The Indian School of Public Policy or the ISPP organized a workshop on Ethics and Accountability in Governance – A workshop by V. Srinivas, IAS, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Personnel, PG and Pensions, Government of India.
Mr. Srinivas opened the session by emphasizing the need for high moral standards in the domain of governance: “The system of Government that we have adopted postulates the necessity of high moral standards in both the Government and the Administration. The Parliamentary system of Government cannot be effective unless the standard of morality of those who work is high and the general public believes that it is so.”
During his session, Mr. Srinivas discussed a number of topics covering the following sub-aspects: Improving the Quality of Public Service Delivery, Constitutional Provisions – “The Services”, The All India Services (Conduct) Rules 1968, Focus on Preventive Vigilance, Strengthening Audit and Accounting processes, Future Policy Challenges, among many others.
On the subject of corruption he added: “India’s “zero tolerance to corruption” approach, as well as “minimum government and maximum governance” approach has resulted in simplification of the governance model in recent years. Some of the steps taken include abolition of the system of attestation/authentication by Government servants for submission of certificates, abolition of personal interviews for recruitments to lower level posts and weeding – out of inefficient public servants and those of doubtful integrity above the age of 50 years, prematurely. A special investigation team has also been constituted to fight black money. The Government conducted online auctions of coa lblocks, and sought international cooperation in G-20 meetings on ending tax havens in Europe and other countries. In bilateral meetings with Swiss authorities, India has said that combating the menace of black money and tax evasion was a “shared priority” for both the countries. My own approach to fighting corruption in my three decades in Government service has been enhanced supervision, increased transparency,greater stakeholder engagement and severe penalties with time bound completion of disciplinary proceedings. I always felt that prevention of corruption should be based on credible deterrence and strong audit and accounting mechanisms. Further, robust oversight and monitoring always send a strong message to potential wrong doers.”