Second Administrative Reforms Commission Part III

    • Ethical Framework :

      1. The standards set in politics profoundly influence those in other aspects of governance.

      1. High standards of ethical conduct were an integral part of the freedom struggle. Unfortunately, ethical capital started getting eroded after the transfer of power.

      1. widespread view that much more needs to be done to cleanse our political system.

      1. Criminalization of politics participation of criminals in the electoral process’ – is the soft underbelly of our political system.

      1. The opportunity to influence crime investigations and to convert the policemen from being potential adversaries to allies is the irresistible magnet drawing criminals to politics.

      1. The elected position and the substantial protection that it can give, helps him either to further and expand his activities or to evolve into an entity with higher political ambitions.

      1. As for political parties, such individuals bring into the electoral process, their ability to secure votes through use of money and muscle power.

      1. Large, illegal and illegitimate expenditure in elections is another root cause of corruption.

      1. Despite all the flaws in the functioning of a democracy, it has a measure of self correction

      1. Significant efforts have been made over the last two decades to bring about meaningful electoral reforms.

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    • Recent Improvements

    • Improvement in Accuracy of Electoral Rolls:

      1. Printed electoral rolls/CDs have been made available for sale.

      1. Computerisation of entire electoral rolls of over 620 million voters has been initiated.

      1. The provision of photo-identity cards

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    • Disclosure of Antecedents of Candidates:

    • The Supreme Court has directed that a candidate should declare any conviction by a court or whether a criminal case is pending against him;

    • Disqualification of Persons Convicted of Criminal Offence:

    • Enforcement of the Code of Conduct:

    • Code of Conduct for elections binding in all respects, issuing directions regarding timings of campaigns, prohibition of festoons/cutouts, insistence on daily expenditure statements, appointment of a large number of observers, ordering of re-poll in specific polling booths and other such steps.

      1. Free and fearless polling:

      1. Policing arrangements have been improved

      1. Electronic voting machines have been introduced throughout the country (in the parliamentary elections of 2004).

      1. Reduction in size of Council of Ministers – The Constitution (Ninety-first Amendment) Act, 2003 restricts the size of the Council of Ministers to 15% of the strength

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    • Issues in Political Reforms :

    • Despite the measures taken, improvements are marginal in the case of important problems of criminalization, the use of money in elections, subtle forms of inducements and patronage

    • Reform of Political Funding :

    • Internationally, there are three broad patterns of state funding for political parties and elections

      1. One is the minimalist pattern, wherein elections alone are partially subsidized – The UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada

      1. The second, maximalist pattern of state funding involves public funding not merely for elections but even for other party activities, as in Sweden and Germany.

      1. In between, there are a variety of mixed patterns involving partial reimbursement France, Netherlands and South Korea.

      1. Indrajit Gupta Committee on State Funding of Elections has recommended partial state-funding mainly in kind.

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    • Election and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Act -2003

      1. Committee on Electoral Reforms (Dinesh Goswami Committee, 1990)

      1. the Committee on State Funding of Elections (Indrajit Gupta Committee, 1999)

      1. the Law Commission of India (170th report on Reform of Electoral Laws, 1999).

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    • The Act contains the following key provisions :

      1. Full tax exemption to individuals and corporates on all contributions to political parties.

      1. Disclosure of party finances and contributions over Rs.20,000.

      1. Indirect public funding to candidates of recognized parties including free supply of electoral rolls

      1. Equitable sharing of time by the recognized political parties on the cable television network and other electronic media (public and private).

      1. Political corruption makes a case for state funding of elections.

      1. ARC Recommendation: A system for partial state funding should be introduced in order to reduce the scope of illegitimate and unnecessary funding of expenditure for elections

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    • Tightening of anti-defection law:

      1. The 91st Amendment to the Constitution was enacted in 2003 to tighten the anti- defection provisions of the Tenth Schedule, enacted earlier in 1985

      1. This Amendment makes it mandatory for all those switching political sides whether singly or in groups to resign their legislative membership

      1. The Amendment also bars legislators from holding, post- defection, any office of profit.

      1. This Amendment has thus made defections virtually impossible and is an important step forward in cleansing politics.

      1. Besides, the Election Commission has also insisted on internal elections in political parties to elect their leaders.

      1. ARC Recommendation: The issue of disqualification of members on grounds of defection should be decided by the President/Governor on the advice of the Election Commission.

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    • Coalition and Ethics :

    • The ethics of coalition government is, however, seriously strained when the coalition partners change partnerships mid-stream and new coalitions

    • Recommendation: The Constitution should be amended to ensure that a common programme is framed before the elections or implicitly while forming the government.

    • If there is realignment midstream with one or more parties outside the coalition, the coalition has to seek a fresh mandate from the electorate.

    • Election Commission

 

    • Recommendation:

      1. A collegium headed by the Prime Minister with the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the Law Minister should make recommendations for the consideration of the President for appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners.

      1. Special Election Tribunals should be constituted at the regional level under Article 323B of the Constitution to ensure speedy disposal of election petitions and disputes

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    • Ethics in Public Life – The fundamental principle in a democracy is that all public functionaries are trustees of the people.

    • The trusteeship relationship between the public and the officials requires that the authority entrusted to the officials be exercised in the best interest of the people or in `public interest’.

    • Committee on Standards in Public Life in the United Kingdom, popularly known as the Nolan Committee, which outlined the following seven principles of public life (OHIOSAL)

      1. Objectivity:

      1. Honesty:

      1. Integrity:

      1. Openness:

      1. Selflessness:

      1. Accountability:

      1. Leadership:

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    • United Nations Convention against Corruption :

      1. State shall promote integrity, honesty and responsibility among its public officials

      1. Ensure codes of conduct for public officials

      1. declarations to appropriate authorities about employment, investments, assets and gifts

      1. disciplinary or other measures against public officials who violate the codes or standards.

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    • Code of Ethics for Ministers

    • The ARC prescribes for a Code of Ethics for ministers

    • The Code of Conduct is a starting point for ensuring good conduct by Ministers, but must be supplemented by Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct for Ministers should include the following: – Ministers must;

      1. Uphold the principle of collective responsibility;

      1. A duty to Parliament to account, and be held to account, for the policies, decisions and actions

      1. Uphold the highest ethical standards;

      1. Ensure that no conict arises, or appears to arise, between their public duties and their private interests;

      1. Not use government resources for party or political purposes;

      1. Uphold the political impartiality of the Civil Service

      1. Comply with the requirements which the two Houses of Parliament lay down from time to time;

      1. Ensure that public moneys are used with utmost economy and care;

      1. Function in such a manner as to serve as instruments of good governance

      1. Act objectively, impartially, honestly, equitably, diligently and in a fair and just manner.

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    • Ethics of Members of Houses – ARC Recommends :

      1. An Office of `Ethics Commissioner’ may be constituted by each House of Parliament.

      1. All State legislatures may adopt a Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct for their Members.

      1. Ethics Committees may be constituted with well defined procedures for sanctions in case of transgressions, to ensure the ethical conduct of legislators.

      1. Registers of Members’ Interests’ may be maintained with the declaration of interests

      1. Annual Reports providing details including transgressions may be placed on the Table of the respective Houses.

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    • Offices of Profit

      1. The Law should be amended to define office of profit

      1. All offices in purely advisory bodies shall not be treated as offices of profit

      1. All offices involving executive decision making and control of public funds should be treated as Offices of Profit

      1. If a serving Minister, is a member or head organizations like the Planning Commission, it shall not be treated as office of profit.

      1. Schemes such as MPLADS and MLALADS should be abolished.

      1. Members of Parliament and Members of State Legislatures should be declared as `Public Authorities’ under the Right to Information.

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    • Code of Ethics for Civil Servants

    • Committee on Prevention of Corruption (`Santhanam Committee’-1964) – our civil service system has a tradition of attitudes and achievements which sets examples to be emulated by current and prospective civil servants.

    • promoting the norms of `right conduct’ cannot be enforced through a rigid mindless enforcement of laws and rules.

    • Committee on Prevention of Corruption (`Santhanam Committee’-1964) – Draft `Public Service Bill’ now under consideration of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions

      1. Allegiance to the various ideals enshrined in the preamble to the Constitution

      1. Apolitical functioning

      1. Good governance for betterment of the people to be the primary goal of civil service

      1. Duty to act objectively and impartially

      1. Accountability and transparency in decision-making

      1. Maintenance of highest ethical standards

      1. Merit with equitable representation to be the criteria in selection of civil servants consistent

      1. Ensuring economy and avoidance of wastage in expenditure

      1. Provision of healthy and congenial work environment

      1. Communication, consultation and cooperation in performance of functions.

      1. The draft Bill also envisages a Public Service Code and a Public Service Management Code laying down more specific duties and responsibilities.

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    • ARC Recommends: `Public Service Values’ towards which all public servants should aspire, should be defined and made applicable to all tiers of Government

    • Any transgression of these values should be treated as misconduct, inviting punishment.

    • Conflict of interest should be comprehensively covered in the Code of Ethics and in the Code of Conduct for officers.

    • Ethical Framework for the Judiciary

      1. An independent judiciary enjoying public confidence is a basic necessity of the rule of law.

      1. The Supreme Court on May 7, 1997 adopted a charter called the `Restatement of Values of Judicial Life’,

      1. Justice must not merely be done but it must also be seen to be done.

      1. A Judge should not contest the election to any office

      1. Close association with individual members of the Bar shall be eschewed.

      1. A Judge should not permit any member of his immediate family, if a member of the Bar, to appear before him

      1. A Judge shall not express his views in public on matters that are pending

      1. A Judge is expected to let his judgments speak for themselves.

      1. Perhaps in no other country in the world does the judiciary have a final say in its own appointments.

      1. The current system of appointments is not open to public scrutiny and thus lacks accountability and transparency.

      1. A closely related aspect of the accountability of judges is the mechanism for removal of judges for deviant behaviour.

      1. Other than impeachment under Articles 124(4) and 217(1), there is no mechanism against any inappropriate behaviour or misdemeanour of judges.

      1. Impeachment provisions have turned out to be impracticable as it is virtually impossible to initiate any proceedings, let alone successfully conclude them.

      1. ARC Recommendations : A National Judicial Council should be constituted, where the appointment of members of the judiciary should be by a collegium having representation of the executive, legislature and judiciary.

      1. It should be authorized to lay down the Code of Conduct for judges, including the subordinate judiciary.

      1. A Judge of the Supreme Court should be designated as the Judicial Values Commissioner.

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    • Legal Framework for Fighting Corruption.

    • Pre-independence period, the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was the main tool to combat corruption in public life. The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 was enacted to fight the evils of bribery and corruption.

    • The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988:

      1. The term ` Public Servant’ is defined in the Act. The definition is broader than what existed in the IPC.

      1. A new concept `Public duty’ is introduced in the Act.

      1. The Prevention of Corruption Act does not provide a definition of `Corruption’.

      1. Even the United Nations Convention against Corruption does not provide a definition of corruption.

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    • ARC Recommends – The following should be classified as offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act:

      1. Gross perversion of the Constitution and democratic institutions amounting to wilful violation of oath of office.

      1. Abuse of authority unduly favouring or harming someone.

      1. Obstruction of justice.

      1. Squandering public money.

      1. A special offence of `collusive bribery’ should be added.

      1. An offence could be classified as `collusive bribery’ if the outcome or intended outcome of the transaction leads to a loss to the state, public or public interest.

      1. `Collusive’ corruption needs to be dealt with by effective legal measures so that both the bribegiver and the bribe-taker do not escape punishment

      1. Prior sanction should not be necessary for prosecuting a public servant who has been trapped red-handed or in cases of possessing assets disproportionate to the known sources of income.

      1. The requirement of prior sanction for prosecution now applicable to serving public servants should also apply to retired public servants for acts performed while in service.

      1. In all cases where the GoI is empowered to grant sanction for prosecution, this power should be delegated to an Empowered Committee comprising the Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Departmental Secretary to Government.

      1. The Act should be suitably amended to include private sector providers of public utility services.

      1. NGOs, which receive substantial funding, should be covered under the Act.

Serious Economic Offences

 

    • The Mitra Committee Report (The Report of the Expert Committee on Legal Aspects of Bank Frauds 2001) – submitted to the Reserve Bank of India pointed out that criminal jurisprudence in India based on proof beyond doubt was too weak an instrument to control bank frauds. The Committee recommended a two-pronged strategy for systemic reforms through strict implementation of Regulator’s Guidelines and obtaining compliance certificates

    • Second, a punitive approach by defining scams as a serious offence with the burden of proof shifting to the accused and with a separate investigative authority for serious frauds, and special courts and prosecutors for trying such cases was recommended.

    • The Committee suggested the creation of a Statutory Fraud Committee under the Reserve Bank of India

    • ARC Recommends – A new law on `Serious Economic Offences’ should be enacted.

    • A Serious Economic Offence may be defined as :

      1. One which involves a sum exceeding Rs 10 crores; or

      1. is likely to give rise to widespread public concern; or

      1. its investigation and prosecution are likely to require highly specialized knowledge of the financial market or of the behaviour of banks or other financial institutions; or

      1. it involves significant international dimensions, etc.

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    • Article 311 – Arguments in favour of retaining Article 311

      1. Those in favour of retaining Article 311 argue that the Article subjects the doctrine of pleasure contained in the preceding Article 310 to certain safeguards.

      1. It is further argued that the safeguards under Article 311 are focused and that the framers of the Constitution were mindful of the rare eventualities in which even such minimal safeguards would not be necessary.

      1. Even if Article 311 were to be repealed, it is argued, the need for giving an opportunity to be heard cannot be dispensed with.

      1. judicial review is an integral part of our Constitution and a substantial portion of the appellate work of the Supreme Court concerns Article 311.

      1. It is argued that it is the rules governing disciplinary enquiries, and not Article 311 itself, that are responsible for the delays.

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    • Arguments in favour of repealing Article 311

      1. Indeed, it is not as if in all cases involving Article 311 the Supreme Court has taken a `pro Government’ stance.

      1. There are cases where the apex court has struck down the actions of the disciplinary authority or the Government.

      1. The Indian Constitution, and Part XIV thereof, was drafted at a time when, in the aftermath of partition, and post-colonial administrative upheavals, it was felt necessary to prescribe certain guarantees to the bureaucracy. In the present scenario, that protection does not appear quite necessary.

      1. reasonable opportunity is provided to a government official against what might be arbitrary or vindictive action. But this should be only reasonable, not excessive, and

      1. The Hota Committe – Recommended that Article 311 of the Constitution be amended

        1. Facilitate summary removal from service of a corrupt officer;

        1. Inspire confidence in the minds of the common people that corrupt practice by members of the civil service / persons holding civil posts will not be tolerated;

        1. Ensure justice to the official so removed in a post-decisional hearing.

        1. The ARC believes that the rights of a civil servant under the Constitution should be subordinate to the overall reqirement of public interest and the contractual right of the State.

        1. The public servant, an agent of the State, cannot be superior to the State and it is his fundamental duty to serve the State with integrity, devotion, honesty, impartiality, objectivity, transparency and accountability.

      1.  
      2. No government can be expected to dispense with the services of a government servant in an arbitrary manner or without a proper enquiry.

      1. ARC Recommendations: Article 311 of the Constitution should be repealed. Simultaneously, Article 310 should also be repealed.

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    • CVC – The CVC has emerged as the nodal, statutory authority to over-see vigilance administration

      1. Each Ministry/Department or other organization in the Union Government now has an internal vigilance set-up under a whole-time or part-time Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO)

      1. With the formation of Central Administrative Tribunals (CATs) in the 1980s most of the judicial proceedings of departmental inquiries are handled here.

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    • Two issues with the CVC

      1. There is no congruence between the time taken in completion of various stages and the schedule prescribed for their completion by the CVC;

      1. While it would be unrealistic in such cases to expect `immediate report of the offence’, the discovery of the commission of a `misconduct’ is shockingly delayed.

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    • Institutional Framework for preventing corruption – The working of many of these anti-corruption bodies leaves much to be desired.

      1. Union Government – Administrative Vigilance Division of the Department of Personnel & Training is the nodal agency for dealing with Vigilance and Anti-corruption.

      1. Central Vigilance Commission – It was accorded statutory status, consequent upon the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Vineet Narain v. Union of India. The CVC advises the Union Government on all matters pertaining to the maintenance of integrity in administration.

      1. Vigilance Units in the Government of India – All Ministries/Departments in the Union Government have a Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) who heads the Vigilance Division of the organization concerned

      1. The Central Bureau of Investigation – The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the principal investigative agency of the Union Government in anti-corruption matters. It derives its powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (DSPE Act) (i) Anti-corruption Division, (ii) Economic Offences Wing, and (iii) Special Crimes Division

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    • The Lok Pal – The first Administrative Reforms Commission had recommended the establishment of the institution of Lok Pal.

      1. The institution of Ombudsman has emerged `as a bulwark of democratic government against the tyranny of officialdom’

      1. The Commission is of the view that the Lok Pal Bill should become law with the least possible delay.

      1. There should be an organic link between the Lok Pal and the Central Vigilance Commissioner.

      1. The reason for this is that an overarching approach to fighting corruption in high places is necessary.

      1. The linkage between the CVC and the Lok Pal would enable sharing of information and prompt action against all persons involved.

      1. The Central Vigilance Commission should enjoy full functional autonomy, but should work under the overall guidance and superintendence of the Lok Pal.

      1. One issue which has been debated for long is whether the office of Prime Minister should be brought under the jurisdiction of the Lok Pal.

      1. It is the function of the Prime Minister to lead and to coordinate among the Ministers in framing of policies, decision making and execution of those policies and decisions.

      1. The Prime Minister’s unchallenged authority and leadership are needed to make our Constitutional scheme function in letter and spirit.

      1. The Prime Minister is accountable to the Parliament, and on his survival, depends the survival of the government.

      1. If the Prime Minister’s conduct is open to formal scrutiny by extra-Parliamentary authorities, then the government’s viability is eroded and Parliament’s supremacy is in jeopardy.

      1. A Prime Minister facing formal enquiry by a Lok Pal would cripple the government.

      1. If the Prime Minister is indeed guilty of serious indiscretions, Parliament should be the judge of the matter, and the Lok Sabha should remove the Prime Minister from office.

      1. The same principles also hold good for Chief Ministers, they should be kept out of state Lok Ayukta

      1. ARC Recommendations: The Constitution should be amended to provide for a national Ombudsman to be called the Rashtriya Lokayukta.

      1. The jurisdiction of Rashtriya Lokayukta should extend to all Ministers (Except PM), Chief Ministers, MPs, officials with miniserial status.

      1. it is essential for the Lok Pal to establish mechanisms for effective interaction with the public in general and the private sector and the civil society in particular.

      1. The Prime Minister should be kept out of the jurisdiction

      1. The Rashtriya Lokayukta should consist of a serving or retired Judge of the SC as the Chairperson, an eminent jurist and the CVC as the ex-offcio Member.

      1. The Rashtriya Lokayukta should also undertake a campaign for raising the standards of ethics in public life.

      1. Though Maharashtra was the first State to establish this institution as early as in 1972, its public credibility was lost when the incumbent continued to function for several months after he was asked to step down. Orissa instituted and then abolished the institution.

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    • The Lokayukta

      1. The Lokayukta is generally a retired Judge of the HC or the SC and normally for a five-years on the basis of a joint decision involving the CM, the Chief Justice, the Speaker of the House and leader of the Opposition

      1. In many states the Lokayukta does not have an independent investigating authority at its disposal and is therefore dependent on Government agencies to carry forward its investigations.

      1. The Maharashtra and Orissa Lokayuktas assume more the character of a grievance redressal organization rather than an Ombudsman for cases of corruption.

      1. no uniformity in the provisions of the enactments, with fundamental differences regarding their function

      1. The entire structure of the anti-corruption machinery in the States needs reconsideration.

      1. The Karnataka Lokayukta which has been a very active institution, is headed by a retired Judge of the SC and has a wide juridisction.

      1. Anti Corruption Bureau of the State is a part of it.

      1. ARC recommends – The Constitution should be amended to incorporate a provision making it obligatory on the part of State

      1. The jurisdiction of the Lokayukta would extend to only cases involving corruption. They should not look into general public grievances.

      1. The Anti Corruption Bureaus should be brought under the control of the State Vigilance Commission.

      1. The Lokayukta should have its own machinery for investigation.

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    • Ombudsman at the Local Level

      1. The Commission is of the view that a system of Local Bodies Ombudsman may be established

      1. The Local Bodies Ombudsman should have powers to enquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries in local bodies.

      1. Such Ombudsman may be constituted for a group of districts.

      1. The overall superintendence over the Local Bodies Ombudsman’s should vest in the Lokayukta of the state

      1. The Government of Kerala has appointed Ombudsman under the Kerala Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 1999

      1. The Commission is of the view that the Ombudsman should be appointed under the respective Panchayat Raj/Urban Local Bodies Acts in all States/UTs.

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    • Strengthening Investigation and Prosecution

      1. The investigative agencies should acquire multi-disciplinary skills and should be thoroughly conversant with the working of various offices/ departments

      1. Modern techniques of investigation should abe used like electronic surveilance, recordings of surprise inspections, traps, searches and seizures.

      1. A reasonable time limit for investigation of different types of cases should be fixed

      1. There should be sustained step-up in the number of cases detected and investigated.

      1. The anti-corruption agencies should conduct systematic surveys of department

      1. The economic offences unit of states need to be strengthened to effectively investigate cases

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    • Citizens’ Initiatives :

      1. The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) of Hong Kong has produced exemplary results over the last quarter century by strengthening the ability of civil society to question corruption.

      1. In India, there have been many outstanding cases of civil society engagement.

      1. Public Interest Litigation by Common Cause Delhi

      1. Report Card Survey of Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore;

      1. Jan Sunwai by Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Rajasthan and Parivartan, Delhi;

      1. National Campaign for People’s Right to Information/Parivartan, New Delhi on Right to Information.

      1. Example:The Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) in Rajasthan, a well-known NGO, started uncovering corruption in local public works by gaining access to employment rolls, vouchers, beneficiary lists, and completion and utilisation certificates and then, handing them over to the concerned villagers for scrutiny in public hearings called Jan Sunwai.

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    • Ways to Improve Citizen initiatives

      1. inviting civil societies to oversee government programmes;

      1. establishing and disseminating service standards;

      1. establishing credible complaints mechanisms;

      1. assessing public confidence in anti-corruption institutions, judiciary and law enforcement and in desigining programmes to improve trust levels;

      1. enforcing access to information;

      1. using public hearings to audit government activities

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    • ARC Recommendations :

      1. Citizens’ Charters should be made effective by stipulating the service levels and also the remedy if these service levels are not met.

      1. Citizens may be involved in the assessment and maintenance of ethics in important government institutions and offces.

      1. Reward schemes should be introduced to incentivise citizens’ initiatives.

      1. School awareness programmes should be introduced

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    • Role of Media and Social Audit

      1. Under pressure of competition, the media does not verify allegations and information before putting them in the public domain.

      1. The Press Council of India has prescribed a Code of Conduct for the print media.

      1. However, no such code exists for the electronic media.

      1. Recommendations

        1. It is necessary to evolve norms and practices requiring proper screening of all allegations/complaints by the media,

        1. The electronic media should evolve a Code of Conduct

      1.  
      2. Government agencies can help the media in the fight against corruption by disclosing details about corruption cases regularly.

      1. Operational guidelines of all schemes and citizen centric programmes should provide for a social audit mechanism.

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    • Systemic Reforms

      1. Monopoly + Discretion – Accountability = Corruption

      1. Promoting Competition

      1. Two steps

      1. the gradual de-monopolisation of the non-essential service sectors

      1. the growing role of private players in providing direct marketing services to farmers like in Madhya Pradesh.

      1. Clearly, ending government’s monopoly in a large number of service sectors and allowing others to compete can play a major role in reducing corruption.

      1. To a large extent, therefore, dismantling monopolies and introducing competition go together. Simplifying Transactions

      1. One of the maladies of administration in India is the multiplicity of layers in every decision making process.

      1. Apart from delays, this contributes to corruption.

      1. Whenever abuse of authority is noticed, another layer of administration is added

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    • Recommendations

      1. There is need to bring simplification of methods to the center-stage of administrative reforms

      1. The existing Departmental Manuals and Codes should be thoroughly reviewed and simplified

      1. A system of rewards and incentives for simplification and streamlining of procedures

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    • Using Information Technology

      1. The relationship of the government, citizens and businesses, and also organs can be transformed though IT

      1. The Gyandoot project in Madhya Pradesh is one such example.

      1. It seeks to provide information about prevailing agricultural produce prices

      1. Each Ministry/Department/Organisation of government should draw up a plan for use of IT to improve governance.

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    • Integrity Pacts

      1. The term refers to an agreement between the public agency involved in procuring goods and services and the bidder for a public contract to the effect that the bidders have not paid and shall not pay any illegal gratification to secure the contract in question.

      1. ONGC is the first PSU to have signed a MoU with Transparency International India and the CVC on April 17, 2006.

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    • Reducing Discretion

      1. All government ofices having public interface should undertake a review of their activities and list out those which involve use of discretion.

      1. Decision-making on important matters should be assigned to a committee rather than individuals

      1. Care has to be exercised, however, that this practice is not resorted to when prompt decisions are required.

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    • Supervision

      1. The supervisory role of officers needs to be re-emphasised.

      1. In the Annual Performance Report (APR) of each officer, there should indicate the measures he took to control corruption

      1. Supervisory officers who give `clean certificates’ to subordinate corrupt officers in their APR should explain their position if officer reported upon is charged under PCA.

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    • Ensuring Accessibility and Responsiveness

      1. Service providers should converge their activities so that all services are delivered at a common point.

      1. Such common service points could also be outsourced to an agency.

      1. Tasks, which are prone to corruption, should be split up into different activities that can be entrusted to different persons.

      1. Public interaction should be limited to designated officers.

      1. A `single window front office’ for provision of information and services to the citizens.

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    • Monitoring Complaints

      1. All offices having large public interface should have an online complaint tracking system.

      1. There should be an external, periodic mechanism of `audit’ of complaints

      1. Complainsts should be used to analyse the deficiencies so that remedial measures are taken. Risk Management for Preventive Vigilance

      1. It may be possible to classify various positions in government as `high risk of corruption’, `medium risk of corruption’ and ` low risk of corruption’.

      1. individual government servants vary in their level of integrity, ranging from those who indulge in outright extortion to those who are absolutely upright.

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    • Recommendations:

      1. Risk profiling of jobs needs to be done in a more systematic and institutionlised manner

      1. Risk profiling of officers should be done by a committee of `eminent persons’ after the officer has completed ten years of service

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    • Audit

    • It should be prescribed that as soon as any major irregularity is detected or suspected by the audit team, it should be immediately taken note of by government.

    • Audit teams should be imparted training in forensic audit.

    • Proactive Vigilance on Corruption

      1. List of Officers of Doubtful Integrity:

      1. Agreed List of Suspect Officers:

      1. List of Undesirable Contactmen:

      1. Annual Property Returns: This is another tool to identify suspected corrupt

      1. Annual Property Returns: This is another tool to identify suspected corrupt

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    • Vigilance Clearance – Protecting the Honest Civil Servant

    • There are genuine apprehensions about the system’s ability to protect an honest public servant.

    • `single point directive’

      1. Prior permission of the Union Government for initiating investigation against an officer of the rank of a Joint Secretary and above in the Government of India and its equivalent in the Central Public Undertakings

      1. Both the `single point directive’ and the prior sanction for prosecution have led to obstruction of the statutory right of the investigating agency and an unnecessary interference.

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    • Recommendations:

      1. Every allegation of corruption received through complaints or from sources cultivated by the investigating agency against a public servant must be examined in depth at the initial stage itself before initiating any enquiry.

      1. In matters relating to allegations of corruption, open enquiries should not be taken up straightaway on the basis of complaints/source information

      1. The evaluation of the results of verification/enquiries should be done in a competent and just manner.

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    • International Cooperation

      1. The United Nations Declaration against corruption and bribery in international commercial transactions adopted by the General Assembly in December 1996

      1. The Declaration calls for enactment and enforcement of laws prohibiting bribery in international transactions, laws criminalizing the bribery of foreign public officials

      1. The United Nations Convention against Corruption, 2003 – The Convention binds the signatories to render specific forms of mutual legal assistance in gathering and transferring evidence for use in court to extradite offenders and to undertake measures to support tracing, freezing, seizure and confiscation of proceeds of corruption. Asset recovery is a fundamental principle of the Convention

    1. The ADB OECD Anti Corruption Action Plan for Asia Pacific which has been signed by the Government of India is not a binding agreement but a broad understanding to further the cause of inter-regional cooperation