Policy for the Bureaucracy – New Laws, Rules and Governance Prototype .

It is the declared intent of The Rising India Party to rectify the functioning of the bureaucracy, its Rule Books and Laws on an urgent basis such that a culture of meritocracy and incentivized working and rewards system, commensurate with position and work delivery, take root in the national governing system. These actions would be initiated immediately on winning elections.

The new operational paradigm would be framed by involving the best minds, resources and human resource talent available to the country, from within government and from the wider public domain. These people would be picked based on past record, holistic merit assessment and experience to together write and firm up this new paradigm in a deep-well-thought-through approach involving diverse minds having integrity of intent and action. The starting point of this exercise is discussed and laid out here.

The proposed Rules and Laws discussed below would be in the public domain for wide debate prior to finalization and would form part of a referendum for the laws and changes proposed in this new party document prior to their becoming Law. The proposed sequence of action and the core contours of these Laws and Rules are as described below:

  1.  The government would set up Audit Board and Plans Board Groups, simultaneously to undertake an audit of the various departments or verticals of various Ministries falling under the charge of the government officer’s functional domains. These Groups would examine the laws and rules that are in place to regulate the functioning of the bureaucracy.
  2. The Groups formed would include representation from the civil services, and a mix that would have people from various backgrounds and experience. For example, if the Group comprises 10 people, it could be constituted such that there are three from the civil services, three from the legal fraternity and four from the members of the public comprising highly intelligent, educated and experienced individuals, that could be easily identified from within the public and private sectors.
  3. However, this composition is only suggestive and can be amended to suit within the principle that the working groups cannot be very large, must be practical, diverse in make-up, and must have time bound deliverable targets.
  4. A full line by line review of the laws and rulebooks that govern the civil services including those of the IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS, state civil services would be individually undertaken by working groups set up for each arm of the concerned government services comprising people from a diversity of background, experience and education.
  5. The Audit process would be to undertaken with the view to retain those that are still relevant and make practical sense while all those rules and / or laws that are antiquated, are patently not fair for the public, and not consistent with the civilizational narrative of India, would be dropped immediately as not relevant for the 21st century democracy that we are.
  6. All rules that create and cause stress through threat mechanisms, and that go against the narrative of “nature of nature”, or natural law, and behaviors that promote back-scratching cronyism, will be slated for removal from the rule and law books.
  7. The government would introduce new rules and laws that would regulate the behavior and functioning of the civil services; who are the servants of the public; even as they exercise power and implement the people, the government’s policies, for balancing of which, an incentive reward system is to be built into the new service structure and operational frames.
  8. The government would build strong public oversight into the governance architecture such that all Ministries, departments and sections would have public oversight cells installed within and functioning from within the spaces occupied by these.
  9. These cells could largely function as part time or a combination of full-time and part time public staff.
  10. Public oversight would be built around Citizen cells that would be formed, comprising citizens picked at random for one or two-year stints. These cells would get an overview look-in into the functioning of the bureaucracy and would form the first point of public receiving public complaints.
  11. The cells would also provide for volunteers who come in at any time to check in as to the working atmosphere and the state of functional play within each department / ministry.
  12. All complaints would be examined and investigated by these cells briefly to ascertain that these are genuine or a case of harassment prior to being passed on to the internal Audit Groups tasked with tacking such issues prior to any kind of prosecution.
  13. All accused would have ample chance to present their side of the story.
  14. The practice of government servants having permanency of tenure rules inherited from the time of British Rule, which prevent any government servant from being dismissed, or otherwise investigate or disciplined without the assent of the concerned department head or the President, will be immediately dispensed with.
  15. Government servants would have to function under similar rules that apply in the private sector wherein any member of the bureaucracy who is found to be inefficient, guilty of certain stipulated misconduct including consistently unethical behavior, nonperformance, corruption or consistent bad attitude, being unhelpful, or causing delays and related problems related to work and decision making would be subject of departmental and / or external enquiries and would be subject to reprimand, disciplinary action and even dismissal from service, in cases where the assessment is that these issues are of a serious nature.
  16. Consistent inability to take decisions causing unnecessary delays in meeting performance parameters, especially on issues or projects of national security or importance would not be tolerated, and would be cause of disciplinary action.
  17. If the annual review process throws up an overall negative performance story, and / or if there are a pre-defined number of public complaints relating to the officers functioning, such an official would be put on notice for downgrading or premature exit / retirements.
  18. There would be three cautionary notices, the fourth one would be a warning and after that if the behavior is repeated, the person would be open for action leading to being fired with or without the benefits of severance unless they have served for a period of 10 years in which case prorate pension or other benefits can be conceived and set in place for a period of time.
  19. All complaints by the public or colleagues would invite a simultaneous examination, via polygraph assisted interviews to ensure that these are not motivated or otherwise false to prevent harassment of government officers.
  20. All government servants, who have public interfacing roles, will have to have as part of their annual review, a public review of their services.
  21. The public review would be from randomly selected members of the public who have on the record contacted or have been in contact with such officials and their report of their experience of the official would form an integral part of the annual reporting.
  22. As part of the annual assessment and evaluation process, would be done by the line manager and as would be the current practice however in the case of civil servants above a certain level or structured in different levels should be subjected to a short interface with the public panels who would give their reports.
  23. The annual review should also have their psychometric profiles as an essential element as part of their reviews.
  24. All key positions that have national security elements in their roles, would also have to work through an interview process with polygraph based conversations to evaluate the truthfulness or otherwise of these officials prior to appointment to such sensitive roles.
  25.  All psychometric evaluation, assessment and polygraph tests evaluations assessments would be subject to reviews to defined parameters should be officer who has had a negative wish to have a such a review.
  26. The rules governing such eventualities would be framed in detail after due discussion and consultation with legal experts and the public.
  27. The concerned personnel would get a full hearing and opportunity to clear the charges and their names. They would also be faced with their accusers.
  28. These Policies would form part of the Policy Referendum that the party will hold immediately and within 30 days after winning elections prior to implementation.
  29. On winning the Policy Referendum, if these require constitutional amendments, The Rising India Party will push for these constitutional amendments so as to change the civil services narrative of governance so that the Indian people and their interests are supreme over those of the politicians and bureaucrats.
  30. The Rising India party, is committed to putting the Indian Public at the center stage of the governance matrix
  31. The Rising India Party takes the position that lifelong tenures are to be earned.
  32. Perhaps a model of renewable time contracts of say 5-10years with annual reviews, and built in renewal type contracts may be looked at for certain positions while maintaining permanent positions for others or something similar that is dependent on delivery of the position’s mandate.
  33. Meritocracy and Ethics must be promoted within the New Deal Rule Book and Laws of a modern India.
  34. As part of the revamp of the bureaucracy, all bureaucrats would be offered voluntary retirement within the designation packages; subject to full disclosure within the ambit of the announced amnesty.
  35. The performances and backgrounds of all reserved category inductees into the bureaucracy, would be examined by citizen committees as formed to assess the wealth accumulation based on a before-after appointment asset and wealth scenario that has happened since these people joined government service as also performance delivered in their roles.
  36. All officers will have the opportunity to voluntary declare and disclose all monies that they have earned through various corrupt practices of accepting bribes or commissions or having shares in projects that they had the power to sanction in tandem with others to escape future prosecution.
  37. For the purpose of this exercise any member of their extended family which will include the first cousins from both mothers and fathers side as well as their uncles and aunts both from their mothers and fathers side would be within the ambit of the examination of the increase of wealth subject to voluntary disclosure and full earnestly guaranteed by a constitutional amendment if required.
  38. All the public servants would be held accountable for their roles and work delivery, and there would be public oversight and transparent connect with the public.
  39. Audit Groups duly constituted with and including public representation, would have the authority to call for any action including removal from service.  
  40. The government would move to set the System to Performance and Integrity Frameworks for the entire government workforce to-down; where regular and wide 360-degree review processes would be tweaked to include public oversight groups
  41. These are to be put in place and implemented to identify and promote meritorious people within the system.
  42. Merit based Promotions based on 360 degree Assessments is to be the law and regulations would be so amended.
  43. The rules would be changed to allow for induction of suitably qualified people from the wider public including the “private sector” into the civil services, either on time bound contracts or even for permanent positions.
  44. Thus, the only entry point would not be the civil service exams, another system hangover from the British Raj.
  45. Resolutions of the nation’s problems are possible in addressing all these issues of governance in a transparent, holistic, practical way. A line-by-line, department-by-department, and service-by-service look will be mandated.
  46. The Rising India Party government recognizes that no solutions are possible without the widespread active and continuous involvement of the public, of experienced and high achieving individuals and concerned citizens from all walks of life.
  47. Only when the governance paradigm is sorted to deliver high quality, prompt, ethical power exercise, can India experience and be seen to be truly independent and progressive such that poverty, dependency and weakness, becomes a distant public memory.
  48. Only then can the system evolve to quickly sort out prickly issues that fuel all the forces that become the precursors of economic and social disruption and deprivation, the extreme result of which is terrorism and it’s oft suffered consequences.

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