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Transparency, Accountability & Timeliness in Right to Public Services An Overview of 5 States -Tina Mathur February 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Transparency, Accountability & Timeliness in Right to Public Services An Overview of 5 States -Tina Mathur February 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transparency, Accountability & Timeliness in Right to Public Services An Overview of 5 States -Tina Mathur February 2012

2 Why Service Guarantees - Broad Changes in Political Thought & Agenda – What [also] gets Votes ▫Good Governance ▫Development – Provision of Basic Essential Services ▫Open, Transparent Government ▫Anti-corruption Measures ▫Acceptance by State of Civil Society movements for rights

3 Why Service Guarantees- Specific Failure of Citizen Charters Precedence of Rights-based Laws : RTI, MNREGS, RTE Increasing Bad Publicity on Grievances related to poor Public Service Delivery Top-down Push for systems that holds front- line service providers accountable Simultaneously empowering citizens

4 RTPS Acts: Highlights Transparency Accountability Timeliness

5 RTPS Acts: Highlights Transparency- making public service delivery processes & procedures open and visible Transparency – Information to citizens on: ▫Reasons [in writing] why an application is rejected or a service delayed or denied ▫Status of Applications

6 RTPS Acts: Highlights Accountability - by identifying the responsible authorities within the system Accountability - Penalizing wilful non- performance Accountability - Put Citizen First: mechanism for redress of grievance; compensation

7 RTPS Acts: Highlights Timeliness - Imposes a legally enforceable timeframe for service delivery Timeliness: Imposes legally enforceable timeframe for addressing grievances through the mechanisms of Appeals and Reviews

8 Comparative Overview Sample: 5 States Methodology ▫Review of Documents ▫Limited field visits ▫A Quick Review of Major Elements

9 Comparative Overview Madhya Pradesh- PIONEER- first to pass and implement Act Bihar- RTPS NO. 1 on its ‘SUSHASAN’ Good Governance Agenda Rajasthan- maximum number of services guaranteed Delhi- An entirely different approach – e-SLA Uttar Pradesh- quick to follow MP, but least number of services under Act

10 Key Highlights

11 TRANSPARENCY -Public Awareness Awareness drives through ▫Special Gram Sabhas in MP; ▫TV, Radio, Print media in Bihar, ▫Nukkad Nataks, Village Pracharaks, Schools in Rajasthan Notice Boards in all States Clear instructions for citizens on application process and services coming under RTPS Bihar BRTPS Rules (sec.18) and Rajasthan Rules (20) specifically mention Dissemination and Training

12 Transparency Online application tracking and monitoring systems in MP, Bihar, Delhi, UP; final stages of software readiness in Rajasthan Jigyasa and Samadhan helpline in Bihar for queries related to RTPS e-SLA monitoring and tracking system in Delhi [compensatory cost for delay is calculated through e- SLA software] SMS based reminder system in MP for officials regarding pending services; application status through SMS in Bihar

13 Accountability – Fixing Responsibility Designated Authorities/Competent Officer, Appellate Authorities, Reviewing Authority identified in all 5 States Penalties have been notified in case of failure to comply by time stipulations; compensation fixed in MP, UP, Rajasthan and Delhi Delhi - Incentives for Good Performance- upto 5000 rupees for no default in 1 year; disciplinary action for 25 defaults in a year

14 Accountability – Monitoring Performance Monitoring and tracking at the level of applications – ▫Offices to maintain Register of applications accepted or rejected AND services delivered, delayed or denied ▫Software-driven such as Adhikar, e-District and e-SLA Monitoring also done through ▫ nodal officials, ▫inspections, ▫monthly meetings at which disposal, pendency of applications & appeals is done ▫Video conferences

15 Timeliness – Regular Systems In all five states, Notified Services have to unambiguously state the TIME LIMIT within which services will be delivered In all states [except Uttar Pradesh] acknowledgement slips show the Date on or before which the service would be delivered Delhi : an automatically generated Time Limit through the e-SLA system; Bihar: through Adhikar Single window systems in Revenue Department – all 5 States MP and Rajasthan - in addition - 1-day Governance

16 Timeliness – Some Field Observations Most services – reported to have been delivered before time: especially, mutation, caste/income/residence certificates MP, Bihar, UP, Rajasthan and Delhi have used IT for process efficiency. ▫Online application system introduced in MP, Bihar, Delhi & Rajasthan ▫In Rajasthan for certain services (caste, domicile and birth) certificates issued online with digital signature In MP and UP: where connectivity or capacity a problem, applications accepted, verified on paper and entries made into computer later to save time

17 Timeliness- Issues Too much time has been stipulated for services in the RTPS Acts ▫Citizens: Earlier the process was faster. ▫Governments: A safety mechanism since penalties are involved; does provide flexibility to set better standards locally Delays: Very few appeals so far- MP, Bihar and Rajasthan have reported a few

18 Overarching Challenges Overall implementation mechanisms robust ▫ rules framed ▫process simplification on-going ▫citizen awareness campaigns on-going ▫ capacity building on-going Shortages of Staff in Front-line Institutions: seems to be nearly universal ▫In urban: due to high demand for services ▫In rural – vacancies not filled for years ▫Staffing situation needs re-assessment Shortage of funds has been reported: extra costs incurred for computer stationery; electricity supply, etc.

19 Overarching Challenges Service Delivery staff need further capacity building ▫Mindset change Infrastructure: Frontline institutions require more space and better working conditions Service guarantee to reach the illiterate, people living in remote areas: How to enable? Important that citizens understand what is guaranteed: NOT acceptance of Application alone! ▫in some cases even where citizens were not eligible, perception was that the service was still guaranteed

20 Overarching Challenges A competitive spirit amongst states for increasing number of services under RTPS Acts ▫Good when notification of more services is well- thought out ▫Danger in playing number games

21 Overall Picture So Far States-led: Ownership Very High State Specific Strategies the Norm ▫Notified Services – local demand-pull; supply-push ▫Multi-modal Delivery: Paper and Electronic ▫Choice: Punishment or Mutual Understanding [Delhi-developing culture for timely service delivery; encouraging departments to join E-SLA] ▫Modes of Monitoring ▫Procedures for Appeals/Complaints Self-generated Competitive Spirit amongst states

22 Overall Picture So Far An enabling law for citizens rights that has received largely positive feedback from all, including government staff Pressure of service delivery on the designated officials as more people applying for services after learning about the guarantee Change in citizen perceptions: no longer need the services of middlemen or bribe to get services

23 Thank You

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