"There exists a dichotomy between the need for transparency and accountability and protecting honest civil servants from undue harassment." Discuss what can be done towards solving this dichotomy.

Published: January 13, 2017

Currently, the RTI Act, media, judicial activism etc. are proving helpful in bringing about greater transparency and accountability in the functioning of the government. But at the same time, it is also observed that these mechanisms are misused. Further, the officers are now afraid of taking prompt and speedy decisions. Thus, this dichotomy between the need for transparency and accountability and protecting honest civil servants from undue harassment needs to be resolved.
The following can be done to end the dichotomy-

  • Providing monitoring mechanisms for ensuring transparency in programme.
  • Providing adequate safeguards to officers such autonomy and accountability can be balanced.
  • Encouraging officers to take decisions by rewarding them for success.
  • Defining standard operating procedure and Code of Conduct.
  • Encouraging voluntary disclosure of information.
  • Encouraging participation of people in governance through trust building measures.
  • Penalty for those who use measures for personal interest.
  • Bringing media under regulations through propagating positive values. Judiciary can restrict itself in crossing the boundaries by coming out with norms for judicial activism.

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