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Friday, 23 September 2011

Citizens' Charter and Voters' List:


Honourable Anna Hazare has forced the government to accept minimum 3 demands. One of the demands is "Citizens' Charter". The government had no difficulty in accepting this demand. It already exists for every government office. However, it is hardly implemented in practice. Every office is liable for maintaining Standing Orders (both issued by higher office and the same office), Emergency Orders and Fire Orders. These orders clearly indicate working and actions to be taken under different conditions. Higher office issues standing orders for subordinate offices giving responsibilities and powers to various categories of employees. Orders issued by the office shows names of employees for a particular responsibility. Hence there is never a doubt about powers and responsibilities. With change in the office head and employees the orders are updated. However, this is not meticulously followed in many of the offices.
Standing orders are within the present working of each and every government office. Standing orders are required to specify responsibility of each and every government servant by name. There should be no difficulty in preparing standing orders for work undertaken by a particular office. These should be prepared and updated on posting/transfer of any employee in that office. The orders should include list of works undertaken by the office, information and certificates issued by the office, forms for certificates, data/proof needed for issuing certificates, form of such proof, time period required for issue of certificate. When a citizen approaches for work he/she must know exactly whom to meet and submit application along with enclosures. Person receiving application should write date of receipt and date when the certificate be collected or shall be posted in post office. Once a person approaches any of the offices must leave with a receipt indication date and time when he/she should return. This shall be the citizens' charter.
It is experience of one and all the government employees never willingly take responsibility. Whenever responsibility is given they always try to avoid first, then transfer to some else and if not succeeded in doing this find ways to transfer to public. Consider voters' list. The government has census record, ration cards and now Adhar card. The government can prepare voter list and place on line for check by public. However, the government asks citizen to apply for voter identity card. Mostly a short notice is given and that to not brought to notice of public. No work or little work is done and the public is blamed for failure. This system must change. A set of the government servants must be given specific responsibility of preparing voters' list. Employees must be made responsible for correct list. In case of mistakes a particular government servant must be held responsible and punished. The punishment may be removal from service without terminal benefits. Public must insist on this.

1 comment:

Jana Hitwadi said...

Government of India has accepted this demand and passed a bill in parliament for Citizen Charter. Now it is responsibility of people and social organisations to ensure that this is implemented in true spirit.

I wish to mention an effect of this. I went to local office of RTO during first week of January 2013. I was told to visit various rooms for getting forms, certificates and return back to the person with form filled. I followed his instructions and returned to him with filled form. He checked and wrote Rs. 250+50 on the form and told me to pay the amount. When I went to cashier the girl there took Rs. 300 from me and told me to take receipt from another window. At that window an employee gave me receipt with papers and told me to deposit application with some 1 in adjoining room quickly. I thought delay would result in waiting so I went in the adjoining room and gave all papers. He saw all papers and returned me the receipt. Unfortunately I didn't check receipt and kept safely in my pocket. When I returned home I was keeping safely in house. That time I noticed I was cheated. I gave Rs. 300.00 and the receipt was for Rs. 212.50. If citizen charter would have followed I would not have been cheated by employees of RTO. Please remember this and insist on citizen charter.

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