The grievances are generally in concern with lack of service availability and its delivery, delays in service delivery, lack of transparency & accountability, etc.
No administration can claim to be accountable, responsive and user-friendly unless it has established an efficient and effective grievance redress mechanism (GRM). In fact, the GRM of an organization is the gauge to measure its efficiency and effectiveness as it provides important feedback on the working of the administration.
Importance of Grievance Redressal Mechanisms
1. Grievance Redressal Mechanism of an organization is an instrument to measure its efficiency and effectiveness.
2. Provides important feedback on the working of the organization.
3. Ensures timely delivery of services
Grievance Redressal Mechanism of the Government of India at the Apex Level
There are primarily two designated nodal agencies in the Central Government handling these grievances. These agencies are:
1. Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
2. Directorate of Public Grievances, Cabinet Secretariat.
Centralized Public Grievances Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS)
- It is an online web-enabled system. It was launched by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions.
- It is a single portal connected to all the Ministries/Departments of Government of India and States.
- Every Ministry and state have role-based access to this system.
- It enables the citizen to track online the grievance being followed up with Departments concerned and also enables DARPG to monitor the grievance.
- The procedure includes designating a senior officer as the Director of Grievances/Grievance officer in every office to ensure that the system remains accessible, simple, quick, fair and responsive, and fixing the time limit for disposal of work relating to public grievances and staff grievances.
- There is a designated authority i.e. complaint redressal system for every office.
- Every public authority will appoint or designate Grievance Redress Officers whose contact information will be clearly shared with the public.
- Every government department or public authority shall create an “information and facilitation centre” – to handle complaints.
- The Grievance Redress Officer has to ensure that the person who made the complaint is informed in writing with an Action Taken Report of how his or her complaint was handled.
- The Designated Authority has to ensure the appeal is acted upon within 30 days. He or she can fine the officer concerned and compensate the citizen, if appropriate.
- If a citizen is not happy with the Designated Authority’s response or decision, he or she can take their complaint to the State Public Grievance Redressal Commission. Each state shall set up this body.
- For citizens who are unhappy with a service provided to them from a government office that is under the jurisdiction of the central government, they can finally appeal to the Central Public Grievance Redress Commission.
With increasing education levels and rising awareness regarding one’s rights and obligation for government, the demands for better GRM will further increase.
Unified system (CPGRAMS and states’ public grievance redressal systems) will result in faster resolutions of grievances. This would result in more participatory and responsive governance and help realize the vision of ‘Sushasan’ or good governance in New India 2022.