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Administrative Reforms Commission Reports Report 12: Citizen Centric Administration Roman Saini
7 ARCII-12th Report Part 4
Course Structure 7. Effective Public Grievances 1. 12th Report- Preface 2. Outline of 12th Report 3. Recommendations of 12th Redressal System 8. Consumer Protection 9. Special Institution Mechanisms report 1. Functions of Government 2. Making Citizens' Charters Effective 10. Process Simplification 4. Conclusion 3. 4. 5. 6. - An Agenda for Reform ARC Seven-Step Model for Citizen Centricity Citizens Participation in Administration Participation of Women and the Physically Challenged Decentralization and Delegation
Z.EFFECTIVE PUBLIC GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL MECHANISM 'Grievance' has been defined as indignation or resentment arising out of a feeling of being wronged. IS 15700: 2005 defines grievance, as an expression of dissatisfaction made to an organization related to its products, services and/or process(es), where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected. A grievance is thus any sort of dissatisfaction, which needs to be redressed The basic principle of a grievance redressal system is that if the promised level of service delivery is not achieved or if a right of a citizen is not honoured then the citizen should be able to take recourse to a mechanism to have the grievance redressed
A. Evolving an Effective Public Grievances Redressal System There is need for a strong and effective internal grievance redressal mechanism in each organization 1. 2. The Union and State Governments should issue directions asking all publioc authorities to designate public grievance officers on the lines of the Public Information Officers (PIO) under the RTI Act. These officers should be of adequate seniority and should be delegated commensurate authority 3. All grievance petitions received should be satisfactorily disposed of by these officers within thirty days. Non-adherence to the time limit should invite financial penalties. 4. Each organization should designate an appellate authority and devolve adequate powers upon them including the power to impose fines on the defaulting officers
B. Analysis and Identification of Grievance Prone Areas 1. Government organizations should analyse the complaints received and identify the areas wherein interventions would be required so as to eliminate the underlying causes that lead to public grievances. 2. This exercise should be carried out at regular intervals
8.CONSUMER PROTECTION Introduction- The Consumer Protection Act was passed in 1986 to protect the interests of the consumers. The objective of this law is to provide a simple, fast and inexpensive mechanism to the citizens to redress their grievances in specified cases. The Act envisages a three-tier quasi-judicial machinery at the National, State and District levels; (i) National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission - known as "National Commission" (ii) State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission known as "State Commission" (iii) District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum - known as "District Forum". 15 The Act also provides for establishment of Consumer Protection Councils at the Union, State and District levels, whose main objectives are to promote and protect the rights of consumers.
Recommendations- Lok Adalats would be effective in settling many consumer disputes. It should be stipulated by law that cases up to a particular value, say Rupees two lakhs, should first be referred to Lok Adalats. dispu ok Adalats, o a particularvay All Ministries/Departments need to examine the procedures regulating grant of licenses, permissions or registration including the underlying Acts, Rules, Notifications, eto. These should be recast with the following underlying principles: 1. There should be an upper time limit for grant of any license/ permission/registration. The law should provide for penalties if an application is not disposed of within the stipulated period.
2. Applications should be processed only on a First in First out Basis". All applications received and pending should be put on the licensing authority's website. Each office should devise an objective procedure to randomly select units for inspection. Selecting units for surprise inspection should not be left to the discretion of the inspecting officers. e outcome of all inspections must be immediately put in the public domain. 3. 4. There should be an annual audit of the licensing and inspection system each year by an independent agency. 5. 6. All licensing authorities should evolve an accessible system for receipt of citizens' complaints
9. SPECIAL INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS Some of the institutions for grievance redressal are- 1. National Human Rights Commission 2. National Commission for Women 3. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights 4. National Backward Classes Commission 5. National Minorities Commission 6. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission 1. A common format for making complaints before various statutory Commissions should be devised in consultation with each other. This format should capture the details of the victims and complainants in such a way that it facilitates matching of data across different Commissions.