A STUDY ON DEPT OF FOOD AND SUPPLIES, NCT Delhi


A STUDY ON DEPT OF FOOD AND SUPPLIES, NCT Delhi

A THIRD PARTY APPRAISAL

A STUDY ONCOMMITMENT FOR MODIFICATION WORK OFABOVE POVERTY LINE RATION CARDS AND IMPLEMETATION BY DEPT OF FOOD & SUPPLIES, GOVERNMENT OF NTC DELHI 

     A study of the commitment made by the Department of Food & Supplies to the public and actual performance by the Department were studied. There is a wide gap between commitment and performance. Reasons are both System oriented and Personnel Oriented. Fault lines have been identified and it is hoped that the Department of Food & Supplies will initiate immediate action to rectify the defects in the system and re-orient their personnel to service to public. It is only a matter of time before the Department is dragged into litigation in a Consumer Court with demands for compensation for the harassment and man hours lost by the citizens of DelhiCommitments are made to the public in hundreds by politicians of various hues and categories.

     Citizens are by now aware that statements and commitments by politicians are not to be taken seriously. Government Departments on the other hand are lead by professionals in administration from IAS and staffed by experienced individuals paid from public funds, who are also subject to governmental rules and departmental discipline. Citizens have a right to expect a great deal of responsibility in the functioning of various departments of the government. Departmental decisions are expected to be taken after a great deal of thought and discussions, and are expected to be steps to ameliorate problems of citizens. It is also expected that commitments made to the public are acted upon by all members a department.  The study may be considered to be a ‘Third Party Appraisal’.

Objectives of the Study.      

     A study was conceived and carried out by the Citizens Alliance for Promotion of Responsive Governance on the aspect of adherence to and performance of Departments of the Government of Delhi NCT with respect to commitments made by the government. The objectives of the study were to assess the ‘Commitment and Service’ aspects of a Department towards the public. To study the ‘service’ aspect of the Department towards the public. a)        To study the attitude of the members in a Department towards promises made by their own department.b)       The commitment of the members in a Department towards promises made by their own department.c)       To study the Overall Performance of the Department in respect of a commitment.d)       To study the Departmental reactions to a request by a citizen for information under RTI. 

 Methodology in Brief.                            

         A department was to be chosen on the basis of its quantum of public dealings, commitment made, publicity, mention of specific time frames for comparisons and number of individuals likely affected by decisions taken by the department. The department should have presence in all zones of Delhi and cover all strata of Society. Once a department was identified, information would be obtained using RTI. The information so received will be recorded, collated, analysed and deductions drawn objectively.

   The department chosen by Citizens Alliance for Promotion of ResponsiveGovernance was the Department of Food and Supplies.

Departmental Commitment. 

 Through a Public Notice (hereinafter referred to as ‘notice’) issued by the Secretary-cum-Commissioner (F&S Dept) published in national dailies on 29.05.2007 in the Times of India and on 30.05.2007 in The Hindustan Times, Punjab Kesari, Dainik Jagran and Rashtriya Sahara (attached as ‘Appendix A’ for English and ‘Appendix B’ for Hindi), the general public was informed that all the ration card holders in the APL (Above poverty line) category whose application is complete in all respect along with supporting documents can get the modification work done on the Ration Card i.e. addition / deletion / rectification  at the concerned circle offices of that department with effect from 1st June, 2007 on the same day. The same notice was again published on 19.07.2007 in the national dailies

Recommendations .    

The study has indicated that the scheme itself is commendable and drawn up with good intentions. Study of the disposal figures indicates that clearance of applications on the same day was neither difficult nor impossible.  However actual performance at the ground level has been unsatisfactory. In this instance the target was very clear i.e. clearance of applications on the same day. However reasons for slippage are identifiable and corrective actions are well with the within the control of the F&S department.

     In June alone there were over 7000 cases pending with the Department. By now on October the figure may be around 20,000 cases i.e. 20,000 harassed citizens. 

          Slippages in delivery of services can lead to the Department being dragged to a consumer court for providing compensation. Officers and staff could well be penalised on this account. This is a note of caution. 

     For full report see attachment.

RTI Excerpt from a decision


The following information has been sent by Mr JR Lal. It wil be of interest to many.

For the general benefit of the information seekers under the RTI Act, excerpts are reproduced below from the decision dated the 21st Sep, 2007 given by the Central Information Commission’s bench of Information Commissioner (IC) A. N. Tiwari and IC M. M. Ansari on the review petition in Appeal no. CIC/AT/A/2007/00229 in the matter of Shri Sudesh Kumar V/s Directorate General of Vigilance, Customs and Central Excise, North Zonal Unit, C. R. Building, I. P. Estate, New Delhi.

 

The matter mainly related to the appointment of officers in the sensitive positions despite their names appearing in the Agreed List (of officers not to be appointed in such positions) of the year in which appointed.

 

The excerpts have an universal bearing being further clarification  to the principal function and the purpose of The Right to Information Act, 2005.

 

Excerpts

 

Ø      “A principal function of the RTI Act is to bring into open, acts of mal-governance, malfeasance and norm-violations by public authorities and, therefore, it is imperative that not only the names of officers who so blatantly derogate from the normative position publicly accepted by the public authority, be brought out into the open, but also the names of the beneficiaries of such derogation. After the advent of the RTI Act, it is no more open to public authorities to assume high moral ground in public, and resile from it in private.”

 

Ø      The Preamble to the RTI Act sets out the purpose of this Act, viz. to enhance public accountability of those controlling the levers of power, to combat corruption and so on. That is the Commission’s reference-frame for determining when and where to apply the “public-interest-override” under Section 8(2).”

colrama

05 Nov 07