Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Public Service Guarantee Acts

The Public Service Guarantee Acts is an effort to ensure time-bound delivery of services to the public. This legislation was considered because of the inability of citizen’s charters at enabling efficient and effective public service delivery. It involves putting people at the centre of public services and enabling them to claim the standards of service to which they are entitled.

The PSGA will uproot corruption at the lower level bureaucracy and bring about good governance, transparency, accountability, and responsiveness of the administration. It has been passed in many states- Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, and bills are under consideration in many others.

The procedure under the Public Service Guarantee Act is that
1.    The applicant willl receive a receipt when he submits an application, and the time begins from the date of submission which is mentioned the receipt.
2.    There is a fixed time for every officer to keep a file with him. If the officer in charge fails to provide the service in time the applicant can approach the first and second appellate officers. They would instruct the officer concerned to provide the service.
3.    In case of delay, the officer in charge will have to pay a fine. In the MP act the fine is to the tune of Rs. 250 per day, maximum of Rs. 5,000.
4.    The Appellate officer can also be penalized if he fails to ensure the delivery of service, and is unable to give any valid reason for non delivery of services.
5.    In the J&K Act, part of the fine shall be given to the complainant as compensation for delay in receiving the service.

Some of the services guaranteed in this Act include: Birth Certificate, Caste Certificate, Domicile Certificate, Tap water supply connection, Death Certificate, BPL Card, Driving License etc. Slowly more services and government departments will be brought under the purview of this Act.

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