The 360-degree appraisal system introduced to replace the ACR/APAR seems to have created widespread resentment among Government servants. Discuss its working and major issues in the light of parliamentary standing committee report.
One of the major criticisms of the (Annual confidential report)ACR is that superior authorities are biased in the assessment of the subordinates. In order to have a better appraisal of the officials, the government in 2016 introduced a system of 360-degree performance appraisal system for the empanelment of secretaries.
360-degree appraisal mechanism is widely used in the corporate sector and the assessment is done on the basis of information from various sources including senior, peer, subordinates and even external sources like customers.
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law, and Justice in its report said that this system is not at all suitable for government departments as information for assessment is gathered in informal ways and therefore there may be biasness and subjectivity in that. Also, information collection in informal ways, is a huge problem for the bureaucracy as even anonymous complaints during promotion time are considered as feedback. Also, the officials have been deprived of remedies to register their grievances in case feedbacks are found negative in the 360-degree appraisal system. Moreover, this mechanism it is based on executive instructions only and lacks statutory backing.
Therefore the committee reported that present 360-degree appraisal system opaque, non-transparent and subjective which will create chaos, anarchy, and arbitrariness.
Secrecy in the process of performance appraisal is not at all justifiable. The panel report, urged for transparent guidelines and legal framework for 360-degree appraisal system to make the process of empanelment more objective, transparent and fair.
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