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Babus chafe at 360-degree appraisal system

Babus chafe at 360-degree appraisal system
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Telangana IAS officials have upped the ante against the Union governments 360degree appraisal system introduced for the purpose of empanelment of...

Hyderabad: Telangana IAS officials have upped the ante against the Union government’s 360-degree appraisal system introduced for the purpose of empanelment of bureaucrats who could be sent on deputation to central services every year. Even senior IAS officials in the T state have expressed reservations about the woeful lack of transparency in the new evaluation process.

The new system, apart from seeking ACR (annual confidential reports), allows the Centre or the implementing agency- Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) -- to obtain feedback from different sections, including juniors of the officials working in the same department and outsiders like former legislators and retired bureaucrats on the performance of the officers.

Previously only ACRs prepared by their bosses were taken into consideration for deputation to central services. A senior IAS official, who did not want to be named, told The Hans India that the new system has a completely non-transparent process considering that officials do not know why they are being rejected or empanelled.

“The officials are strongly opposing the new system because the Centre will not disclose the feedback sought from different sections. There is every possibility of misuse of power under the new system, which came into force recently”, the official said.

Bureaucrats will be the victims if their subordinates and other stakeholders are biased while giving the feedback. The entire career of bureaucrats will be at stake if someone deliberately gives wrong feedback against the officials.

A senior bureaucrat said that the entire information gathered by the Centre about the official will remain anonymous. The 360-degree review also violates the Right To Information (RTI) Act as officials are denied access to the feedback.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice had also highlighted flaws in the new system; yet, the Centre is not ready to alter it. The new empanelment scheme is also against the spirit of democracy, officials reasoned.In the erstwhile system using ACR, officials had access to the entire report and enjoyed the right to stage a protest should they feel that the report is biased.

The ACR is prepared based on the submissions of an expert panel, which reviews officers’ entire service records and the previous annual reports, including the vigilance report.

Although there were allegations that some officials managed to get ‘good ACRs’ by appeasing pliant higher authorities, officials maintained that the chances of exploitation of the 360-degree evaluation against ‘non-friendly’ officials are high.

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