The Annual Conference of Secretaries of Administrative Reforms Departments of States/UTs began this morning. Organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), this is the second such Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is “Outcome Oriented Civil Service”. Shri Prithiraj Chavan, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions and PMO inaugurated the Conference. In his address, the Minister said that the annual Conference had been mooted to provide a national platform to improve public service delivery system and also to make it transparent and effective. Outcome oriented civil service is central in this regard and the Conference would help promote this as the Centre and the States representatives deliberate issues across the board. The Minister urged the States to focus their attention on the recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Commission implement them wherever possible. He expressed confidence that a definite progress could be made in this regard in a specific timeframe.
Shri Chavan informed that DARPG will be launching a improved public governance redressal system shortly. E-governance will be substantially rolled out in all government departments very soon, he added. The Minister said that reforms in governance have been among the focus areas of UPA Government and administrative reforms are an integral part of this. Shri Chavan said that Results Framework Documents (RFD) is a new initiative launched by the Government under which targets are set for the delivery of those involved in the Service Delivery System at various levels, and objective parameters are defined to assess the achievements. The Centre has implemented RFD in 62 departments and it is hoped that in States and UTs also it will be rolled out soon.
Secretary, DARPG, Shri R.C. Mishra in his welcome address outlined the need for sustained reforms in administration. He said that administrative reforms are high among our priorities for ensuring effective, just and honest governance for developmental momentum in achieving the millennium achievement goals. The thrust areas in governance reform are transparency, a strong mechanism for accountability and efficient delivery of public services. Also there is a need to enhance the productivity of civil services by providing an appropriate work environment. Shri Mishra called for a new work culture in the civil services that would be citizen-centric rather than procedure oriented.
He said that a new paradigm has emerged with the growing desire for a quality service on the part of citizenry calling for an active and focused engagement of government to make services work. Shri Mishra said, DARPG has forwarded the accepted recommendations of the ARC reports to the State Governments and UTs for implementation. The interest of good governance would be served if the States/UTs take proactive measures to implement the accepted recommendations. He felt that increased degree of engagement by the Stats/UTs is needed to further consolidate and sustain the momentum of reforms in the public administration and governance. Shri Mishra stressed the need for coordination in efforts between Centre and the States/UTs so that various practical models of replication of the innovative practices can be evolved.
In the first plenary session, a panel discussion on `Outcome Oriented Civil Service – Way Ahead’ was held. The panelists for the session were Secretary, DARPG, Shri R.C. Misra, Deputy CAG Dr. A,K. Banerjee and Advisor ISRO, Shri S. K. Das. The second plenary focused on the implementation of ARC recommendations in respect of the 12th Report – Citizen – Centric Administration. In the third session, presentations were made by the Secretaries of AR Departments of the states highlighting the reforms undertaken by the states.
The Conference aims to create a national platform to share experience of the states in the field of reforms/initiatives undertaken by the departments of Administrative Reforms in the state/union territories to improve public service delivery, make the administration effective, transparent, accountable and citizen-friendly. It will also provide a forum for the A R departments of the States/UTs to highlight the challenges faced by them and their expectations from the Department of AR &PG, Government of India.