’13 comunidade members stuck in same posts for 12 years’
Of the 25 employees at the office of the administrator of comunidades, South zone, 13 of them have been serving continuously in the same postings for the last over 12 years, thus contravening the rules and provisions contained in the Code of Comunidade.
This was revealed in the information furnished by the administrator of comunidades, South zone, in a reply to an RTI query posed by attorney of the comunidade of Aquem Celistino Noronha.
In reply to a specific query sought by Noronha in the RTI application, administrator of the comunidades, South zone, Pravin Barad, has said that the maximum permissible tenure in a post for clerical staff is six years. However, official documents furnished in the RTI reply indicate that the average tenure of clerical staff in their present post has been 11-12 years, if one excludes two mutual transfers that were effected last year. The clerical staff is posted in various offices of the village comunidades by the administrator to look after the day-to-day administrative affairs, including maintaining books of accounts.
While one clerk posted in Quepem taluka is occupying the post continuously for the last 15 years, since October 1998, another in Mormugao taluka is serving for last 13 years, since December 2000. The last time general transfers were done was way back in August 2001, sources said. Stakeholders of comunidades are upset over the inaction of the authorities in effecting the transfers of the staff despite several requests made by them to that effect.
"Our objection and grave concern is that an excessively long tenure of a clerk spanning over a decade is prejudicial to the interests of the comunidade, besides being contrary to the provisions of the comunidade law. Frequent rotation of staff is an important preventive vigilance measure recommended under the Vigilance Manual. We made several requests to the authorities to rotate the clerical staff, but they have turned a deaf ear. Some clerks are known to use political influence to scuttle such moves," RTI activist Savio Correia told TOI.
Pointing out that the Code of Comunidades was amended in 1998 prohibiting a member from being re-elected to the managing committee of the comunidade for two successive terms, Correia said that "while managing committee members keep rotating every three years, the escrivaos (clerks) have been serving for a continuous average period of 11 to 12 years in the same. [TOI]