rai said the government set up does not have a professional body with a know-how or experience to carry out such a task. “The Railways does have the Indian Railways Personnel Service, but it does not have this kind of experience. I had advised to engage a firm that does this kind of work for institutions,” Rai told The Indian Express.
The terms of reference of the study by the audit firm include studying the functions of all the departments and outsourcing activities; estimating the requirement, role and functions of various Group A services; and suggesting ways to end anomalies in the system causing aberrations in career progressions.