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  1. Who are the Chief Vigilance Officers?
  2. What are the selection and appointment procedures for the Chief Vigilance Officers?
  3. What is the role and functions of Chief Vigilance Officers?

1. Who are the Chief Vigilance Officers?

The Chief Vigilance Officers are extended hands of the CVC. The Chief Vigilance Officers are considerably higher level officers who are appointed in each and every Department/Organisation to assist the Head of the Department/Organisation in all vigilance matters.

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2.  What are the selection and appointment procedures for the Chief Vigilance Officers?

Selection and Appointment

The Chief Vigilance Officers constitute an important link between the organizations concerned and the Central Vigilance Commission (as also the CBI). The following procedures have been laid down/evolved in the matter of appointment of CVOs:

a. Prior approval of the Commission for appointment of an officer as CVO;

b. As far as possible, the Chief Vigilance Officers should be from outside the Organization in which he is to be appointed. The initial tenure of full-time CVO in PSUs is for three years extendable by two years in the same organisation with the approval of the Commission or upto a further period of three years on transfer to another PSU on completion of initial tenure of three years in the previous PSU.

c. In cases where the scale of operation of a particular organization does not justify creation of a full-time post, an officer within the organization sufficiently senior in rank to be able to report directly to the Chief Executive or vigilance matters may be considered for such appointments;

d. The officer to be given additional charge of the post of CVO should not be one whose normal duties involve dealing with matters sensitive from vigilance point of view (like recruitment, purchase, etc.);

e. Once an officer has worked as CVO in an organization, he should not go back as CVO to the same organization again;

f. An officer who is appointed from outside as CVO in Central Public Undertaking shall not be permanently absorbed in the same organization on expiry or in continuation of his tenure as CVO in that organization; and

g. The "Vigilance" and "Security" function in an organization should be separated as both the activities are equally demanding and the discharge of "security" functions by a Chief Vigilance Officer only leads to dilution of supervision on vigilance matters. However, an exception has been made in respect of the hotel industry.

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3. What is the role and functions of Chief Vigilance Officers?

Role and functions of Chief Vigilance Officers

Even though detection and punishment of corruption and other malpractices are certainly important, what is more important is taking preventive measures instead of hunting for the guilty in the post corruption stage. Therefore, the role and functions of CVOs has been broadly divided in to two parts, which are (I) Preventive and (II) Punitive.

On the preventive side

The CVOs undertake various measures, which include:

(a) To examine in detail the existing Rules and procedures of the Organisation with a view to eliminate or minimise the scope for corruption or malpractices;

(b) To identify the sensitive/corruption prone spots in the Organisation and keep an eye on personnel posted in such areas;

(c) To plan and enforce surprise inspections and regular inspections to detect the system failures and existence of corruption or malpractices;

(d) To maintain proper surveillance on officers of doubtful integrity; and

(e) To ensure prompt observance of Conduct Rules relating to integrity of the Officers, like

(i) The Annual Property Returns;

(ii) Gifts accepted by the officials

(iii) Benami transactions

(iv) Regarding relatives employed in private firms or doing private business etc.

On the punitive side:

(i) To ensure speedy processing of vigilance cases at all stages. In regard to cases requiring consultation with the Central Vigilance Commission, a decision as to whether the case had a vigilance angle shall in every case be taken by the CVO who, when in doubt, may refer the matter to his administrative head, i.e. Secretary in the case of Ministries/Departments and Chief Executive in the case of public sector organisations;

(ii) To ensure that charge-sheet, statement of imputations, lists of witness and documents etc. are carefully prepared and copies of all the documents relied upon and the statements of witnesses cited on behalf of the disciplinary authority are supplied wherever possible to the accused officer alongwith the charge-sheet;

(iii) To ensure that all documents required to be forwarded to the Inquiring Officer are carefully sorted out and sent promptly;

(iv) To ensure that there is no delay in the appointment of the Inquiring Officer, and that no dilatory tactics are adopted by the accused officer or the Presenting Officer;

(v) To ensure that the processing of the Inquiry Officer's Reports for final orders of the Disciplinary Authority is done properly and quickly;

(vi) To scrutinise final orders passed by the Disciplinary Authorities subordinate to the Ministry/Department, with a view to see whether a case for review is made out or not;

(vii) To see that proper assistance is given to the C.B.I. in the investigation of cases entrusted to them or started by them on their own source of information;

(viii) To take proper and adequate action with regard to writ petitions filed by accused officers;

(ix) To ensure that the Central Vigilance Commission is consulted at all stages where it is to be consulted and that as far as possible, the time limits prescribed in the Vigilance Manual for various stages are adhered to;

(x) To ensure prompt submission of returns to the Commission;

(xi) To review from time to time the existing arrangements for vigilance work in the Ministry/Department for vigilance work subordinate officers to see if they are adequate to ensure expeditious and effective disposal of vigilance work;

(xii) To ensure that the competent disciplinary authorities do not adopt a dilatory or law attitude in processing vigilance cases, thus knowingly otherwise helping the subject public servants, particularly in cases of officers due to retire;

(xiii) To ensure that cases against the public servants on the verge of retirement do not lapse due to time-limit for reasons such as misplacement of files etc. and that the orders passed in the cases of retiring officers are implemented in time; and

(xiv) To ensure that the period from the date of serving a charge-sheet in a disciplinary case to the submission of the report of the Inquiry Officer, should, ordinarily, not exceed six months.

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