Chapter 15: Second Administrative Reforms Commission Part IX

  • Good Governance and Citizen Centric Administration

  • Introduction

    1. The concept of good governance is not new. Kautilya in his treatise Arthashastra elaborated the traits of the king of a well governed State

    2. Mahatma Gandhi had propounded the concept of `Su-raj'

    3. The 4 pillars on which the edifice of good governance rests, in essence are:

      1. Ethos (of service to the citizen),

      2. Ethics (honesty, integrity and transparency),

      3. Equity (treating all citizens alike with empathy for the weaker sections), and

      4. Efficiency (speedy and effective delivery of service without harassment and using ICT increasingly).

  • Citizens are thus at the core of good governance and are inextricably linked.

  • Perceptions about Governance in India

    1. Public administration in India is generally perceived to be unresponsive, insensitive and corrupt.

    2. The Sixth Central Pay Commission

      1. For the common man, bureaucracy denotes routine and repetitive procedures, paper work and delays.

      2. Non-performance of the administrative structures, poor service quality and lack of responsiveness, and the subjective and negative abuse of authority have eroded trust in governance systems which needs to be restored urgently.

    3. Fifth Central Pay Commission

      1. However, if one speaks to any enlightened member of the public he has several complaints against the public services. These relate to their size, productivity, accountability, transparency and integrity.

  • Barriers to Good Governance

    1. Attitudinal Problems of the Civil Servants

    2. Lack of Accountability

    3. Seldom are disciplinary proceedings initiated against delinquent government servants and imposition of penalties is even more rare.

    4. Red Tapism

    5. Low levels of Awareness of the Rights and Duties of Citizens

    6. Low levels of compliance of Rules by the citizens also acts as an impediment to good governance

    7. A vigilant citizenry, fully aware of its rights as well its duties, is perhaps the best way to ensure that officials as well as other citizens, discharge their duties effectively and honestly.

    8. Ineffective Implementation of Laws and Rules

  • While the laws made by the Legislature may be sound and relevant, very often they are not properly implemented by government functionaries.

  • Necessary Pre-conditions for Good Governance

    1. Sound legal framework.

    2. Robust institutional mechanism

    3. Competent personnel staffing

    4. Right policies for decentralization, delegation and accountability.

    5. number of tools can also be employed to make administration citizen centric.

    6. Re-engineering processes to make governance `citizen centric'.

    7. Adoption of appropriate modern technology.

    8. Right to information.

    9. Citizens' charters.

    10. Independent evaluation of services.

    11. Grievance redressal mechanisms.

    12. Active citizens' participation public-private partnerships.

  • The central idea of subsidiarity is that citizens as sovereigns and stakeholders in a democracy are the final decision-makers.

  • Core Principles for Making Governance Citizen Centric

    1. Rule of Law - Zero Tolerance Strategy

    2. Strategy should be institutionalized in the various public agencies by creating appropriate statistical databases, backed up by modern technology, to monitor the level and trends of various types of offences

    3. Making Institutions Vibrant, Responsive and Accountable

    4. Rule of Law' requires institutions - which are adequately empowered, properly structured and have the right quality of personnel and resources at their disposal for effective implementation.

    5. Active Citizens' Participation Decentralization and Delegation

    6. Transparency

    7. Civil Service Reforms

    8. Ethics in Governance

  • Process Reforms

    1. These include well designed citizens' charters with in-built penalties for non-adherence to commitments

    2. Periodic & Independent Evaluation of the Quality of Governance

    3. Single Window System for Delivery of Services

  • One of the ways in which governments across the world have approached efficient and effective service delivery to citizens (and businesses) is by adopting a `single window system'.

  • Single Window Multi Channel Government (SWMCG) Germany

  • One approach allows a service providing organization to re-engineer its processes

  • Another approach is to establish an organization which would create an infrastructure through which different government organizations are able to provide services to citizens at a single point of delivery.

  • In India also the National Portal ( provides an interface to a large number of government organizations at the Union and State levels.

  • Recommendations

    1. Government agencies, whether regulatory or developmental, should introduce the Single Window Agency concept within their organisations to minimize delays and maximize convenience to citizens.

    2. Developmental Functions of Government

    3. The principle of subsidiarity should be followed while deciding on the implementation machinery for any programme.

    4. Citizens should be actively involved in all stages of these programmes i.e. planning, implementation and monitoring.

    5. Mandatory social audit should be carried out for all progrmames.

    6. Impact assessment should be carried out for all programmes at periodic intervals.

  • Citizen's Charter

  • A Citizens' Charter is basically a set of commitments made by an organization regarding the standards of service which it delivers. Revised in 1998 as nine principles of service delivery

    1. Set standards of service;

    2. Be open and provide full information;

    3. Consult and involve;

    4. Encourage access and promote choice;

    5. Treat all fairly;

    6. Put things right when they go wrong;

    7. Use resources effectively;

    8. Innovate and improve; and

    9. Work with other providers.

  • The Charter Mark - The Charter Mark Scheme was introduced

    1. Need for citizens and staff to be consulted at every stage of formulation

    2. Orientation of staff about the salient features and goals/ objectives of the Charter

    3. Need for creation of database on consumer grievances and redress,

    4. Need for wider publicity of the Charter

    5. Earmarking of specific budgets for awareness generation

    6. Replication of best practices in this field.

  • Indian Institute of Public Administration's evaluation (2008)

  • There was lack of precision on standards and commitments in several cases.

  • There is often little interest shown by the organizations in adhering to their Charter.

  • frozen in time.

  • There was general lack of accountability and review mechanisms.

  • Recommendations

    1. Citizens' Charters should be made effective by adopting the following principles

    2. One size does not fit all.

    3. Citizens' Charter should be prepared for each independent unit under the overall umbrella of the organisations' charter.

    4. Wide consultation which include Civil Society in the process.

    5. Firm commitments to be made, Redressal mechanism in case of default.

    6. Periodic evaluation of Citizens' Charters,

    7. Benchmark using end-user feedback, Hold officers accountable for results.

  • The Sevottam Model

    1. Sevottam is a Service Delivery Excellence Model which provides an assessment- improvement framework to bring about excellence in public service delivery.

    2. The Sevottam model works as an evaluation mechanism to assess the quality of internal processes and their impact on the quality of service delivery.

    3. The Sevottam model has three modules (Indian Standard IS: 15700: 2005).

    4. The first component of the model requires effective Charter implementation

    5. The second component of the model, `Public Grievance Redress' requires a good grievance redressal system

    6. The third component `Excellence in Service Delivery', postulates that an organization efficiently manages well the key ingredients for good service delivery and building its own capacity to continuously improve service delivery.

    7. Require further strengthening and refinement.

    8. The focus is largely on process standards rather than service standards.

    9. It is a voluntary initiative.

  • The ARC Seven Step Model for Citizen Centricity

    1. Define all services which you provide and identify your clients.

    2. Set standards and norms for each service.

    3. Develop capability to meet the set standards.

    4. Perform to achieve the standards

    5. Monitor performance against the set standards.

    6. Evaluate the impact through an independent mechanism.

    7. Continuous improvement based on monitoring and evaluation results.

  • Citizen's Participation - Peoples' Participation in Governance

    1. Active citizens' participation can contribute to good governance in the following ways:

    2. It enables citizens to demand accountability

    3. Make government programmes and services more effective and sustainable.

    4. Enables the poor and marginalized to influence public policy and service delivery

    5. Promote healthy, grassroots democracy.

    6. They are seen as equal stake holders in the development process.

  • Mechanisms for citizens' participation

    1. Citizens seeking information;

    2. Citizens giving suggestions

    3. Citizens demanding better services;

    4. Citizens holding service providers and other government agencies' accountable; and

    5. Active citizens' participation in administration/decision making.

  • Social Audit

    1. Social audit generally refers to engagement of the stakeholders in measuring the achievement of objectives under any or all of the activities of a government organization, especially those pertaining to developmental goals.

    2. It helps to have an understanding of an activity from the perspective of the people in society for whom the institutional/administrative system is designed and to improve upon it.

    3. The whole process is intended as a means for social engagement, transparency and communication of information, leading to greater accountability of decision- makers, representatives, managers and officials. It can be a continuous process covering all the stages of the target activity/programme.

  • Encouraging Citizens' Participation - The following steps are necessary:

    1. A comprehensive review of policy and practice in each department/public agency

    2. Modifying administrative procedures where necessary

    3. Entrustment of the function of institutionalizing citizens' participation in governance to a senior level officer

  • Performance management reviews to incorporate effectiveness in ensuring citizens' participation in governance:

  • Examples:

  • `City Connect' in Chennai and Bengaluru, by Janaagraha

  • `Bhagidari' by Government of NCT of Delhi

  • Decentralization and Delegation

  • History of Decentralisation in India

    1. The first major step towards decentralization was when some powers and functions were devolved on the Provincial Government by the Government of India Act, 1919.

  • The Government of India Act, 1935, carried this process further.

  • Decentralisation is defined as: - the transfer of decision making power and assignment of accountability and responsibility for results. It is accompanied by delegation of commensurate authority to individuals or units at all levels of an organization

  • `Reinventing Government' David Osborne and Ted Gaebler put forth a view that governments should be creative, market oriented, decentralized, and focused on offering their customers the highest quality services.

  • Meaning of Delegation - Delegation is primarily about entrusting one's authority to others

  • Chester Barnard first enunciated the principle of delegation in the context of effective administration

  • Delegation of authority is immensely challenging for all supervisors because it involves effective communication, motivation, goal setting and behaviour modification.

  • Benefits of Delegation

    1. Saves time, Grooms and motivates a successor

    2. Develops people, Increases productivity.

    3. Provides more time to superiors for constructive review

  • Barriers to Effective Delegation

    1. Reluctance by the superior to delegate:

    2. Lacks trust in others.

    3. Feels that subordinates will get credit which he deserves.

    4. Finds it difficult to monitor and supervise.

    5. Reluctance by the subordinates to accept delegation:

    6. they find it easier to ask, than to take their own initiative.

    7. Want to avoid possible criticism

    8. Fear of making mistakes.

  • Facilitators of Delegation

    1. Transparency, Open communication.

    2. Subordinates are made to feel important.

    3. Authority is equated with responsibility.

    4. Acceptance of responsibility and good performance is rewarded

    5. A culture of trust and risk-taking is developed.

    6. Constructive feedback is given.

    7. Standards to measure and evaluate performance are prescribed in advance.

  • How to Delegate

    1. Clearly articulate the desired outcomes

    2. Clearly identify constraints and extent of authority, responsibility, and accountability.

    3. Where possible, include people in the delegation process.

    4. Match the responsibility with communicate authority.

    5. Delegate to the lowest level in the organization capable of performing the task.

    6. Provide adequate support, Focus on results.

    7. Avoid upward delegation, Build motivation and commitment

    8. Establish and maintain control.

  • Grievance Redressal Mechanism - IS 15700: 2005 defines `grievance' as an expression of dissatisfaction made to an organization related to its products, services and/or process(es), where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected.

  • Grievance Redressal Mechanisms in India

    1. Institutional mechanisms like the CVC, and the Lokayuktas

    2. Reserve Bank of India

    3. Structure of Grievance Redressal Machinery at the National Level

    4. there are primarily two designated nodal agencies in the Union Government handling these grievances.

    5. Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions.

    6. Directorate of Public Grievances, Cabinet Secretariat. Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances

  • The role of the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances is primarily to undertake citizen-centric initiatives in the fields of administrative reforms and public grievances to enable the Government machinery to deliver quality public service to citizens in a hassle-free manner and eliminate the causes of grievance.29

  • Centralized Public Grievances Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS)

    1. The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances launched the CPGRAMS in 2007

    2. CPGRAMS provides the facility to lodge a grievance `online' from any geographical location.

    3. It enables the citizen to track online his/her grievance being followed up with departments concerned and also enables the DAR&PG to monitor the grievance.

    4. The Commission is of the view that a similar system should be installed at the State and district levels

    5. Similar concepts have already been tried in several States, for example, the Lokvani in Uttar Pradesh.

  • Directorate of Public Grievances (DPG)

    1. was set up in the Cabinet Secretariat with effect from 01.04.88

    2. Unlike the Department of AR&PG, the Directorate of Public Grievances has been empowered to call officers and files to see if the grievance handling has been done in a fair, objective and just manner.

  • Grievance Redressal Machinery in the States

    1. Chief Ministers' office generally have a public grievance cell

    2. Some Chief Ministers hold regular public hearings and also use the electronic media

    3. At the district level, the District Magistrate is normally designated as the District Public Grievance Officer.

  • Analysis of the Existing Public Grievance System in Government of India

    1. Public grievance redressal and monitoring system in the Union Ministries and Departments (IIPA, 2008)

    2. There is considerable variation across organizations in the number of grievances received, disposed of and pending

    3. Ministries and Departments have been advised to observe one day in the week as a meetingless day.

    4. Set up social audit panels for examining areas of public interface.

    5. Public Grievance Cells often suffer from shortage of staff and resources.

    6. Several Ministries/Departments do not detect or note public grievances appearing in newspapers for suo motu redressal actions

    7. No efforts are made to hold satisfaction surveys Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice,

    8. People are not aware that a system of redressal exists in many of the Government departments and its subordinate offices where they are required to visit.

  • International Experience

    1. Swedish Constitution of 1809 established the Parliamentary Ombudsman of Sweden, Justitieombudsmannen, as an independent institution of Parliament

    2. In Sri Lanka, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman) is a constitutional appointment and is charged with the duty of investigating and reporting upon complaints or allegations of the infringement of fundamental rights and other injustices by public officers, local authorities and other similar institutions.

  • A Strong Internal Grievance Redressal Mechanism

  • Standing Committee of Parliament recommended that the public grievances mechanism should be backed by a law similar to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005

    1. Grievances could thus be categorized into three broad groups

      1. grievances arising out of abuse of ofice and corruption on the part of public functionaries,

      2. grievances arising out of systemic deficiencies within an organization

      3. grievances arising from non- fulfillment of needs/demands

    2. The Union and the State Governments should issue directions asking all public authorities to designate public grievance officers on the lines of the Public Information Officers

    3. All grievance petitions should be satisfactorily disposed of by these officers within thirty days.

    4. Non-adherence to the time limit should invite financial penalties.

    5. Each organization should also designate an appellate authority and devolve adequate powers

    6. Analysis and Identification of Grievance Prone Areas

  • Special Institution Mechanisms

    1. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Human Rights Commission, etc.

    2. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was constituted in 1994 following the enactment of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993

    3. The Act defines `human rights' to mean rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India

  • Recommendations:

    1. A common format for making complaints before various statutory Commissions should be devised in consultation with each other.

    2. Each statutory Commission should create an electronic database prospectively

    3. The Human Rights Commission {as defined in Section 3(3), PHRA} should lay down norms to deal with complaints by the most appropriate Commission.

    4. The Union and State Governments should take proactive steps in dealing with serious offences like custodial deaths/rapes etc on priority so that their occurrence diminishes over the years.

    5. In the smaller States, a single `multi-role' Commission may be constituted