Evaluating IAS Officers: PAR to replace ACR
Eminent Persons Group to vet Senior Officers
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has approved a new system for the appraisal of the performance of Officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The existing system of assessment based on Annual Confidential Report (ACR) is to be replaced by a new instrument called Performance Appraisal Report (PAR). The PAR would be a tool for career planning and training, and not just a statement of a senior’s opinion of a junior.
Apart from the PAR, a new system of peer review of senior officers by an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) has also been approved by the Prime Minister. The EPG will ascertain the reputation of a civil servant by seeking inputs from peers, juniors and clients on a confidential basis. The reputation of an officer in terms of integrity, competence, attitudes and personal qualities will be assessed once every five years by the EPG. The EPG may seek information from intelligence agencies also. The EPG’s report will be confidential and not be part of the PAR. These reports will be used only when posting officers to sensitive posts, at the time of empanelment and to counsel an officer. A High Level Selection Committee including the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition will select members of the EPG. Each EPG will have a 5-year term and so will appraise an officer only once.
The PAR will evaluate the performance of an officer against 15 to 20 indicators of performance like work output, personal attributes, functional competency, and so on. The appraisal will be on a 1-10 scale, with the overall grade being the median of the set of scores arrived at for each indicator, with some indicators being regarded as “mandatory” indicators for performance appraisal.
At the beginning of each year, the appraisee and the Reporting Officer may prepare a work plan for the coming year, setting forth the key tasks to be accomplished in order of priority. Specific deliverables for each task may be defined in quantitative, financial or qualitative terms. A mid-year update of the work plan may be considered based on events and changed circumstances. In the place of the present three levels of assessment, there may, in future be only two levels of assessment, namely a Reporting Officer and a Reviewing Officer, in some States. States that opt to retain the present 3-level system may be allowed to do so. For officers in the Super-time Scale, the Reviewing Officer would be the appropriate political superior.
Provisions may be created to enable officers on training, study leave or foreign assignments to also secure a PAR. The Government may also specify the need for an annual health check for all officers.
A comprehensive personal dossier may be maintained for each officer with the following enclosures: an annual CV based on PAR; a 5-yearly CV submitted by appraisee; annual PARs and health reports.
The basic format for the PAR for all levels of officers may comprise four sections, namely, basic information including tax and property returns, medical reports, etc; self-appraisal; peer appraisal and numerical grading; and review. The PAR may also include an Integrity Certificate.
Details pertaining to the PAR and EPG system, as approved by the Prime Minister will be notified by the Ministry of Personnel, Government of India. This system will, to begin with, apply only to I.A.S. officers.
(Release ID :9096)