Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Panel headed by an additional secretary-ranked officer to re-assess need of full-time CVO in PSUs

THE Central government has constituted a panel under the chairmanship of a DoPT additional secretary to re-assess the positions of Central Vigilance Officers (CVO) in Central public sector enterprises, and their pay, incentives, allowances etc. But, as the committee will re-assess the need for full-time CVOs and whether the post of CVOs of two or more public sector undertakings can be clubbed together, the question arises whether this is in anyway a subtle attempt to undermine the very process of vigilance in PSUs, many of which don’t have a good track record on transparency. The administrative ministries have also been asked whether they wish “to abolish the posts (CVOs in the PSUs under their administrative control) in view of the workload and requirement of vigilance related matters”. According to a DoPT office memorandum (OM) dated July 7, all…
ministries and departments have been requested to furnish the following information:
a) Whether a full-time CVO is required in particular organization,
b) Whether the post of CVOs of two or more organizations can be clubbed together,
c) Whether the post of CVOs is required to continue with the current posts or wishes to upgrade/downgrade or to abolish the posts in view of the workload and requirement of vigilance related matters,
d) Staff strength and volume of vigilance work involved in the CPSEs, turnover of organizations in last 5 years etc.
In fact, the Chief Vigilance Officers, or CVOs are extended hands of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). The CVOs constitute an important link between the organizations concerned and the Central Vigilance Commission (as also the CBI), according to CVC’s official website.
As far as possible, CVOs are brought from outside the organization. The initial tenure of full-time CVO in PSUs is for three years extendable by two years in the same organisation with the approval of the Commission or up to a further period of three years on transfer to another PSU on completion of initial tenure of three years in the previous PSU.
In this backdrop, the constitution of the panel raises questions whether it is the first step to curtail the vigilance processes in PSUs by abolishing full-time CVOs in some public entities in the name of cost-cutting.  

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