Excess staff in secretariat: Expert panel recommends redeployment

S N Jayaprakash

Thiruvananthapuram: An expert committee appointed to study on expenditure cut recommended the government to redeploy the excess employees from secretariat and other departments to local self-government offices. The committee also proposed that the responsibilities of secretariat should focus on the execution of administrative functions and supervision apart from implementing projects.

The interim report of the committee noted that even after e-office system came into force, 554 attenders and 204 computer assistants are still working in the secretariat. DRDA, Performance audit, printing department, Kerala Books and Publishing Society and stationary department also reported excess staff. It is learned many employees in Irrigation department are not having much work due to the excess number of appointments.

The panel also suggested appointing an agency to study on work pressure in each government office.

Excess employees in the secretariat and other departments should be allowed to shift themselves to a similar post in local self-government institutes. With this, the employees will get the opportunity to work near their home and other places according to their convenience, recommended the panel.

1013 excess employees

Secretariat- 554 attenders
Secretariat – 204 computer assistants
Printing department -90
Books and Publishing Society – 113
Stationary department -52
Total -1013

Control on probe commissions
The government should execute a system to control the expenditure of probe commissions. Apart from forming commissions under retired judges, a permanent system should be developed. Office of Commissioner of Enquiry should be formed in home department or law department. All probe commissions should publish the details of expenditure, pointed out the panel.

Action should be taken to stop functioning of the probe commissions after the expiry period. Recently, the government extended the period of the commission appointed to probe on the scuffle between journalists and lawyers for the 6th time.

Food expense in prisons

The panel observed the prisons in the state are having huge expenditure every month. In view of this, it is recommended that only vegetarian food should be served to the inmates at prisons. If any prisoner wants non-veg food, a fixed amount should be charged.

Compared to other states, Kerala gives the highest wage to the prisoners. When Bengal and Chandigarh pay Rs 26 and Rs 36 respectively to the prisoners, Kerala prisons reward the inmates with a wage from Rs 127 to Rs 166 for their work. At the same time, the open prison in the state gives Rs 238 as a wage to each prisoner for their work. Observing this fact, the panel recommended reducing the wage of prisoners.

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