Financial assistance for professional documentation of best practices

Grant of financial assistance to States/UTs for Professional Documentation and Dissemination of good governance initiatives/practices under the Plan Scheme on Administrative Reforms-guidelines regarding


INTRODUCTION

A best practice is a programme, initiative or action which results in improvement in the efficiency of management systems for the delivery of basic services.

2. State Governments and Union Territory administrations have taken several initiatives in Good Governance from time to time.

However, the documentation of the process of conceptualizing and implementing these initiatives/practices is often confined to newspaper reports and official briefs. This is largely due to the fact that the people involved in the process have little time or patience to document it and in the absence of professional documentation, it is not possible to make an evaluation of these initiatives with a view to take steps for their replication in other States/UTs or elsewhere. The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (AR&PG) has formulated a Plan Scheme on ‘Administrative Reforms’ and has been supporting documentation of best practices in the area of administrative reforms. This Department has recently requested all the State Governments and UT administrations to send proposals for grant of financial assistance by the Department of AR & PG for documentation and dissemination of good governance initiatives.

OBJECTIVE OF THE SCHEME

3. The objective of the Scheme is to provide financial assistance to support professional documentation and dissemination of good governance initiatives by the State/UT governments with a view to sharing experience with each other and replicate elsewhere.

DETERMINANTS/KEY PRINCIPLES

4. While selecting a practice the beneficiary State/UTs may take into the consideration of the following elements:-

  1. A best practice should have a demonstrable and tangible impact on improving people’s quality of life.
  2. It should be a result of effective partnership between the public/private and civic sector of society.
  3. It should be socially, culturally, economically and environmentally sustainable.
  4. The policy interventions should be : cost effective; time saving; and include simplified procedures.
  5. It should bring in government functioning: Transparency, sensitivity, responsibility and accountability.
  6. It should have potential of replicability by other agencies of state and centre.

EFFORTS AND PROCEDURES TO ACHIEVE THE OBJECTIVE

5. Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances will make sustained efforts to motivate the states to participate in the Scheme in a project mode wherein 3 to 4 states will be taken up in a year.

6. Principal Secretary/Secretary (Admn. Reforms) of the beneficiary State/UTs will be the nodal officer. He will arrange to collect practices in a proforma (to be prepared by ARPG) and send the collected practices to the Director, State Administrative Training Institutes of the State/UTs which will be the collection centre for the purpose. The Institutes will lend institutional support to Secretary (AR) for documentation and dissemination of best practice.

7. The beneficiary State/UTs is required to form a Committee of Secretaries of States concerned comprising Secy.GAD or Secy.AR as Chairman, Director ATI and one expert from outside to identify and validate the practices.

8. Department of AR & PG, Govt. of India will constitute an Evaluation Committee under the Chairmanship of Additional Secretary, Department of AR & PG to evaluate the proposals received under the scheme. The other members of the Committee will be all Divisional Heads of the department and one representative from the Integrated Finance Division. DS/Director will be the convener of the Committee. A synopsis of each proposal will be made available to the Members of the Committee in advance before the scheduled date of its meeting. The final selection as well as the amount of financial assistance will be decided based on the observations/recommendations of the Evaluation Committee.

9. After obtaining the approval of the Committee to the proposal, concerned State/UT Government will be advised to initiate the process of documentation.

10. The beneficiary State/UT Government will be required to send each proposal for the scrutiny by this Department. They would be required to furnish the following information while sending their proposals for documentation of various practices/initiatives in good governance:

  1. Details of each practice/initiative in good governance;
  2. Whether the documentation for these initiatives will be undertaken by State Government itself or with the assistance of any professional agency after following due process of outsourcing the projects; and if so details of the said professional agency(s) selected;
  3. Curriculum Vitae of the consultants;
  4. Total estimated expenditure likely to be incurred on documentation and dissemination;
  5. Time frame for completion of the documentation process;
  6. Whether any financial assistance has been received in respect of the project for documentation purposes and if so, details thereof.

Processes for Documentation of best practices

11. Documentation of exemplary work is a permanent record that can be consulted for policy framing and execution so that the lessons out of them may be learnt and experience shared. Therefore, the beneficiary state/UT is required to bring out a compilation of a few practices in published form.

12. The documentation of a best practice should have broadly the following elements:
- Situation before the practice
- Encounters and challenges faced by the innovators
- Strategy adopted
- Results achieved/anticipated
- Sustainability
- Lessons learnt
- Replicability.

Dissemination

13. The objective of promotion of good governance may not be achieved unless and until detailed information about the particular practice and what is happening elsewhere in the country is available. The document may be disseminated to the political leadership, policy and decision makers, implementing agencies, beneficiaries and public at large, to provide guidance, create awareness, learning of lessons; motivation and sharing of experiences. Hence, the beneficiary state/UTs is required to develop a regular system for the dissemination of practices amongst the decision/policy making authorities and implementing agencies across the country. They may take the assistance of the media units of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting such as PIB, DAVP. Field Publicity Units, Publications divisions and Directorate of Information and Publicity of States.

14. For the dissemination of practices, besides their own requirement, the beneficiary state/UT government will make arrangements to disseminate the document as under:-

(i)Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs= 35
(ii)Secretary(AR) of all States/UTs= 35
(iii)Secretary of the concerned Department of all States/UTs= 35
(iv)Parliament House Library= 100
(v)Administrative Training Institutes (as per list enclosed)= 28
(vi)Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances= 117
Total= 350

Financial Assistance

15. The Financial assistance may vary from case to case and will be restricted to Rs. 3 lakh including the expenditure incurred on data collection, surveys, preparation of reports and cost of printing and mailing.

16. Financial assistance will be released to the concerned State/UT Administrative Training Institutes in two installments. The first installment will be released i.e. 50% of the cost as soon as the proposal is approved by the Evaluation Committee of DARPG. The second installment will be released after satisfactory completion of the job.

17. On completion of the job, the State/UTs ATIs will furnish Utilization certificate detailing item-wise expenditure to this department immediately.

Evaluation

18. The effectiveness of the effort to provide financial assistance to States/UTs for professional documentation and dissemination of good governance initiatives may be evaluated after three years.