Thursday, May 23, 2024

Shailendra Joshi Column: Accountability of administration for delivery of services

Must read

Many people feel that it is the in herent lack of pride in the work people do that results in poor delivery of services. If someone really loves her nation or society, she should put in the best efforts in her job/profession.

The primary role of any administrative set-up, said to reflect the will of people, is to deliver various services to citizens. Certain services such as safety and security are required for every citizen, while many others such as health and education etc., must be provided on demand. Services could be delivered by either public or private sectors.

As far as the public sector is concerned, most of the services are provided using the taxes paid by citizens. In addition, certain services are rendered either free or fully paid or subsidised, including those cross-subsidised. Technology plays an important role in improving the quality of service delivery.

It is pertinent to remember that technology is only a facilitator and can never be a substitute for constant initiative and human empathy. In case the administration is insensitive and uncaring, citizens cannot access quality and timely services to which they are otherwise entitled.

One often wonders, why even for small works to be done in a routine manner, a word must be put in by someone to somebody? If the common citizen feels that things do not happen in the way they should, it is time for introspection. What are the reasons? Is it the question of demand/supply or an attitudinal issue or something amiss in our system? Or, is it because of poor ethical values?

It is said that if things happen in the normal course, it would not be exciting for the beneficiary, influencer, or the doer. The next question is: what do we mean by ‘exciting’? Depending on the circumstances, excitement could have monetary, pride, kindness, self-esteem and even self-actualization connotations.

Many people feel that it is the inherent lack of pride in the work people do that results in poor delivery of services. If someone really loves her nation or society, she should put in the best efforts in her job/profession.

In order to provide services, the sense of pride in the work done by a person is also equally important. Lack of fear of consequences, and accountability are some other factors encouraging tendency of sitting on files by the various administrative hierarchies.

Unusual delays breed corruption, that in turn erodes the confidence of people in the system. The next question is how to breach the stranglehold of powerful lobbies of vested interests on the system. It is easier said than done and requires constant efforts.

Another prevalent view is that things do not improve as people are hypocrites. They want a change but don’t want to change themselves. Imbibing professionalism and ethics from early childhood need to be pursued sincerely. Many of the ills of administration could be attributed to job security. Right to recall/terminate at all levels could be another possible remedy.

As a matter of fact, the pay and compensation of a public servant should be in two parts. One fixed pay and another verifiable performance-linked component. In so far as the question of compensation is concerned, an incentive-based system having tangible as well as intangible components is a preferred option in comparison to mere monetary payments.

In a true democracy, the requirement of every citizen, irrespective of her status and influence, should be dealt on priority. Services desired by people should be treated as nothing short of a command by the relevant authority. The system of supervision and accountability that is at the lowest ebb, needs to be toned up.

Let us explore the reasons for citizens still marginalized. The first and foremost is the prevailing colonial mindset that had remained ingrained in our psyche, despite several decades of attaining Independence. Need to remove the dust, amend wherever required, revive, and implement citizens’ charters prepared more thana decade back.

To sum up, an empowered citizen strengthens democracy that in turn leads to making a prosperous society and a strong nation. Let us empower citizens.

- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article