(Sample Material) IIPA Book : Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System in Government of India

(Sample Material) IIPA Book : Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System in Government of India

Dear Candidates,
For helping you to learn new approaches and for enhancing the quality of your answer ,here I am with Gist of an IIPA book (Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi) - 'Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System in Government of India'. It is very common topic in all Mains examination and for getting good marks always you should have to follow governmental view point (IIPA view point).

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(Gist of Book) Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System in Government of India 

By Indian Institute of Public Administration(IIPA), New Delhi 
And 

Department of Administrative  Reforms and  Public  Grievances 
Government of India

I. Introduction

The state of public grievances serves as a barometer to gauge the efficiency and effectiveness of the administrative processes and polices. Persistence of public grievances in any administrative system speaks of a wary state of administration. The absence of any record of public grievances can, however, indicate a worse scenario. For, grievances may remain unacknowledged despite being of a serious nature; these may finally assume unmanageable proportions and expose the system to a legitimacy crisis. Both timely ventilation and redress of grievances are therefore a serious concern of any citizen friendly administration. At the apex level, there are primarily two designated nodal agencies in the Central Government for handling grievances:

(i) the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, and
(ii) the Directorate of Public Grievances, Cabinet Secretariat. A Standing Committee of Secretaries for Grievance Redressal, headed by the Cabinet Secretary, conducts review of grievance redressal mechanism of different Ministries/Departments of Government of India.

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The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) has undertaken initiatives in the fields of administrative reforms and public grievances in the Government, aimed at the delivery of citizen-centric administration and quality public services in order to improve governance.

The main responsibility of the DARPG is to lay down broad policy guidelines for the institutionalization of grievance redress system in the Ministries/ Departments/ Organization. The Department is not engaged in substantive redress of grievances, which may arise from various agencies of the government across the country. Since most grievances arise at field level, their actual redress is expected to come from the agencies functioning at the local level.

The Directorate of Public Grievances was set up in the Cabinet Secretariat in 1988 based on the review of the public grievances redress machinery in Government of India carried out in 1987. Envisaged as an appellate body investigating grievances selectively with regard to complaints where the complainant had failed to get redress at the hands of the internal machinery and the hierarchical authorities, initially the Directorate looked into individual complaints pertaining to four Central Government Departments which were found to be relatively more prone to public complaints. Subsequently, other Departments having larger public interface were added to its purview.

As per DARPG guidelines, all Ministries and Departments are required to put in place an internal machinery to address the grievances pertaining to their activities and designate a Director of Grievances in every office, including in autonomous bodies and public sector undertakings. For staff grievances, the guidelines provide for the setting up of a Staff Grievance Redress Machinery and designation of a Staff Grievance Officer.

In order to further the effectiveness of the machinery for redress of public grievances, the guidelines stipulate that the Ministries /Departments should display the name designation, room number, telephone number etc. of Director of Grievances at the reception and other convenient places, place locked complaint box at reception and observe a weekly meetingless day in the Central Secretariat Offices when all the officers above a specified level should be available at their desks to receive and hear public grievances.

The Ministries /Departments are further required to publicise the grievance redress mechanism through the Citizen’s Charters, broadcast of audio-visual capsules, sports and websites, etc.

To streamline the process of grievance redress, the guidelines suggest that the Ministries /Departments should fix the timeframe for disposal of work relating to public grievances and staff grievances and strictly adhere to that, acknowledge each grievance petition within three days of receipt, indicating the name, designation and telephone number of the official who is processing the case. The timeframe within which a reply will be sent should also be indicated and a reasoned and speaking reply for every grievance rejected should be issued.

Another significant guideline to ensure the sensitivity of government towards the public concerns relates to the Ministries/ Departments picking up grievances appearing in newspaper columns, which pertain to their jurisdiction, and take remedial action on them in a time-bound manner. Issuing rejoinders to newspapers after investigation in cases which were found to be baseless and/ or damaging to the image of the organisation was also considered important to build public trust.

Specific instructions were issued by the DARPG in September 2005 regarding the role of Director of Grievances in strengthening of PGR machinery. These instructions, inter-alia, stipulated that:

  1. Each Ministry/ Department/ Public Sector Undertaking/ Autonomous Organisation may designate a full time Grievance Officer, known as the Director of Grievances. The Officer may be of the rank of joint Secretary to Government of India who by virtue of his experience and jurisdiction can take decisions more objectively.
  2. The Director of Grievances will be actively involved in the process of dealing with grievances. Each Ministry/Department/PSU/Autonomous Organisation may formulate a job-chart for the Director of Grievances.
  3. The Director of Grievances will be vested with powers to call for files/papers connected with grievances pending for more than three months in the Ministry/Department and to take a decision thereon with the approval of the Secretary of the Ministry/Department. He may also communicate the final decision to the aggrieved party.

  4. The Director of Grievance shall report directly to the Secretary/Head of the Organisation. His relationship with the line-functionaries may be clearly defined. The procedures necessary for his effective performance may also be clearly indicated.

  5. The name and designation of the Director of Grievances should be separately incorporated in the list of officers appearing in the local telephone directories.

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Courtesy: Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi And Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances Government of India

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