Improving efficiency: Haryana attempts to cut bureaucratic flab

Aimed at cutting the bureaucratic flab to right size, the Haryana government has initiated an exercise to rationalise the organisational structure and modify service rules based on redefined framework. The exercise will also examine the adoption of information and communication technology to streamline deliverables, officials said.

The state government every month spends about ₹2,600 crore on the salaries and pensions of government employees. The two non-plan expenditure components eat about 40% of the revenue receipts of the government.

Officials said that the rationalisation exercise would be initially undertaken in 39 government departments. Some of them are town and country planning, industries and commerce, excise and taxation, transport, urban local bodies, higher education, school education, elementary education, technical education, public works, agriculture, irrigation, development and panchayats, food, civil supplies and consumer affairs, supplies and disposal, information and public relations, sports, tourism, skill development, forests, social justice, mines and geology.

Eight administrative secretaries in the rank of additional chief secretary and principal secretary and two IAS officers posted in the chief minister’s office have been allocated theses 39 departments to examine the organisational structures and service rules and propose modifications. They are expected to submit their reports by January 31.

“The expected outcomes entailed examining existing posts, designations and their charter of duties, identification of areas of work of departments and their field offices, overlap between departments, studying adoption of information and communication technologies to streamline departmental deliverables and its impact on organisation structure and human resource availability,’” said an official quoting from a letter issued by the state government.

Rightsizing exercise often hit roadblocks

However, such rightsizing exercises have often hit hurdles. Referring to a similar exercise conducted earlier, the finance department in 2009 pointed out that a large number of administrative departments did not follow the restructuring and rightsizing exercise.

“Instances have come to finance department notice that some posts which were kept in diminishing cadre (with a ban on future recruitment or promotions) proposals were being sent to the department of their revival. Such proposals were departure from the agreed outcome of the said exercise of restructuring on the same pretext that was considered and denied at the time of restructuring. The exercise of restructuring was a comprehensive exercise and the departments were fully involved and their views duly considered. The exercise of restructuring the staffing pattern was a complete re-engineering in the matters of pattern of staffing of the department,” said a finance department communication dated January 21, 2009 .

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