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CHAPTER - 4
REVIEW MEETINGS TAKEN BY THE COMMISSION DURING 1997
CHECK AND SUPERVISION OVER VIGILANCE WORK
4.1.1 The Commission exercises a general check and supervision over vigilance and anti-corruption in organisations. This important function is mainly performed through an in-depth scrutiny of the Quarterly Statistical Returns (QSRs) which each organisation is required to furnish to the Commission. These returns indicate in some detail the scale of vigilance activities in these organisations which enable the Commission to monitor the performance of the Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs) concerned and to suggest measures for corrective action wherever required. These returns being data oriented do not, however, always reflect specific areas of concern peculiar to each organisation. In order to bridge this gap, the Commission holds review meetings on a continuing basis with Chief Executives and CVOs of various organisations. These meetings have proved useful not only in establishing better communication with individual organisations but also in providing opportunities to focus on specific areas of concern to the individual organisation and in formulating priority areas of action.
4.1.2 In addition to the review meetings held by the Central Vigilance Commissioner, the Secretary of the Commission and Branch Officers also hold periodical meetings with CVOs of major departments individually and collectively and with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
REVIEW MEETINGS HELD DURING THE YEAR
4.1.3 During the year 1997, the Central Vigilance Commissioner held separate review meetings with State Vigilance Commissioners, addressed at the Annual Conference of Chief Vigilance Officers and also held separate review meetings with the CVOs of Public Sector Undertakings and Banks in the Southern sector. The sectors covered are Telecommunications, Defence, Heavy Industry, Port Trusts, Petroleum, and Banks.
4.2DISCUSSIONS WITH STATE VIGILANCE COMMISSIONERS
SHARING EXPERIENCE WITH STATE VIGILANCE HEADS
4.2.1 There has been growing demand from certain States for sharing their experience with the Commission to lay down certain common indicators and uniformity in approach to tackle the menace of inherent corruption. A conference with Vigilance Heads of States was convened in September, 1997. It has helped the Commission to have better appreciation of the functioning of the vigilance machinery of various States. Issues pertaining to strengthening and also how the Commission can help the States vigilance machinery were deliberated upon.
4.2.2 The CVC emphasized that the institutional set up of vigilance agencies varies in different states depending on the respective perceptions and historical background. The position obtaining in individual States was discussed in detail. CVC felt that feed back received from the delegates during the course of conference was very useful and hoped would pave the way for further improvements in the system and methods of work and result in the overall effectiveness of the vigilance machinery. He felt that such a conference need to be held at least once a year to sustain the debate on further improvements in the system.
4.3 ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF CHIEF VIGILANCE OFFICERS
15-POINT AGENDA FOR ACTION
4.3.1 The Annual Conference of CVOs was held on the 11th and 12th September, 1997. The main thrust of the Conference was to combat the all pervasive menace of corruption in Government offices and Public Sector Undertakings. Issues relating to speedy disposal of cases, quality of disposal and expeditious completion of inquiries, follow-up and strengthening of the supervisory jurisdiction of the Commission were discussed. A 15-point Agenda for Action was put forth for revamping the vigilance machinery to deal with the problem of graft swiftly and effectively. Details of 15-point agenda have been given in Chapter-1.
4.4 REGIONAL REVIEW/MEET OF CVOs OF SOUTHERN REGION AT BANGALORE
ACTIONABLE AREAS FOR CVOS
4.4.1 Meetings were held at regional level to facilitate maximum possible participation. In the meeting at Bangalore, representatives of 24 organisations from Public Sector Undertakings, Banks and Port Trusts participated. At the end of the Review, CVC indicated actionable areas which are as follows :
(a) The philosophy in arranging such regional conferences is to share the Commission's concerns and priorities. The routine vigilance activity is as important as thrust in new area therefore, essential for vigilance to streamline its structure and data flow to meet the demands of future.
(b) The departmental inquiries need special emphasis for speedy clearance. The units must set for themselves an outer limit of six months for completion of inquiries. The investigations must be swift while at the same time conforming to the principles of natural justice.
(c) Availability of data is the basis for effective vigilance. Therefore, proper data flow is essential. It is important to keep in mind that vigilance is part of overall management function.
(d) A number of irregularities in the past have been attributed to system failure. Vigilance must anticipate and provide for contingencies to take on irregularities rather than blame it on the system failure.
VIGILANCE AS PRODUCTIVE MANAGEMENT FUNCTION
4.4.2 An important outcome which emerged from the conference is enhanced awareness about Vigilance being a productive management function and a clarity of its role within the organisation. The feed back is positive and encouraging.