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Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances

Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances is the nodal agency of the Government for Administrative Reforms as well as redressal of public grievances relating to the States in general and grievances pertaining to Central Government agencies in particular. The Department disseminates information on important activities of the Government relating to administrative reforms best practices and public grievance redressal through publications and documentation. The Department also undertakes activities in the field of international exchange and cooperation to promote public service reforms.

The mission of the Department is to act as a facilitator, in consultation with Central Ministries/Departments, States/UT Administrations, Organisations and Civil Society Representatives, to improve Government functioning through process re-engineering, systemic changes. Organisation and Methods, efficient Grievance handling promoting modernisation, Citizens Charters, award schemes, e-governance and best practices in government.

A Commission on Review of Administrative Laws was set up by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances on 8 May 1998 with a view to identify proposals for amendment of the existing laws, regulations and procedures having inter-sectoral impact and also for repeal of all dysfunctional laws. The various Ministries/Departments have decided to retain 822 Acts (which include 700 Appropriation Acts and 27 Reorganisation Acts). The remaining Acts are at various stages of processing.

The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) was setup in 2005 under the Chairmanship of Shri Veerappa Moily to prepare a detailed blueprint for revamping the public administrative system. The Commission set up to suggest measures to achieve a proactive, responsive, accountable, sustainable and efficient administration for the country at all levels of the government has finished its term on April 30, 2009.

In all, the Commission has presented the following 15 Reports to the Government: -

  1. Right to Information-Master Key to Good Governance (09.06.2006)
  2. Unlocking Human Capital - Entitlements and Governance-a Case Study (31.07.2006)
  3. Crisis Management-From Despair to Hope (31.10.2006)
  4. Ethics in Governance (12.02.2007)
  5. Public Order-Justice for each..... peace for all. (25.06.2007)
  6. Local Governance (27.11.2007)
  7. Capacity Building for Conflict Resolution - Friction to Fusion (17.3.2008)
  8. Combating Terrorism (17.9.2008)
  9. Social Capital - A Shared Destiny (8.10.2008)
  10. Refurbishing of Personnel Administration - Scaling New Heights (27.11.2008)
  11. Promoting e-Governance - The Smart Way Forward (20.01.2009)
  12. Citizen Centric Administration - The Heart of Governance (30.3.2009)
  13. Organisational Structure of Government of India (19.5.2009)
  14. Strengthening Financial Management Systems (26.5.2009)
  15. State & District Administration (29.5.2009)

A group of Ministers has been constituted to review the pace of implementation of the recommendations of ARC as well as to provide guidance to the concerned Ministries/Department in implementing the decisions.

The Department also instituted in 2005, "Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public administration" to recognise the extraordinary and innovative work done by the officers of the Central and State Governments. The Award comprise -

  1. A Medal,
  2. A scroll, and,
  3. Cash Award of Rs. 1,00,000.

In case of a group of officials total award money for the group is Rs. 5 lakh subject to a maximum of Rs. One lakh per person. The amount for an organisation is upto a limit of Rs. 5 lakh. All officers of the Central and State Governments individually or as a group or as organisations are eligible to be considered for the awards. The Awards are given away on the occasion of Civil Service Day being celebrated every year on April 21.

Under e-Governance, the Department is in process of implementing e-office, one of the Mission projects, under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). The initiative, e-Office aims at significantly improving the operational efficiency of Central government ministries/departments through improvement in workflow mechanisms and associated office procedure manuals. This initiative would be crucial in pushing GPR, especially in G2G processes which eventually affects quality of services delivered to the citizens. This Department is the nodal agency for implementing the project.

The Department also organizes an annual conference on e-Governance, in one of the state capitals, which is attended by senior officials from the Central/state governments, experts from industry and academia, etc. National awards for e-Governance are also given away during such conferences. These awards are in recognition of the best-in-class e-Governance initiatives that involve analysis and redesign of workflow and aim at improving the outcomes, related to efficiency, effectiveness of process, cost, quality, service delivery or a combination of these.

The Department has developed a Model-(SEVOTTAM) for benchmarking service delivery standards by the Government departments. The main objective of the project is to set standards in consultation with user group and include these standards in the citizen's charter. It also provides a framework to assess the performance against the standards and to measure improvement and achievements of these standards. The model is aimed to bring about excellence in service delivery standards in government organizations and is to be implemented in all Central ministries/departments.

The Sevottam model was studied by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission and was of the view that this model is a step in the right direction. The Commission also recommended that the Union and state government should make the seven-step model mandatory for all organizations having public interface. The DARPG has introduced this model through pilots in ten Central ministries and departments. Out of the ten departments the pilot in the Department of Posts has been completed and Gol Dakkhana, New Delhi was awarded the first Sevottam certification in March 2008. The pilot in the remaining 9 Departments are at various stages of implementation.

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances has the mandate of promoting good governance practices in the country. Documentation, incubation and dissemination of best practices is one of the tasks enumerated in its Vision and Mission Statement. In pursuance of this and in order to promote good governance practices in the country, the Department has adopted multi-pronged strategies like bringing out publications, organizing seminars, regional conferences, arranging presentations, organizing lecture series and producing documentary films.

Through its regular publications, "Management in Government-a Quarterly Journal" and "Civil Service News-a Monthly News letter", the Department is creating awareness about best practices, Besides, it has brought out five books namely, 'Ideas That Have Worked', Learn From Them, 'Splendour in the Grass', Roofless Towers and 'BYOB - Bringing Your Bytes', These books share experiences of success or failure of innovators.

A portal of best practices called 'Governance knowledge Centre' has been launched to effectively pursue the objective of dissemination of best practices facilitating their replication. The Department has also produced a DVD containing 73 select reports of commissions/committee on administrative reforms since 1812 till date.

Source: India Book - A Reference Annual