NEED OF REFORMS:
Presently Government offices generate a lot of paper work in the form of reports/returns, extended file movement in many cases for clarification of some minor query, which could have been avoided. Tedious procedures for disposing dak, improper filing and the tendency amongst officials to correspond only through the medium of the written word, even in cases where requisite information could be easily gathered by phone, personal interaction, etc. Such tendencies are a major cause of delay and reduce the level of efficiency in Government offices.
Personnel administration should not only attend to personnel matters but also improve the general management, which can accelerate the efficiency of operations. It is in this very sense that the Government of India and many State governments have combined the departments of personnel with the Departments of administrative reforms, so that the two can interact fruitfully.
Management improvement is a continuous process, and it cannot be achieved overnight. The main responsibility for effecting improvements in administration lies with the administrators themselves. However, we must always keep in mind that administrative reforms are implemented only if they command sufficient support of the personnel. Administrative reforms may be politically necessary or socially desirable, but unless they are administratively feasible and bureaucratically acceptable, they will prove sterile.
All reforms require a clear vision, committed leadership and sustained effort to bring about systemic changes in organisations, so that their performance is improved and they create better ways of delivering services to the public. There is need to harness the innate creative and innovative abilities of seniors, colleagues and subordinates, so that there is a collective and collaborative initiative to bring about economic changes that are imperative for re-establishing the credibility of the Government.
We are now in the threshold of the twenty-first century. In the new Millennium, above all, the Government would need to relevant itself to become 'citizen-centric' and 'citizen-friendly'. It would need to limit its role to core functions such as security, law and order, social services, creation of infrastructure and macro-economic management. Greater delegation and decentralisation of authority and responsibilities would need to be introduced at all levels. A combination of Citizens' Charters and the Right to Information would ensure greater accountability in the administrative system. The process of consultation with the participation of citizens in decision-making would gradually become more pronounced in order to ensure accountability. At the same time, good citizenry would also need to be emphasised for all round development of the society. Besides enjoying their rights, the citizens would need to behave responsibly and perform their duties towards the state. Clearly defined ethical standards would also need to be adopted by the civil servants as well as politicians. In order to achieve all this, innovative use of information technology would be critical.