A retired person can be appointed in a public organization on contract basis when there is a genuine need for his services. Government of India has made adequate provisions and facilities to the authorities to make such appointments. There are various instructions in this regard in Swamy’s Manual of Administration, GFR, FR & SR including Leave Rules.
But, in the case of appointment of Deans to the ESIC Medical Institutions, we find something odd.
These appointments had been made even before the amendments to the ESI Act were passed by the Parliament in May 2010.
The Deans are functioning as Heads of Offices and the Medical Superintendents of the attached Hospitals are required to co-operate with them. Is there any general order issued by the DOPT that enables the retired officials to be appointed as Heads of Offices? Or is there any special provision made by the ESI Corporation for this purpose?
Can such retired officials appointed on contract basis be vested with disciplinary powers when they, themselves, are not subjected to any such disciplinary control, except as per the terms of contract?
The Director General is the Chief Executive Officer and the Head of the Department of the Corporation. He himself is subjected to the provisions of the APAR. But, are the retired officials appointed as Deans subjected to the provisions of the APAR?
Are they required to write self-appraisals and to submit them for Report and Review? If so, what is the format? Under what provisions laid down by the DOPT? Moreover, for what purpose?
Can such retired officials appointed as Deans and are not amenable to the provisions of the APARs for themselves, write the APARs of the other officials in the ESIC ?
In fact, the retired and re-employed officials cannot be appointed even as Heads of Divisions in an office, unless there are special provisions made for that purpose by the Central Government. In the absence of such provisions, these persons can render service only in advisory capacity and not in administrative capacity.
But, the Deans appointed on contract in the ESI Corporation are working as full-fledged Heads of Offices and are reportedly taking decisions involving huge monetary commitments which the Medical Superintendents (cadre officers) of all the attached Hospitals are required just to endorse and enforce without question and without even seeking clarification. Is this position procedurally correct? Does authority and accountability go well together in such arrangements?
The option of deputation
If needed, the Organisation can make use of the time-tested system of deputation (including short-term contract) which is intended only for the purpose of bringing in knowledge from outside coupled with accountability. The serving officials in State Government medical colleges in the line of promotion to the cadre of Dean can be brought in, to act as Deans in the ESIC Medical institutions. If the services of other experts are required they can also be brought in but as consultants in advisory capacity to assist those Deans on deputation.
The Hqrs. Instruction dated 13.12.2011 deals with some of the issues connected with such appointments but leaves many out. Besides, it seeks to regulate the appointments on contract from 01.01.2012 only and does not regularize the appointments made up to 31.12.2011.
How were such appointments made then? Why are the regular officials subjected to the administrative and disciplinary control of retired officials appointed on contract basis?
Other facets of this issue will follow. We will be happy to publish enlightening responses!