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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Power misuse suspected

N.J. Nair


Heads could create supernumerary posts

No auditing on whether norms were adhered to




Long hand of law: Abhilash Pillai and Suraj Krishna, accused in the job scam, arrive to surrender before the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court on Tuesday.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Misuse of powers delegated to heads of departments for creating supernumerary posts is feared to have paved the way for the job scam in the State.

Official sources told The Hindu on Tuesday that a thorough scrutiny of the posts created since the unification of the retirement date of government employees would bring to light more evidence about the job scam. But for delegating the authority to heads of departments for creating posts for addressing staff shortage, no effective auditing has been done to find out whether the norms laid by the government have been followed in the process.

As per the existing system, heads of departments will create the posts and report it to the Public Service Commission (PSC) so that it can be adjusted against the retirement vacancies arising on March 31. The powers were assigned to the department heads to ensure that the functioning of government offices does not get derailed due to staff shortage.

But this is suspected to have been misused at least in certain places. The job scam in Wayanad has given way to suspicion about the system of creating posts by department heads. Irregularities can be detected only by auditing the posts formed during the period.

Absence of a State-level mechanism for monitoring the functioning of district offices, mainly review of attendance in offices, has been cited as a major lapse. Loopholes in fixing the responsibility on those committing serious irregularities may have made things easy for those committing such malpractices.

The PSC's request for powers to audit the posting of staff can be meaningfully implemented only after fixing responsibility on those committing such irregularities. A physical verification will only help to a limited extent. The problem can be rooted out only by fixing the onus and initiating stringent action against the culprits, sources said.

Complaints of absenteeism in government offices in the backward districts of Wayanad, Idukki and Kasaragod are often not treated with due seriousness. In the absence of officers at the supervisory level, all major tasks, including the joining of newly recruited candidates, are being discharged by the subordinate staff, sources said.

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