Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 04 June 2023 2.08 PM IST

Grievances of secretaries


Grievances are not limited to the public. Government secretaries, who are assigned to deal with these, also have complaints. Recently, they got an opportunity to open up about this in front of the Chief Minister. The chief minister called the meeting to seek the opinion of the department secretaries regarding the improvement of the administration. The secretaries opened up that nothing much is going on at the office. Most of the secretaries said that they are not able to take independent decisions or bring reforms. They pointed out that if this goes on, the work of the secretariat will become inactive. The main complaint is that the bottlenecks of the finance and local departments often cause endless delays in file movement and create a deadlock.

The finance department has long been researching how to block a file from getting ahead. All one has to do is forward the file to the finance department to ensure that things don't go through. The officer responsible for delaying a file receives no reduction in salary or allowance and instead will be credited for finding new excuses. File transfer will not be smooth unless this attitude is changed.

One has to pay a fine for failure to return a book taken from the library within the deadline. In the same way, officers delaying the progress of files should also be fined. Special allowance may also be given to those filing them in a timely manner. Only when there is a system that links the results of the work done with the salary, the current way of government affairs will change. The Chief Minister himself gave the best advice in this meeting. He said that all the files should not be sent unnecessarily to the Finance Department seeking clarification and suggested that the respective departments should take decisions if possible and implement those.

Another complaint is that the secretaries do not have time to work after meetings as they are in charge of many departments. This schedule should be changed in a manner that at least three days a week should be set aside to work without meetings. The secretaries also revealed important information that due to the lack of importance to the central projects, the state is not able to get the proper money from the Centre. In order to get the central share, the government will have to allocate the state share. The file for that will be kept under wraps by the finance department and the state will not receive funds from the Centre. These are issues that need to be addressed urgently. In any case, it is a good start to hold a meeting of the department secretaries once in two months to evaluate file removal.

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