What is the punitive action on the Reporting & Counter signing officers if they do not fill the APAR of subordinate staff? CIC: Provide the information; Review the grievance redressal mechanism in personnel matters to ensure transparency as per RTI Act
O R D E R
The appellant through her RTI application dated 15.05.2014 had sought the following information:
“Ques.1. The complete Air India DPC Rules and Policy for promotion of officers and executives effective 01/01/2014. Ques.2. The complete Air India Promotion Policy and Rules for all categories of officers and executives of the Commercial Department effective 01/01/2014.
Ques.3. As per the Air India Promotion Policy and Rules effective 01/01/2014 which category of officers /executives and under what circumstances, are barred from appearing in the DPC for consideration for promotion?
Ques.4. What is the status and validity of an APAR of erstwhile Air India (wide body) in the following situation:
A If any of the officers, Reporting or counter signing, have signed it without mentioning the date on it?
B If any of the officers, Reporting of counter signing, have signed it post their superannuation?
C If the APAR is presented to the appraise for signatures after the counter signing officer has already
D If the APAR is not shown to an signed by the appraise and instead sent for filing and subsequently sent to the apraisee for signatures when the counter signing officer has already superannuated?
E If applicable parts and columns of the APAR are left blank or unfilled?
F If the Counter signing officer whilst down grading the assessment of the Reporting Officer has made contradictions while filling up the Report? In specific for Part V, page 15, question no.1 counter signing officer states YES, but in question no. 3 disagrees with the Reporting Officer and downgrades the apraisee and the APAR is also not shown and discussed with the apraisee. In such a case what is the validity of that APAR?
Ques.5. What is the applicable Rule for deterrent/punitive action on the Reporting and Counter signing officer/s if they do not fill the APAR of officer/s working under them in time and keep the APAR’s pending, specially for several years deposit reminders from the appraise as well as HQ’s?
The above information may kindly be provided in a clear and absolute legible condition. The information furnished must answer the query completely and exhaustively.”
The CPIO/Executive Director(NR) vide letter dated 23/05/2014 transferred the RTI application under Section 6(3) of the RTI Act, 2005 to CPIO/Executive Director(Strategy & Planning) for direct reply to the appellant.
Being aggrieved by nonfurnishing of information by the CPIOs i.e. CPIO/EC(NR) and CPIO/ED(Strategy & Planning) the appellant filed a first appeal on 11.07.2014 before the First Appellate Authority but no order had been passed by the First Appellate Authority in the matter, as is apparent from the second appeal submitted by the appellant before the Commission.
The following were present:
Appellant: Mrs. Geeta Kapoor;
Respondent: Ms. Ritu Jina, Manager (Personnel) representative of CPIO;
The representative of the respondent stated that because of decentralising of their internal system in July 2014, they did not receive the RTI application and hence information could not be provided on the same.
In a written submission of the respondent dated 27.04.2016, it has been stated that –
(A) On point nos. 1 & 2 of the RTI application, the information on recruitment and promotion rules for merged Air India are under formation and a copy of the instructions on the basis of Justice Dharamadhikari Committee’s report issued by the ED panel have been supplied as annexure.
(B) On point number 3: the officers/executives are barred from appearing in the DPC for consideration or promotion in 3 circumstances.
(C) For point no.4, it was stated that in certain cases the reporting/reviewing is done by officers who have superannuated from the company and those APAs are valid and that query no. 4(F) is not specific.
(D) As to query no.5, it was stated that Reporting and Reviewing Officers are reminded on regular basis to fill up the pending APAs.
The appellant stated that she has not been provided with any information despite repeated reminders. She claimed that she had suffered immense humiliation and harassment by the public authority, even though she was working in the organization at a fairly senior level.
From the records available with the Commission it is seen that when the appeal was preferred with the First Appellate Authority on 11/07/2014, an interim reply had been reportedly sent to the appellant on 04/05/2014. It is evident therefore that there has been no application of mind in handling this RTI application. There has been gross callousness and negligence in attending to this matter by the public authority.
Considering the facts of the case and the submissions made by both the parties it is apparent that the public authority has failed to provide the information desired by the appellant till date. It is the internal matter of the organization to review and reform the personnel policy for the welfare of the employees in a most efficient and transparent manner. Needless to say that dissatisfaction in the work force adversely impacts the morale of the employees and consequent inefficiencies. The public authority is advised to review its grievance redressal mechanism in personnel matters to ensure the transparency in accordance with the spirit of the Act. The respondent is directed to provide the necessary information as sought by the appellant within a period of 15 days, a copy of the submission made by the respondent dated 27/04/2016 should be sent to the appellant forthwith. The appeal stands disposed accordingly.
Citation: Mrs. Geeta Kapoor v. ED(NR) Air India Ltd. Northern Region in Appeal No.:CIC/YA/A/2014/003009/BJ