There is no doubt that administrative reforms are urgently needed inter alia to ensure proper delivery of goods and services to the people, sensitize bureaucracy to the needs of the people, reduce corruption and ensure accountability and generally bring out confidence in the government and its administration. Starting from 1950, several Administrative Reforms Commissions have deliberated on these issues and given several important recommendations. Somehow, many of the important
recommendations have remained unimplemented. That is why we have bureaucrats who have no security of tenure in their jobs and have to move from one job to another within a very short time, at the whims and fancies of the ruling elite. Consequently, bureaucrats are usually seen serving their political masters instead of the people. Systems of performance appraisal are very subjective; this, in turn, ensures that the efficient are not promoted, while sycophants and the undeserving usually do.
Implementation of the Recommendations of Administrative Reforms Commission
Ensure implementation of the recommendations of Administrative Reforms Commissions through strict monitoring and transparency. Though a separate Department of Administrative Reforms exists under the Ministry of Personnel in the
Government of India and in the State Governments, these bodies are usually dormant and unable to ensure timely and strict implementation of administrative reforms. The Lok Pal and Lok Ayuktas could be empowered to monitor and make public the status of implementation of Administrative Reforms.
Code of Ethics for Ministers/MPs/MLAs etc.
The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission has recommended that there should be Code of Ethics for Ministers/MPs/MLAs/other elected representatives. Government is not inclined to accept this recommendation since there already exists a Code of
Conduct. But it is well known that the Code of Conduct is not being observed by elected representatives in Parliament/State Legislatures. Government is, however, inclined to agree to another recommendation of the 2nd ARC to institute a Code of
Ethics for civil servants in addition to the existing Conduct Rules. This shows that Government believes in one standard for civil servants and another for elected representatives.
Prosecution for acts of criminal nature committed within Legislature/Parliament
Thanks to immunity from prosecution for acts of criminal nature committed within the Legislature/Parliament, unruly scenes involving elected representatives, denigrating the dignity of the House have been witnessed. The 2nd ARC has recommended that this immunity should be withdrawn. If this recommendation were accepted and implemented, the dignity of Parliament and Legislatures would be restored.
Performance of Elected Representatives to be Audited
People who vote for a candidate in elections have the right to monitor his/her performance and seek recall in case the candidate does not perform or under performs. This is the underlying power of democracy. Therefore, transparent systems should be developed by Government to monitor performance of elected representatives and made easily available to members of the public.