Jammu, Aug 13: Commerce Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam is no longer the Chief Secretary of Union Territory of J&K. However, 74 Annual Performance Reports of Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (JKAS) officers on J&K SPARROW platform for the assessment year 2019-20, are pending with him in his capacity as the ‘Chief Secretary.’
This revelation has come to the fore in an annexure enclosed with a GAD circular issued by Commissioner Secretary M K Dwivedi, asking all the 'Initiating, Reviewing and Accepting authorities to complete the processing of pending over 200 APRs by August 15, 2021.’
Annexure provides the details of APRs pending with authorities registered on the SPARROW application (J&K) for the assessment year 2019-20 at different levels as on August 10, 2021.
Since Subrahmanyam, who was replaced by A K Mehta as the Chief Secretary of J&K, has already taken over as the Commerce Secretary in June this year, how can he complete the action as the ‘Chief Secretary.’
However, the GAD Commissioner Secretary explains that the process is in legal framework and there is no ambiguity about it.
“No, there’s no problem on this account. There is a procedure for it. He is still a serving officer so he can attend to those APRs within his time-line,” Dwivedi states.
“However in the case of retired officers, there is a specific period of one month within which they can attend the APRs, after they demit office. As far as in-service officers are concerned, even after their transfer they can complete the action vis-a-vis the period during which the subordinate officers served under him,” he elucidates.
“There is no ambiguity on this account. As the APRs in question pertain to the year 2019-20 and during that period as those subordinate officers worked under him, so their APRs would go to him only for processing. As he was the Chief Secretary during that period so he would review or accept the APRs in that capacity only. That’s why his designation would not find any change on the platform too,” Dwivedi further explains.
But will the former Chief Secretary also be bound by the deadline of August 15 to complete the action, if yes, has he accomplished the job?
Dwivedi, however, chose not to comment on this query. “Sorry, these are not public issues. So cannot comment,” was his precise reply.
The GAD circular issued on August 11 had cautioned that any deviation to complete the action by August 15 would be considered as “dereliction of duties for which disciplinary proceedings would follow accordingly.”
Out of 74 APRs pending with the former Chief Secretary, 47 are at the reviewing level while 27 are at the accepting level.
Similarly many APRs are pending with the Principal Secretary DrPawanKotwal and Divisional Commissioner/Secretary Aviation LadakhSaugat Biswas, Principal Secretary Home ShaleenKabra and Principal Secretary Information RohitKansal.
“Attention of all the 'Initiating/ Reviewing and Accepting Authorities' is invited towards the issue of processing of Annual Performance Report(s) (APRs) in respect of members of Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service on J&K SPARROW platform' for the assessment year 2019-20. The timelines for processing of APRs for the assessment year 2019-20 was extended and relaxed considering the COVID-19 situations and switch over from manual to online filling of APRs on SPARROW portal. The extended timelines have already expired on December 31, 2020,” Dwivedi had noted in the circular.
“However, despite the extended timelines for processing of APRs, notified vide Government Order No. 1025-JK (GAD) of 2020 dated November 1, 2020, an appreciable number of APRs are still pending at different stages. The details of APRs pending with authorities registered on the SPARROW application (J&K) for the assessment year 2019-20 at different levels as on August 10, 2021 are provided at the Annexure-A,” he had stated while referring to the annexure enclosed with the circular.
Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window (SPARROW) system for J&K Administrative Service officers was inaugurated by the Lieutenant Governor M K Sinha on September 4, 2020.
The Performance Appraisal Reports of AIS officers are submitted on the SPARROW portal. On the same analogy, the Government of J&K had decided to switch over from manual to online generation and recording of Annual Performance Reports in respect of members of J&K Administrative Service on this system.