Can Preventive Vigilance Work?

imageI believe that in the work space, people work with either of two kinds of mindsets-a faster, and action oriented one, or a slower, but ethos building one. I find it more enjoyable to work towards the latter.

The first is, however, a necessity in India, because people are fed up with official inaction or corruption and want to see ‘action’. These ‘action’ visuals act like a balm on the agitated public mind. In many of our country’s institutions, the organizational ethos keeps changing with changing Chiefs. Therefore, the quality of service to the people is always a variable and ‘one person’ dependent. This is clearly not a satisfactory state of affairs. That public service delivery is wholly dependent on the self motivations derived from the familial upbringing of government servants, is something that needs immediate correction. I see a need to plug this vital gap by encouraging organizations to build their own ethos/culture, which can work as the straight line for employees to tread, when delivering the organization’s services to the people.

I believe that if one can create a work environment by which there aren’t many leak-points or incentives for corruption, most workers would not go out of the way to fall out of line with the organization’s ethos. And we may have a much happier public service delivery, without too frequently exercising the heavy hand of the vigilance laws. Currently, I find the entire stress of Vigilance in Government is to catch ‘crooks’, and with this focus on ‘action’, the work burden on Vigilance units can never reduce for the next couple of generations at least!

What I’m saying is this: That there exists a case for Vigilance Units in Government offices as well as those in private sector companies to  bring clarity to some basic issues, which  may appear a no-brainer, but are actually in a state of confusion in most offices.

1.Identifying the functions of each office 2. Identifying the processes under each function 3. Identifying the rank of the officer to whom the powers for taking decision are delegated under each function 4. Identifying the time required for each decision process under each function 5. Identifying points in the processes for transparency (points at which there is a public demand for information i.e applications received under RTI Act and making that information public) 6. Identify the points in the processes which generate complaints frequently and delve deeply into them to make them simpler and less prone to complaints/corruption.

I think if organizations are able to bring greater clarity to its functions and processes and subject these to public scrutiny as described above, and simultaneously reduce the clutter of processes, the simplification will work towards preventive vigilance and cleaner services delivery.

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One thought on “Can Preventive Vigilance Work?

  1. I cannot disagree with any of the points made in this blog. Transparency in decision making, avoiding delays in decisions and reducing vagueness in interpreting policy and rules will diminish chances of corruption. This is a permanent on going exercise. In PSUs, for example, the culture of offering tempting freebies and perks to ministry officials must go. It has corroded the system. It is sickening. I have seen it.

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