Fight against corruption: Govt directs departments to set up internal Vigilance setup 

The government has given directions to strengthen internal vigilance mechanism in all government departments and PSUs to reduce corruption.

A senior official said that the Chief Minister has opined that an effective internal mechanism, which measures inefficiency, inaction and abuse or misuse of power by officers in various government departments and PSUs, is a requirement for good governance. 

“In this regard the government has directed the departments to hold parallel enquiries against tainted officials, in addition to probe being held by anti-graft bodies,” he said.

 The official said that the government has also directed departments to hold their own enquiries against tainted officials once the anti-graft bodies register an FIR or even initiate preliminary enquiries against officials facing corruption charges.

“It has been seen that due to non-holding of departmental probe, there is no mention of corruption charges in annual performance reports of these officials. The government’s directives asking departments to hold own enquiries will also help the government to take action against tainted officials without waiting for outcome of anti-graft bodies probes,” the official maintained.

 He said that it has been directed that an administrative vigilance is set up in all departments including those of the Secretariat, all Public Sector Undertakings and other departments.

 The official said that the government has also directed to identify internal vigilance mechanism in government departments, PSUs or organizations at the district level towards zero tolerance to corruption.

 One of the officials in the civil secretariat said that it has been observed that the failure of the departmental heads in holding parallel probes was encouraging corruption in departments. 

“The anti-graft bodies don’t have adequate infrastructure and manpower to look into every case in every department,” the official said.

 As per Civil Service Conduct Rules, it is mandatory for departments to hold their own enquiries against the tainted officials and take action against officials if found guilty without waiting on the outcome of anti-graft bodies probe.

 The anti-graft bodies-State Vigilance Organization, Crime Branch, have been holding enquiries in corruption cases, the departments are not holding their own probe in most corruption cases, the officials said.

“In 90 percent cases, the departments are not holding parallel enquiries against tainted officials that is violation of the Civil Service Conduct Rules,” the official of the General Administration Department said. 

 The departmental vigilance officers and district vigilance officers have also been directed to adopt multi dimensional approach to check allegations of corruption against government officials. The duties of departmental vigilance officers and district vigilance officers are explicitly defined in Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Commission Rules, 2013. Their role is to check corruption in departments even based on any media report.

 An official of the State Vigilance Organization said, “Once the SVO look into the subject of the complaint, we sometime ask departments to hold own probe and send us the report.”

Sources said the lack of coordination by the departments with the anti-graft body was also putting halt to act against the tainted officials.

“The departments have been delaying to act against tainted officials despite the SVO seeking action against them after submitting their reports. Most of the departments have not been following the directions of the anti-graft bodies in corruption cases,” the official said.  

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