A Parliamentary standing committee, in its recent report, has recommended a system of reward and punishment for officials entrusted with resolution of public grievances.
“The Committee would like to suggest that there must be a system of reward and punishment for the officials entrusted for resolution of grievances. The department should develop a mechanism to ensure accountability of the government officials dealing with the citizen’s grievances,” said the report recently tabled in Parliament.
The Committee has also suggested that for this, the appellate authority for grievances should be empowered to impose some penalty and reward based on the assessment of officials dealing with grievances.
In order to make the grievance handling mechanism more sensitive and responsible, the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) has mandated a detailed Action Taken Report (ATR) before a grievance is closed in the Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS).
As per the Ministry of Public Grievances, the ATR captures with granularity the attempts made by the Grievance Officer to resolve the issues or reason for the same if not resolved.
ATR would help to differentiate between the actual resolution and disposal of grievance. The ATR also provides a matrix for assessment of quality of resolution and performance of the Grievance Officers.
The Committee, in its report, took note of the reply and appreciated the initiative of the Department in directing the Organisations and Ministries to prepare a detailed ATR before a grievance is closed in CPGRAMS.
“Though, it is hoped that the initiative is being implemented by all the Organisations/Departments/Ministries in the intended manner, it does not remain on paper only, as just another set of guidelines issued by the Department,” said the report.
As per the report, DARPG is in the process of setting up a permanent feedback call centre. The call centre will seek feedback from the citizens on their satisfaction with resolution provided to them, and help citizens file/track their grievances.
It will also provide requisite data on performance and will make the grievance handling mechanism more accountable and participatory for all stakeholders including citizens.