JAIPUR: More than a dozen civil servants from the Rajasthan Administrative Services (RAS) have been put on ‘Assignment Standby’ (APO) for months with high salaries, meaning they receive a salary without doing any work, said people familiar with the matter.
APO officials are not assigned to any duties except to mark their presence with the Department of Personnel (DoP). They do not receive a salary on a monthly basis, but will receive it once they have been assigned.
As districts continue to face an officer shortage, 14 RAS officers have been on APO for months – eight of them since December 2021 and are on two to four months rest.
“There is no policy or time frame for putting an official on APO and giving an assignment,” a DoP official said.
An APO official said, “The government doesn’t have time to give us jobs…it’s not a political job but a bureaucratic job. The positions are vacant. »
The officer said it had been months and they were inactive. “When the RAS transfer list was released months ago, a list of IAS officers was also released…while they can be assigned instantly, why can’t we?” asked the official.
“We left the government housing assigned to us and waited for the next assignment. The rent for the house was not given during APO so I had to move my family to my home town and now I am awaiting orders,” the officer said.
A senior RAS official on condition of anonymity said putting an official on APO is the prerogative of the state government, but it is unjustified to leave it idle for a long time. “If there is a complaint against the official, action must be taken, but the APO cannot be a punishment. The APO official receives full salary, which is taxpayers’ money for not do nothing,” he said.
“The RAS Association has time and again written to the government urging it to have a policy on APO, providing clarification on the maximum time frame to put APO and other rules in place, but nothing has been done. was done,” he said.
The manager said the system was different 10-12 years ago, then the secretary, the personnel department at their level used to give posts to civil servants on APO, but over time things got better. concentrated on the office of the Chief Minister.
Retired IAS officer Deepak Upreti said putting an official on APO for a long time is not good practice. The official must be commissioned and the APO period must be less. It’s taxpayers’ money, and during APO’s time, they receive full pay. “If it’s not a serious problem, the appointed official APO should be of minimum duration,” he said.
The RAS officers in APO since December 31 are Narayan Singh Charan, Shweta Fagedia, Dataram, Govind Singh, Ramchandra Bairwa, Om Prakash, Uttam Singh and Ashok Kumar. Additionally, there is Nilima Takshak and Om Prakash Meena from November 2021, Sudhanshu Singh from December 2021, Anita Meena from February 2022, Sanjay and Reena from April 2022.