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CVC amends SOP for adoption of Integrity Pact in govt. organisations

The CVC is tasked with acting against corruption in the government.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Central Vigilance Commission has amended the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on adoption of “Integrity Pact” in government organisations for procurement activities, and restricted the maximum tenure of Integrity External Monitors (IEMs) to three years in an organisation.

The latest order revises the SOP issued in January 2017. In Para 5.2, the amended provision states that the choice of IEM should be restricted to officials from the government and Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) who have retired from positions of the level of Secretary to the Central government or of equivalent pay scale.

Such officials who retired as Chairman and Managing Directors (CMDs) of PSUs — Schedule 'A' companies and CMD/Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer levels in the Public Sector Banks (PSBs), insurance companies and financial institutions — should be at least of the level of Additional Secretary or its equivalent.

“Officers of the Armed Forces who have retired from the rank equivalent of General may also be considered for appointment. Preference would be given to persons who have worked in any other sector, other than their own, or have worked as CVO [Chief Vigilance Officer] in any organisation,” says the order.

Under the 2017 order, the officials who had retired from positions of the level of Additional Secretary to the Central government and above, or equivalent pay scale, were eligible for the PSUs, board level officers in Schedule 'A' companies, PSBs, insurance companies and financial institutions. Officers of the Armed Forces who had retired from the rank equivalent to Lieutenant-General and above could also be considered for appointment.

The amended Para 5.3 provides that for appointment as IEM, the Ministry, department or organisation concerned has to forward a panel of suitable persons to the CVC, of those persons who are in the panel maintained by the Commission. The previous corresponding provision stated that the panel could include those already in the panel maintained by the Commission, or they could propose names of other suitable persons.

Earlier, Para 5.7 stated that the initial tenure of IEM would be three years and it could be extended for another term of two years on a request received by the Commission from the organisation concerned, fixing the maximum tenure at five years in an organisation.

The latest orders provides that the IEM will be appointed for a period of three years in an organisation.

According to the Commission, “Integrity Pact” is a vigilance tool that envisages an agreement between the prospective vendors/bidders and the buyer, committing both the parties not to exercise any corrupt influence on any aspect of the contract. The pact is also to ensure transparency, equity and competitiveness in public procurement.

The IEMs independently and objectively review the documents to determine if the parties have complied with their obligations under the pact. They may submit a report to the chief executive of the organisation concerned or directly to the CVO and the CVC, if they find serious irregularities attracting the Prevention of Corruption Act provisions.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 8:51:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cvc-amends-sop-for-adoption-of-integrity-pact-in-govt-organisations/article32932525.ece

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