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Administrative Reforms Commission Reports Report 4: Ethics In Governance Roman Saini
Course Structure 1. 4th Report- Preface 2. Outline of Fourth Report 3. Recommendations of 4th 6. Lokpal,Lokayukta and 7. Citizen Initiative to Control the 8. Ethical Role of Media Ombudsman Corruption report 1. Reforms into Institutional 9. Use of Information Technology and Ethical Framework to combat the Corruption 2. Reforms in Civil Services 3. Ethical Framework for the 10. Promoting Competitiorn 11. Proactive vigilance on Judiciary corruption 4. Modification and Enactment of Important Acts/Laws Introducing New Laws 4. Conclusion 5.
5.Introducing New Laws A new law on 'Serious Economic Offences'(SEO) should be enacted. A Serious Economic Offence may be defined as: I. One which involves a sum exceeding Rs 10 crores; or Il. It is likely to give rise to widespread public concern; or ll its investigation and prosecution are likely to require highly specialized t e tehaviour of banke o knowledge of the financial market or of the behaviour of banks or other financial institutions; or involves significant international dimensions; or investment and investigative skills to be brought together; or v. V. in the investigation of which there is requirement of legal, financial,
(vi) which appear to be complex to the Union Government, regulators, banks, or any financial institution. A Serious Frauds Office (SFO) should be set up (under the new law), to investigate and prosecute such offences. It should be attached to the Cabinet Secretariat. A Serious Frauds Monitoring Committee should be constituted to oversee the investigation and prosecution of such offences. This Committee, to be headed by the Cabinet Secretary, should have the Chief Vigilance Commissioner, Home Secretary, Finance Secretary, Secretary Banking/Financial Sector, a Deputy Governor, RBI, Secretary, Department of Company Affairs, Law Secretary, Chairman SEBI etc as members. In case of involvement of any public functionary in a serious fraud, the SFO shall send a report to the Rashtriya Lokayukta and shall follow the directions given by the Rashtriya Lokayukta
Legislation on the lines of the US False Claims Act should be enacted, providing for citizens and civil society groups to seek legal relief against fraudulent claims i. Any citizen should be able to bring a suit against any person or agency for a ii. If the false claim is established in a court of law, then the person/ agency against the government. This law should have the following elements: false claim against the government responsible shall be liable for penalty equal to five times the loss sustained by the exchequer or society iii. The loss sustained could be monetary or non-monetary as in the form of pollution or other social costs. In case of non-monetary loss, the court would have the authority to compute the loss in monetary terms. iv. The person who brought the suit shall be suitably compensated out of the damages recovered.
6.Lokpal, Lakayukta and Ombudsman - Institutional Framework The Lokpal The Constitution should be amended to provide for a national ombudsman to be called the Rashtriya Lokayukta. The role and jurisdiction of the Rashtriya Lokayukta should be defined in the Constitution while the composition, mode of appointment and other details can be decided by Parliament through legislation. The jurisdiction of Rashtriya Lokayukta should extend to all Ministers of the Union (except the Prime Minister), all state Chief Ministers, all persons holding public office equivalent in rank to a Union Minister, and Members of Parliament.
The Rashtriya Lokayukta should consist of a serving or retired Judge of the Supreme Court as the Chairperson, an eminent jurist as Member and the Central Vigilance Commissioner as the ex-officio Member The Prime Minister should be kept out of the jurisdiction of the Rashtriya Lokayukta The Rashtriya Lokayukta should also be entrusted with the task of undertaking a national campaign for raising the standards of ethics in public life.
The Lokayukata The Constitution should be amended to incorporate a provision making it obligatory on the part of State Governments to establish the institution of Lokayukta and stipulate the general principles about its structure, power and functions. The jurisdiction of the Lokayukta would extend to only cases involving corruption. They should not look into general public grievances. All cases of corruption should be referred to Rashtriya Lokayukta or Lokayukta and these should not be referred to any Commission of Inquiry The Lokayukta should deal with cases of corruption against Ministers and MLAs.
Each State should constitute a State Vigilance Commission to look into cases of corruption against State Government officials The Anti Corruption Bureaus should be brought under the control of the State Vigilance Commission. The Chairperson and Members of the Lokayukta should be appointed strictly for one term only and they should not hold any public office under government thereafter.
Ombudsman at the Local Levels A local bodies Ombudsman should be constituted for a group of districts to investigate cases against the functionaries of the local bodies. The State Panchayat Raj Acts and the Urban Local Bodies Act should be amended to include this provision. The local bodies Ombudsman should be empowered to investigate cases of corruption or maladministration by the functionaries of the local self governments, and submit reports to the competent authorities for taking action The competent authorities should normally take action as recommended. In case they do not agree with the recommendations, they should give their reasons in writing and the reasons should be made public.