To protect its officials, CVC’s guidelines for PSUs, ministries

Taking serious note of attempts to victimise vigilance officials, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has circulated new guidelines to all public sector undertakings, public sector banks and various ministries and departments to ensure vigilance officials get greater freedom to "work independently and freely without fear".

In future, vigilance unit personnel will be posted in consultation with Chief Vigilance Officers (CVO) and their term will last for at least three years, with a provision to extend it by another two years. Premature reversion to parent cadres without the CVC's nod is not possible and digressions are to be reported to the CVC.

The CVC, which issued the circular on March 28, has also decided that the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) of vigilance personnel will be written by the CVO and reviewed by him after the "appropriate" authority at his place of appointment has made his remarks. Reservations on the remarks can be taken up with the CEO or head of department or reported to the CVC, which will intercede "suitably".

The new rules also say that vigilance personnel will not be posted under an officer against whom he has verified complaints or made an investigation. "Needless to say, his ACR shall also not be written by such an officer," says the circular.

To protect vigilance officials from victimisation after reversion, the CVC has decided to hold disciplinary action against them under its own purview, irrespective of their grade. This protection lasts for five years after the reversion.

The officials will also be entitled to represent—through the CVO and CEO of the organisation—to the Commission if they perceive victimisation with respect to "transfers, denial of promotion or any administrative action not considered routine or normal," says the circular. This benefit will last for until five years after their reversion.

The circular carries instructions for "strict compliance" and enjoins CVOs to report to the Commission promptly in case of any "real or perceived victimisation". In fact, these instances can be reported up to five years after a vigilance officer has completed his tenure in the vigilance unit.

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