A Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) heads the Vigilance Division of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) acts as an advisor to the Chief Executive in all matters pertaining to vigilance. He is also the nodal officer of the Organisation for interaction with CVC and CBI. Vigilance functions to be performed by the CVO are of wide sweep and include collecting intelligence about the corrupt practices committed, or likely to be committed by the employees of his Organisation; investigating or causing an investigation to be made into allegations reported to him; processing investigation reports for further consideration of the disciplinary authority concerned; referring the matters to the Commission for advice wherever necessary; taking steps to prevent improper practices and commission of misconducts, etc. Thus, the CVO’s functions can broadly be divided into three categories, as under: -
- Preventive vigilance
- Punitive vigilance
- Surveillance and detection
While ‘punitive action’ for commission of misconduct and other malpractices is certainly important, ‘surveillance’ and ‘preventive measures’ play comparatively a more important action which is likely to reduce the occurrence of vigilance cases.
PREVENTIVE VIGILANCE FUNCTIONS BY CVO
The CVO undertakes following measures on preventive vigilance side: -
- Undertakes study of existing procedures and practices prevailing in this Organisation with a view to identify those procedures or practices which provide a scope for corruption and require modifications.
- Finds out the causes of delay, the points at which delay occurs and devises suitable steps to minimize delays at different stages.
- Revise the regulatory functions to see whether all of them are strictly necessary and whether the method of discharge of those functions is capable of improvement;
- Devises adequate methods to ensure that discretionary powers are not exercised arbitrarily but in a transparent and fair manner; and in accordance with some laid down guidelines
- Educates the citizens about the procedures of dealing with various matters and also to simplify these as far as possible;
- Identifies the areas in his Organization which are prone to corruption and to ensure that officers of proven integrity only are posted in those areas.
- To identify sensitive posts in the Organisation;
- To ensure periodical rotations of staff and in particular officers holding sensitive posts;
- To ensure that well-defined internal processes as well as corresponding controls with clear responsibilities, for different kind of activities, are set out;
- To ensure that the Organisation has prepared manuals on important subjects such as purchases, contracts, procurement, recruitment, etc. and that these manuals are updated from time to time and conform to the guidelines issued by the Commission and the Ministries concerned;
- To develop and implement an effective Whistle Blower mechanism;
- To leverage technology for making preventive vigilance function effective;
- To ensure prompt observance of Conduct rules relating to integrity, covering
- statements of assets and acquisitions
- relatives employed in private firms or doing private business
- to scrutinise immovable property returns of at least 20% executive employees every year and
- keep an eye on benami transactions;
- To ensure observance of Vigilance Awareness Week as per directions of the Commission;
- To scrutinise
- Internal auditor’s reports,
- Statutory auditor’s report
- CAG audit report.
- Scrutinise inspection reports.
- In order to keep a watch on the activities of public servants who are of doubtful integrity. Meity maintain “Agreed list” and the list of public servants of gazetted status of “doubtful integrity”. It has been provided in relevant instructions that the “Agreed list so prepared will remain in force for one year from the date of preparation and officials’ work / activities / behaviour during the period would be watched and the list would be reviewed after this period”. The list of Officers of Doubtful Integrity will remain in force for a period of three years. In the above perspective, the CVO has to perform the prescribed functions.
- Tenders advice to the Disciplinary Authority and the Appellate Authority in vigilance cases, irrespective of level of officers involved.
The Vigilance Unit Endeavours to:
- Minimize corruption and malpractice.
- Institute preventive vigilance.
- Help officers to take clean and effective decisions.
- Help to prepare the best practice chart at all levels.
- Bring about change in work culture and work ethics.
- Create vigilance awareness.
- Help to reduce multiplicity of decision making levels.
- Help to develop transparency and minimize discretionary powers.