Monday, January 19, 2015

Chamling spells out govt's commitment to effective administration

CM interacts with more than 3,000 officers to discuss ways and means to ensure Good Governance

GANGTOK, 19 Jan: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today directed the bureaucracy to ensure that the state administration delivered in an “effective, transparent and time bound manner” and urged officers to adopt e-governance tools while proceeding towards this revitalized system of governance. The CM was addressing an interaction with state government officials themed, “Towards Effective Administration and Good Governance,” here at Saramsa Garden near Ranipool. In attendance were bureaucrats, technocrats and Sikkim
Police top-brass [all above the rank of Under Secretary]. As per official estimates, more than 3,000 gazetted officers attended the interaction today.
Mr. Chamling reiterated that the State administration needs to have a stronger sense of purpose and “reorient the public services into a dynamic, efficient, and accountable apparatus for public service delivery built on the ethos and values of integrity, impartially and neutrality.”

“The reform [in administration] is to raise the quality of public services delivered to the citizens and enhance the capacity to carry out core government functions, thereby, leading to sustainable development,” the CM stressed.
He also directed that departments follow e-correspondence from one level to another and between departments for better coordination through emails. In this regard, he directed the Information Technology Department to make such platforms accessible with immediate effect.
Fluid coordination and cooperation between officers and departments, he stressed, were of “paramount importance for good governance”.
He also announced that a control room will be established in the capital to link all departments from all over the state. He went on to direct that a “24x7 revenue collection centre” be made with at least one branch in the capital. A grievance cell will be opened in the CMO to register feedback, problems and grievances of the employees, he further announced.
He also directed the government officers not to leave station or office without prior sanction of leave, and further pointed out that they handover charge to their immediate next officer for the period that they were away from office. This decision, he said, comes into effect from today itself. He also reminded officers to read the Sikkim Government Service Rules and become better aware of government services rules.
Hotline connections [from panchayats to department offices] for lodging complaints against non-performing government employee should be made functional, he directed, and added that all the Heads of Departments have permanent phone numbers which remain attached to the post so that even in the event of a transfer, contact details of the Department heads remain unchanged.
He also announced that the designation of peons be now changed to “Multi-Task Staff” [MTS] with added responsibilities to look after the affairs of the office. He also directed the Heads of Departments to monitor, coordinate and distribute the work more responsibly among the staff.
Chief Minister said that government employees should leave their egos aside when in office and work with only the interest and welfare of the state in mind.
The Information & Public Relations Department, he directed, should deliver wider publicity to all the developmental programmes of the government since 1994 [when SDF came into office in Sikkim] through exhibitions and such initiatives as essay-writing competitions for students on topics like the State’s organic mission, infrastructure development etc.
He also announced today that the Government will soon be introducing a system of pre-paid Taxis for the benefit of tourists in view of the large number of tourists who have been cheated and the several complaints received by the government in this regard.
The Chief Minister also directed the UD&HD officials to strictly follow state government policies and ensure that plastic was not allowed in use for publicity material [hoardings, banners and posters].
Earlier, the function began with a welcome note by the Chief Secretary followed by nearly two hours of ideas and suggestions placed by officers on the theme for the day. Among the points raised by the officers were wider use of electronic applications, training and grooming of younger officers for better output, permanent house numbers for all houses in Sikkim, computerizing drug-stores in hospitals, up gradations of district hospitals etc. The CM shared that he has taken up all these points and said that while some will be implemented immediately, some others will need to be discussed further before being adopted.
[by VISHNU NEOPANEY, with additional inputs from IPR Deptt. Photographs courtesy IPR]

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