April 21st, 2012
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Show “boldness” in decision making; “No witch hunting” in the name of fighting corruption

manmohan-singhNew Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who was addressing bureaucrats on the Civil Services Day here today asked them to show “boldness” in decision making, assuring them there will be “no witch hunting” in the name of fighting corruption. He assured the civil servants that they would not be penalized for “bonafide mistakes of errors of judgement”. He asked them to fight the tendency of not taking decisions because of the fear that things might go wrong. “It is our government’s commitment to put in place a system and create an environment in which our civil servants are encouraged to be decisive,” he said.

He insisted that the decisions of the civil servants must be fair just and objective. “Their judgement and advice should not be affected by the nature and colour of the political leadership. If this does not happen, the impartiality and fairness of the decision making processes in public administration would get compromised and the quality of our output would be sub-optimal… this is a vigil that the civil servants must maintain constantly,” he said. However, he made it clear that the government stands committed to protecting honest and well meaning civil servants who might have made genuine errors in their work.

He however pointed out that there is a growing perception that the moral fibre of civil servants and public servants in general is not as as strong as it used to some decades back and that the civil servants are now more likely to succumb to extraneous pressures in their work. He said that though these perceptions may be exaggerated there could be a grain of truth in them.

“…We cannot have a bureaucracy which is hundred percent risk averse. In fact we should encourage boldness in decision making, provided that the decisions are well considered and as per the law of the land.”A civil servant who does not take decisions might always be safe, but at the end of the day he or she would have contributed nothing to our society and to our country,” the Prime Minister said.


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