New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) Public sector banks and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) finalise disciplinary cases in time or with slight delays, while major departments likes the Railways, CBDT and the CBIC take longer time in finalising individual disciplinary cases, the Central Vigilance Commission has informed a parliamentary panel.
The committee has recommended the CVC to explore the feasibility of holding the authorities concerned answerable for inaction or delayed action.
Highlighting the growing number and complexity of financial frauds, the panel also asked the government to provide adequate funds to the CVC for strengthening surveillance capabilities and for setting up a centralised surveillance database.
The CVC received 3,371 cases in 2020, including 953 brought forward from the previous year, according to the committee's report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.
Of these, 2,717 cases were disposed of (advice tendered), it said, adding that the data for 2020 is tentative and under finalisation.
As many as 654 cases were carried forward to 2021, the Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice said in its 106th report on Demands for Grants (2021-22) of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
On being asked about the reasons for inordinate delay in the processing of vigilance cases, the CVC said the delay is involved at the stage of further processing of vigilance cases after the commission tenders its first stage advice (FSA), by the ministry/departments/organisations concerned in instituting departmental action, conducting departmental inquiry thereof, appointing IO/PO and finalising the vigilance cases by issuance of final order of punishment or exoneration, it said.
'The CVC has further informed the committee that while the public sector banks and CPSEs finalise disciplinary cases in time or with slight delays, major departments like Railways, CBDT, CBIC, DoT and the ministries /department of Government of India take long time in finalising individual disciplinary cases,” the report said.
According to the report, the committee is in agreement with the views of the CVC and opines that the vigilance set-up in the ministries/departments of the central government needs to be augmented with manpower to expedite vigilance activities/cases at all stages.
'The committee further recommends the CVC to explore the feasibility of holding the authorities concerned answerable for inaction or delayed action,” the report said.
Out of 654 cases received and pending as on 31.12.2020, in 390 cases wherein references were received from various administrative authorities for advice, complete facts relating to the vigilance cases or their recommendations or inputs are not supported by logical reasoning, and are not complete in all respects, as prescribed by the commission.
Therefore, the commission has sought further clarification/investigation or comments from the department/ organisation concerned, which causes delay in tendering advice, the report said.
As such, 264 cases are only pending for examination and advice in the commission, it said, adding that all these cases are pending for less than six months.
'It is pertinent to mention herein that the pendency of cases for examination as on 31.12.2020 with the commission is lowest when compared with the last five years. The commission endeavours to tender advice in all complete references at the earliest,' the report said.
The committee in its report noted that the chief vigilance officers (CVOs), who act as a distant arm of the CVC to check corruption in government organisations, are performing the functions of surveillance, vigilance and investigation as well.
'As such, CVC cannot afford to keep posts of as many as 63 CVOs vacant. Therefore, the committee recommends CVC to fill up the vacant posts at the earliest,' it said.
The committee would like to be apprised of the commission's endeavours in this direction and the outcome thereof, the report said.
'The committee also recommends the ministry to explore the feasibility of filling up existing vacancies and vacancies that are likely to arise in future, in the posts of CVOs by inducting eligible officials having expertise in vigilance matters from other organs of governance of the Union government,” it said.
The panel has also asked the Personnel Ministry to provide funds to the CVC for strengthening surveillance capabilities and for setting up a centralized surveillance database.
The committee is of the view that success of vigilance, particularly, preventive vigilance depends upon surveillance capabilities, the report said.
The growing number and complexity of financial frauds make a case for strengthening existing surveillance capabilities, it said.
The details of suspicious individuals/parties or officers of doubtful integrity collected during surveillance may be stored in a centralised database accessible to all the entities concerned, the panel suggested.
'The committee believes that increased surveillance would lead to better vigilance. Therefore, the committee recommends the ministry to provide adequate funds to CVC for strengthening surveillance capabilities and for setting up a centralized surveillance database,' it added. PTI AKV SNE