Friday, November 26, 2010

Whistle Blower Policy

Central government announced policy of protection to whistle blowers to improve vigilance administration long back. It is remarkable to say here that whistle blowers are those working staff who secretly report to CVC about the corrupt practice such as bribe based lending or commission based contractual work or purchase of goods and services of his higher authority or his colleague. According to this policy Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is authorized to receive written complaints for disclosure of any allegation of corruption, misuse of office, abuse of power and recommend appropriate action.

Every Public Sector undertakings including banks also announcd similar policy advising staff not to be silent spectator of corrupt practice in the office or branch they work. Inspite of such policy announcement and subsequent reminding circulars for the same there is no actual response from staff working all over India. It is an open secret that cancer of corruption is all pervasive and widely rampant in all offices and branches.Still honest staff thinks it wise to be silent spectator of all unhealthy and unjustifiable actions of powerful persons inspite of the fact that bank management tried to convince whistleblowers by saying that staff can submit such complaints of allegation of corruption in writing in a sealed cover directly to CVC without any fear of repercussion. Rather bank management has announced incentive scheme for such whistle blower.

Corruption as a matter of fact includes not only giving bribe or commission. Higher management or powerful bosses can indulge in various other types of corrupt practice which induce and inculcate unhealthy practices in offices and branches they control. Whimsical posting , whimsical promotions of yes-man and flatterers superseding so many talented workers and arbitrary transfer by higher authorities are carried out without any hindrances from any corner. Higher authorities can do so by using powers of discretion given to them in promotion policy by way of interview and in transfer policy by showing exigencies of bank’s work. ‘

Any officer who creates impediments in the path of corrupt bosses in earning bribe and commission or in getting golden gifts or in getting red carpet welcome in five star hotels from his yes men serving in branches and offices under him is very easily removed .
Any worker specially an officer who is a considered would- be whistle blower, a prospective complainer of evil works of executives, he or she may be transferred to such a critical place that his or her family life and social life becomes hell.
Bank management has power to make an officer as Branch Manager (apparently incentive but practically a punishment) and post him to such a remote place that he cannot visualize even peaceful living of his or her family.
Such honest and talented officers are transferred from one corner to other extremely far located other corner even violating normal transfer policy. Such honest officers will not be sanctioned leave when they desire. Even slightest mistakes of such honest and prospective whistle blowers are viewed seriously by corrupt team of officers in controlling offices and they are rebuked , humiliated before a gathering and what not until they feel isolated, frustrated and attain a position of depression.
On the contrary officers who are yes-man and flatterers of corrupt bosses, who earn bribe and share with bosses, who extend five star welcome to bosses, who on the excuse of inauguration or a function call the bosses and offer costly gifts are given choice posting , quickest promotion and given whatsoever they desire.
Actions of almost all executives demonstrates that they like those officers who earn money and gifts through lending or purchase of goods and service and honestly share with bosses called as executives. Rather such corrupt team of executives award junior level corrupt officers not only by giving them cream posting and unusual and abnormal promotion but also praising them before the mass gathering.

Obviously policy of incentives for whistle blowers introduced by corrupt team of executives sitting in top posts becomes a laughing stock for ground level honest officers.

Bank management has such weapons in their hand they can punish whistle blowers in many ways which will look like promotion and up gradation in post but in fact they which will slowly kill ego of whistle blowers or honest workers , attack on his respectability and disturb his peaceful living.
Particularly in banks, it is very much common that junior officers are made Branch Manager, Chief Managers or promoted to higher scale and seniors are forced to work under him. Scale II officers are made Branch Manager of scale III or scale IV branches whereas scale IV are made to work in scale II or scale II branches .
Flatterers are kept posted in home town or metros or big towns or at place of his choice for years together on some plea or the other and they are given quickest jump in career superseding a lot of other hard workers whereas prospective whistle blowers are posted in far remote villages for year and years and always rejected in promotion processes.
There is in fact no scope of justice for such aggrieved officers because controlling offices are full of flatterers and yesmen.Not only this, such aggrieved and victimized officer cannot seek and expect justice from court of law because in our country even court cases are not decided in twenty to thirty years.
To add fuel to fire bank management can spend lacs and crores of rupees on valued advocates for winning the case filed by aggrieved worker or at least postponing the decision on cases of corruption raised by juniors whereas a poor officer who is victimized and who is met with injustice cannot afford a simple advocate to plead for his case for one or two decades. There are many such instances when honest officers are willfully harassed by his seniors. There are many instances when junior but honest officers complains against senior to top offices but such complaint are either not attended or attended after so much delay that actual culprit is retired, expired or leave the bank. There are many such instances where actual culprit s awarded with promotions whereas other juniors working around him is made scapegoat.
Such type of flattery culture and an environment which induces corruption is prevalent not only in banks but also in other offices of the government.
Chief Minister of state gets success in earning wealth worth hundreds of crores of rupees only through IAS officers working under him. As soon as Chief Minister of a state assumes his office his first and foremost task is to remove officers and worker from his office who may create problem in earning money and replace them with team of blind supporters of corrupt practices initiated or promoted by him.
Mr. A. Raja, ex- telecom minister could succeed in arbitrary decision and cause loss of lacs of crores of rupees to Indian government only with the help of team of flatterers or one can say with the support of a gang of looters and with the blessings of his colleagues in the cabinet.
Mr. Kalamadi could succeed in spending Rs.70000 crores of rupees despite the fact that initial budget for Commonwealth Games was not even seven hundred crores. Now even various inquiries set by the government will not result in trapping of actual culprit because such culprit has so many Godfathers. During the course of time all evidences will be eliminated, witnesses will be removed from the path or motivated to say in tune with what the ministers speak. Moreover goods and services purchased at many times higher rate than prevailing rate can no more be produced for verification. Tenders allotted to corrupt contractors at much higher rate can no longer be reversed or questioned after the task is already completed. Obviously entire exercise of searching the culprit will prove futile as usually happens in the country. After 24 years of investigation in Bofors scam and after spending hundreds of crores of rupees government of India discarded the exercise and Rajiv Gandhi was exonerated using political power.
Mr. Raja allowed sale of 2G spectrum on 2002 rates whereas Mr. Kalamadi purchased goods and services at cost hundred times of it was budgeted in 2002.This is called tactful and cleaver manipulation of office decisions. This is the punch of corruption prevailing in the country. Every where there is talk of corruption in the system but no remedy is visible to anyone. There are very few dare devil persons like Subramanium Swamy who raises the voice against the system but ultimately such person are also cornered and punished by the corrupt system.

This is why policy of whistle blowers gets no response from any corner of the country. Scams after scam are exposed, but government never try to catch and punish the master mind behind the same and neither try to understand the actual fault of the system and frame such policy which can nip the actual culprit in the bud and punish the actual guilty in time . Unfortunately such culprits are generally top ranked officers and ministers in the government to whom perpetrators of corruption do not want to be punished.
If bank management in any bank is really interested to reduce corruption they should start the process of purification from the top and demonstrate their strong will to serve the interest of honest and loyal workers. For this purpose
1. They should revisit the files of all EDs. General Managers and Deputy General Manager and all charge sheeted officers but now sitting at top posts and try to find out their misdeed which they executed during their past service of say ten years and why they were not punished and who are those officers who were made scapegoat to save top officers.
2. They should assess the status of all advances made by them during their posting at branches to know whether they are still standard or written off or treated as Non Performing Assets (NPA).it will make clear that only those officers who were expert in earning through bad lending are now sitted at top posts.
3. They should assess the status of all goods and services purchased through suppliers and contractors and ascertain whether higher amount were paid for them and whether quality was equivalent to what was expected for the amount paid.
4. They should find out the name of officers who have been transferred to other states and remote villages in the state because they were not yes-man of controlling regional head. They should find out the name of Deputy General Managers or AGMs or Regional head or Circle Head or Zonal Head who transferred the services of subordinates to remote and critical places even violating the existing transfer policy in the name of exigencies of bank’s services. They should punish such top executives and demonstrate that they are really supporter of good workers.
5. They should find out the name of officers who have not been considered for promotions even in twenty to thirty years and his juniors have been given one after other promotions. They should sanction seniority based promotion to all those who have been ignored and demonstrate their strong will to give justice to all. Of course those officers who do not work upto the justifiable expectation of the management should be given an opportunity to improve and then demoted for non performance. But in any case management can deprive any officer of his legitimate right to get an opportunity to get promotion in time and serve in a better way.
6. They should find out the reason why a few officers are frequently transferred from one corner to the other whereas many officers have been allowed to work in a particular area for twenty to thirty years in continuation.
7. They should find out the name of charge sheeted officers who have been promoted and also name of highly talented honest and good officers of unblemished good record of performance who have been willfully ignored by members of Interview panel in promotion process. They should find out why appeals of such aggrieved officers were not looked into seriously and acted upon. Guilty member of interview panel or HR department should be booked to task for their mischievous acts and simultaneously officers who have always been neglected should be elevated to higher grade or scale for which they deserve.

I am therefore of strong view that policy of whistle blower will not be a success until management of bank demonstrate their good intention by their actions. When top officials are corrupt, of bad track record and whose image is not good one honest and really good worker at junior level cannot dream of leading a peaceful and respectful life with the help f his honesty or his performance. Under such circumstances it is not incorrect to say “Dishonesty is the best policy”

If there is a will there is a way.

It is easy to preach the sermon but difficult to practice.

It is easy to frame attractive and good policies but difficult to execute the same until people holding the responsible and powerful post and people sitting in the top offices have the strong will to put the desired policy into action. I am therefore not astonished that policy of whistle blower announced by government of India and introduced by bank management did not yield any response and did not precipitate any fruits of recognition from field level workers.

If any policy fails to produces desired result it also cast aspersions on the will and intention of policy makers. It is therefore justified to say that rulers of the bank as also that of the country are really originators of corrupt practices and policies to reduce corruption and improve vigilance awareness are framed for framing purpose.

There is a proverb in Hindi “Hanthi ke dant khne ke kuch aur hote hai aur dikhane ke kuch aur “


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