JK issues guidelines on records damaged by floods

Srinagar: As records of some departments in the Civil Secretariat here and outside have been damaged by recent devastating floods, the government has issued guidelines for reconstruction and rebuilding of the records.
“Where service records of an employee have been damaged, a photocopy of the Service Book, duly attested from time to time, if available with the employee in terms of Article 268 (A) of the J&K CSR and subject to the condition contained therein, this may form the basis for preparation of the duplicate Service Book,” a government order reads.
However, it said, the entries particularly with reference to the date of birth, qualification, date of appointment etc., should be cross-checked from the certificates/the other records including SLI policies that may be available with such official, the government, the SSB or PSC or any other document to be considered authentic.
Another guideline regarding Service Books states that the employees invariably maintain records of various orders issued by the departments involving transfer and postings, promotions etc. These records should be obtained from such/other employees for purposes of recording various entries, after cross-checking with other information available.
“In case photocopies of the Service Book are not available, necessary records may be reconstructed on the basis of the original certificates and the information on the basis of the source(s) as mentioned above. Some service details may be available with the concerned Administrative Department as well.”
Details of the punishments, if any, imposed upon any official can be collected from various sources, including the superior/subordinate offices, the order said.
“The details of prosecution sanctioned against the employees of the departments can be obtained from GAD (Vig), Vigilance Organization. The administrative departments or competent authority should verify the details of the employees, who were, otherwise due to retire during 2013, 2014 and 2015, out of the lists already notified earlier (which did not have effect due to enhancement in the retirement age),” it said.
This shall be done in order to eliminate the possibility of any such employee taking benefit of the damages or loss caused to the service records and to tamper with records pertaining to the date of birth with a view to continuing in service beyond the normal date of superannuation, it said.
“In due course of time, it said, the departments should have the date of birth certificates of the affected employees verified from the Board of School Education/the concerned university, as the case may be.”
The damaged or available photocopy of the Service Book should be annexed with the newly prepared Service Book by the department, it added.
As per guidelines regarding retrieving of damaged or destroyed documents, the government said that the records damaged and now available after proper clean up operations, be inventorized/digitized, in the first instance. The list of destroyed records be also prepared/digitized.
“The departmental committees may be constituted for bifurcating the records into very old, old and current categories, and to make recommendations for weeding out of the very old records on case-to-case basis and such other old records as may not be relevant now.
“It would, however, be left open to the committees to consider which record is to be weeded out depending upon the actual requirement of such records in the departments concerned,” the order said.
Such files, which are important, like government order/SRO registers/Acts/Notifications/Circulars/ acquitance Rolls/Cash Books/Drawal Registers/ Stock Registers etc. and considered to be “Master Documents/Files” should be retained by the departments.
“The current files damaged should be preserved and a process initiated for re-construction/re-building of such files, based on whatever information is preserved in the damaged files.
“Some departments are expected to have digitized the records and there should be no alibi in such cases that the records have been destroyed/damaged.” The hard copies of the files should be downloaded immediately for re-building the records, as the case may be.
The government also asked heads of the department to furnish a list of the damaged records/completely destroyed records to the Administrative Secretaries. The heads of the departments shall, however, maintain such details in respect of their subordinate offices, it said.
The list of the records damaged/destroyed shall also be put in the public domain, as far as possible and in view of the computerized records available with it, the G.P. Fund Cell of the Civil Secretariat may consider issuance of the G.P. Fund Schedules for 2013-14 afresh to all the Secretariat employees. Similarly, the G. P. Fund Cells outside the Secretariat may take the similar action, it further said. The concerned departments/administrative departments shall coordinate with each other for purposes of information sharing and re-construction of the records as it is expected that copies of most of the office records must be available in the subordinate offices and vice- versa.
“All the departments will take necessary steps towards digitization of their records, if not done so far,” it added.