Performance evaluation of secretaries

Opposition Leader V. S. Achuthanandan has joined issue with the government over the dispute whether the Chief Secretary or the Minister concerned should do the performance evaluation of government secretaries.

The issue had arisen over Chief Secretary E. K. Bharat Bhushan’s stand that the preparation of the confidential report of K. Suresh Kumar, who was Additional Secretary in the Chief Minister’s Office, by Mr. Achuthananandan, who was then the Chief Minister, was not in order. The Opposition Leader said in a letter to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy that the Chief Secretary’s stand was illegal and aimed at usurping the power of the elected Ministers.

In an earlier letter, he had asked that the Chief Minister should correct the Chief Secretary. However, he had received no reply so far.

He said that the argument that the Chief Secretary supervised the performance of government secretaries was wrong. Secretaries mostly reported to the Minister and the Minister concerned was the reviewing authority. In the case of Mr. Suresh Kumar, he as the Chief Minister was also the accepting authority. He had acted legally in the case of Mr. Suresh Kumar. However, the Chief Secretary was creating a misunderstanding citing an expired order.

He urged Mr. Chandy to give strict instructions to the Chief Secretary as the one in charge of the All India Services portfolio.

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