PUBLIC GRIEVANCE – AN OVERVIEW
Days are Gone when anybody had to visit various government departments for lodging their grievance. Now the government has simplified the procedure of lodging grievances and their redresal at appropriate time.In the era of online revolution, complaints are dealt and solve online. On a click of mouse your complaint can be lodged to the prescribed government department.
Online Public grievance portal is a step taken by government to change the old system of governance where the image of government employee is perceived as insensitive, aloof, corrupt and the administrative system as autocratic, opaque and with no work culture to a new system of governance where bureaucrats arefacilitator and regulator instead of an administrator, service provider and controller of development activities. The new role of civil service is need of the hour to create best environment and conditions in the country for building a nation of excellence.
Government of India, through its nodal agency Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG)has launched an online portal for online receiving and redressal of complaints.
DARPG has been making endeavors to:
- Effective and timely redress / settlement of citizens' grievances in a meaningful manner.
- Effectively coordinating with different Ministries and Departments of the Government and trying to eliminate the causes of grievances.
Grievance redressal Mechanism
Grievance Redress Mechanism is an important indicator to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of working of administration.
No administration can claim to be accountable, responsive and user-friendly unless it has established an efficient and effective grievance redress mechanism
There are primarily two designated nodal agencies in the Central Government handling these grievances. These agencies are:-
(i) Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
(ii) Directorate of Public Grievances, Cabinet Secretariat
Role of Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances
i. To undertake citizen-centric initiatives in the fields of administration reforms and public grievances in the Government so as to enable the Government machinery to deliver quality public services to the citizen in a hassle-free manner and eliminate the causes of grievance.
ii. To evaluate the effectiveness of the grievance redress machinery of the concerned government agency.
iii. It is the nodal agency in government for facilitating administrative improvements and reengineering of processes across the government.
iv. Areas under the ambit of DAPG areCitizen’s Charter initiative, Public Grievance Policy, Quality Management in Government,e-Governance, Review of Administrative Laws etc. Documentation and Dissemination of Best Practices, Organisation& Methods, Information & Facilitation Counters, Civil Services Reforms etc.
Directorate of Public Grievances (DPG)
The Directorate of Public Grievances was set up in the Cabinet Secretariat with effect from 01.04.88. Started from initially to look into inpidual complaints pertaining to four Central Government Departments which were more prone to public complaints presently this Directorate is handling grievances pertaining to 16 Central Government Organisations.
i. The DPG working as an appellate body investigating grievances selectively and particularly those where the complainant had failed to get redress at the hands of internal machinery and the hierarchical authorities.
ii. It can call for the files and officers for discussion to see that grievance handling has been done in a fair, objective and just manner.
iii. Wherever the Directorate is satisfied that the grievance has not been dealt in such a manner, it makes suitable recommendations for consideration and adoption by the concerned Ministry/Department which are required to be implemented within a period of one month.
FUNCTIONING OF PUBLIC GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL MECHANISM
The Public Grievance Redress Mechanism functions in Government of India on a decentralized basis. State Governments and Central governments have their own public grievances redress mechanism.
Every department of central and State Government has their own public grievance redressal mechanism.
An officer of the level of Joint Secretary designated as Director of Grievances of the Ministry/Department/Organisation.
Directors of Grievances to call for files/reports and take decisions or review decisions already taken, in consultation with Secretary/HOD even in those areas which do not fall within his/her domain/charge.
The functioning of Public Grievance Redress Machineries in various Ministries/Departments/Organisations is regularly reviewed by a Standing Committee of Secretaries under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary with Additional Secretary Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances as member-secretary.
On Line Registration of Grievances
For Grievances pertaining to Central Government
1. Visit the website of http://www.pgportal.gov.in.
2. In the middle of page, see Citizen Corner .Click on “Lodge your Grievance here”.
3. A Grievance registration form will open.
4. Select the government and respective ministry to which you want to lodge grievance.
5. Fill the form with necessary details along.
6. Enter the grievance in respective message box. Remember the grievance shouldn’t exceed 4,000 words.
7. Submit the grievance after all necessary particulars are filled by clicking “SUBMIT” button.
8. Acknowledgement number will be generated. Note it down for the future reference. This number is useful to track the status of grievance.
9. Reminders and clarification can be sought by referring the above acknowledgement number.
For Grievances pertains to State Government
- Various state governments have their own public grievance portals. The procedure is same as prescribed above. However grievance against state government can be lodge through http://www.pgportal.gov.in by selecting the prescribed state govt.
- Public grievance portals of various state govt. are given below:
Rajasthan - http://sugamrpg.raj.nic.in/
Goa - http://www.goa.gov.in/howdoi/onlinegrievance.html
J &K - http://jkgrievance.nic.in/
Kerala - http://www.cmcc.kerala.gov.in/fnd/index/index.php
Flowchart of Public Grievance:
Flaws in Public Grievances redressal mechanism:
1. There is no provision of fine for delay in redressal in grievance. While there is provision of fine in RTI act, 2005 which makes it effective and time bound.
2. Government is not so serious to promote the use of filing public grievance as there is lack of awareness on the part of government.
3. There is very long time limit of replying grievances i.e. three months which dilute the intention of complianee.
4. There is no accountability on the part of government to reply the grievances. There may be the chance the grievance is rejected or not redressed. Complianeehave nothing in hand to take action against it. However he can file reminders to the concerned ministry or department.
Benefits of Public Grievance:
1. Helps government in policy making.
2. Aware Government about the flaws and non-functioning of its departments
3. Helpful in detecting policy paralysis.
4. Fix responsibility in each case of delay, default and dereliction of duty, identified by Director of Grievances, and take appropriate action against concerned personnel. In addition, consider feasibility of prescribing specific penalty clauses for such failures.
By: Gaurav Arya