Make CV’s of all NREGA Ombudsmen public: RTI Movement

   

Srinagar

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Jammu and Kashmir RTI Movement have demanded that CVs of all the recently appointed NREGA Ombudsmen should be made public so that people know what is the background of these transparency officers who were appointed by Rural Development Department recently.

The spokesman in a statement said taht the executive committee of RTI Movement which met in Srinagar on Friday took a strong notice of these appointments as the transparent process was followed which violates the provisions of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).

“As per the guidelines provided by Ministry of Rural Development Government of India, the selection of Ombudsman shall be made from among persons of eminent standing and impeccable integrity with at least twenty years of experience in public administration, law, academics, social work or management.  No person who is a member of a political party shall be considered for appointment as Ombudsman. The persons selected as Ombudsman must be physically active and capable of conducting field tours, inspections and visits to remote rural locations in the districts. The guidelines further say that the Ombudsman shall be appointed for a tenure of 2 years extendable by one year based on performance appraisal or till the incumbent attains the age of 65 years or whichever is earlier. There shall be no reappointment.  Performance appraisal shall be made by the Selection Committee headed by Chief Secretary of state. As for as appointment of 11 NREGA Ombudsmen is concerned people are not aware how these appointments were made? It would have been advisable if Rural Development Department would have made their CV’s public so that people would know what kind of work they have done in past for public good. Except for G R Ghani Retired IAS officer NGEGA Ombudsman for Budgam / Srinagar, nothing is clear about ten other Ombudsmen. In-fact section 4 of J&K RTI Act 2009 impresses upon the Government to make all the details public while making any appointments to various boards and councils. It would have been advisable that CVs of all the appointees should have been made public along with the order that was issued Vide Government Order No: 89-RD &PR of 2018 Dated: 10.04.2018,” said Raja Muzaffar Bhat Founder / Chairman of Jammu & Kashmir RTI Movement.

“Vide Government Order No: 89-RD &PR of 2018 Dated: 10.04.2018 Government appointed 11 Ombudsmen to look after NREGA related complaints in 22 districts of J&K. Each Ombudsman will take care of two districts,” the statement reads.

“The Ombudsmen are sort of vigilance and accountability officers at the district level, but if a transparent process is not evolved in their appointment what is the fun of having such people? How can they expose corrupt practices committed by BDOs VLWs etc at block or halqa? NREGA guidelines fix the upper age limit for appointment of  Ombudsmen as 65 years, but as per the order issued by Rural Development Department on April 10th, the upper age limit has been enhanced by 3 more years (68 years). How is it possible that Ombudsmen who are more than 65 years of age be physically active and capable of conducting field tours, inspections and visits in remote rural locations of J&K? Being Physically healthy is the basic criteria for the appointment but enhancing age by 3 more years violates the basic guidelines of NREGA” RTI Movement statement further reads.

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