CS wants to clean up the mess
In his bid to clear the administrative mess, Chief Secretary Prasanna Kumar Mohanty has decided to streamline the system so that there would be no...
In his bid to clear the administrative mess, Chief Secretary Prasanna Kumar Mohanty has decided to streamline the system so that there would be no room for controversies with regard to GOs issued after the cabinet decisions. A It may be recalled that the 26 GOs issued during the Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy's regime had landed six ministers in trouble. While one minister Mopidevi Venkataramana is in jail, two others -- Dharmana Prasada Rao and Sabitha Indra Reddy -- had to resign as their names figure in the charge-sheet filed by CBI in cases regarding YS Jaganmohan Reddy's illegal assets cases
While the IAS officials claim that they had implemented the decisions approved by Cabinet, the ministers have been arguing that they had signed the files on the advice of the officers whose job is to carefully scrutinize the files and both are taking shelter under the business rules pushing the administration into a mess.A To avoid such controversies in future, the Chief Secretary wants the memorandum number 202 issued in April 2010 be strictly followed. It says, "In cases which concern more ministers than one, the ministers shall attempt by previous discussion to arrive at an agreement. If no agreement is reached, the memorandum shall state the points of difference and the recommendations of each minister concerned."
A case in point is a recent controversy wherein the officers had issued nine GOs without the consent of the Minister for Handloom and Textiles G Prasad Kumar.A In this backdrop, the Chief Secretary on May 23 issued a detail note along with six memos issued between December 16, 1992 and July 20, 2010 to the IAS officers quoting extracts from relevant provisions of Andhra Pradesh Government Business Rules and Secretariat Instructions. Sources said the Chief Secretary obtained all the memos issued by most of his predecessors and compiled them as a file and sent it to all the principal secretaries and secretaries.
The first memo on indicating certain defects was issued by the then Chief Secretary D Aurora on December 16, 1992 which said, "Of late, it is noticed that the memoranda for the council of ministers received from department secretaries contains defects such as not indicating the subject matter and the points on which decision of the Cabinet is sought is not precisely brought out".
PV Rao, Chief Secretary in 1991, in a memo sent a check list to all the department heads to be followed in the cabinet meetings. Rao explained the rules, instructions relating to preparation of memorandum for placing before the meeting of the council of ministers and government business rules and secretariat instructions.A As per the Business Rule 15(1), "If the Minister concerned considers the matter to be of great importance and requires approval of the Council, prior approval of Chief Minister should be taken for bringing it up at the meeting of the council of ministers".
P Ramakanth Reddy who was the Chief Secretary during the YSR regime noted, "If a department obtains approval of the council of ministers through circulation method (short circuit method), they should invariably obtain a resolution from the council on the return of the file from Chief Minister, duly signed by the chief secretary. Earlier, another Chief Secretary S V Prasad too issued a memorandum on April 9 and April 17, 2010 on the Business Rules to the principal secretaries and secretaries asking them to strictly comply with the provisions of the AP Government Business Rules and Secretariat Instructions.
He had also found fault with the officers who were not following the business rules on cabinet decisions. Citing all the memos, Mohanty in his note said, "In spite of all the above instructions, it has been found that the officers were not following them resulting in discrepancies and requested them to bestow their personal attention while drafting the Memorandum given to the Ministers before the cabinet meeting.
A Ravindra Seshu