Complaint Handling Policy of FCI
CVC circular No.15/7/09 dated 01.07.2009 instructs all Organizations to devise complaint handling policy to have uniform practices and procedures in the handling and processing of complaints in organizations. The following procedure/policy, in line with CVC guidelines, is laid down for handling of complaints in FCI.
1. All complaints should invariably be registered in a register to be maintained in each office in the enclosed proforma( annexure-I) and status of pending complaints should be apprised to higher authority in monthly returns in existing format.
2. Information gathered from reports, returns, news-papers, etc., will be included under the term “complaint” and will be dealt with in the same way as letters of complaints. Information received verbally will be reduced to writing and dealt with similarly. (CVC Manual Para 1.2, Chapter II of Vigilance Manual, Vol.I)
3. Vigilance section will give cognizance to only those complaints in which there is an allegation of corruption or improper motive or if the alleged facts prima-facie indicate an element or potentiality of a vigilance angle. Complaints which relate to purely administrative matters or of technical lapses such as late attendance, disobedience, insubordination, negligence, lack of supervision, or operational or technical irregularities, and other lapses not having a vigilance angle, will not be dealt in vigilance section (para3.1.3 Chapter II of vigilance manual Vol.I).
4. As per CVC instructions, no action is to be taken on pseudonymous and anonymous complaints as a general rule. However, if authorities propose to look into any verifiable facts alleged in such complaints, the CVO is expected to get preliminary enquiry conducted and CVC’s approval is necessary for conducting detailed investigation. It is however noticed that, violating CVC instructions, pseudonymous and anonymous complaints are either being investigated or filed on pick and choose basis. As a general rule, Pseudonymous and anonymous complaints are to be filed, as per the instructions of the CVC . However, in exceptional cases where it is considered essential to investigate, a proposal should be sent to CVO, FCI, for seeking approval of CVC. In no case, should pseudonymous and anonymous complaints be investigated without approval of CVC. CVC circular dated 06.07.2006 on this issue is also enclosed (annexure-II) for reference.
5. It is noticed that complaints are simultaneously marked to many authorities which results in parallel investigation of the same complaint by various authorities putting avoidable burden on limited resources available with Vigilance Divisions. So it is directed that normally, complaints should be investigated only by the authority to whom it is addressed. However, if it is felt that there is role of the addressee authority in the alleged complaint, a higher authority would cause investigation.
6. As per CVC direction contained in circular No.57/8/04 dated 31.08.2004, to avoid unnecessary harassment to the officials against whom frivolous complaints are received at the time of their promotion/selection, the guidelines are that: (a) As a rule, complaints/cases which are more than 5 years old and no action has been taken till then, should not be investigated. However, the limit of 5 years will not apply to cases of fraud and other criminal offences; and (b) No cognizance should be taken of any complaint which is received 6 months prior to the initiation of selection process for senior posts.
7. It is seen that complaints are investigated in non-standard form often missing important details, so it is again directed that all complaints should be investigated as per format provided in annexure A of CVC circular No.21/8/09 dated 06-08-2009 (copy enclosed as annexure-III).
8. Whenever the complainant for valid reasons requests that his identity be withheld while processing the complaint, this should be invariably be ensured by the authorities concerned.
9. Authorities may not entertain any further correspondence with the complainants, but will ensure that complaints are investigated and action taken to its logical conclusion.
10. Complaints marked to subordinate offices should clearly spell out the mandate on CVC pattern as follows: a. For necessary action –no report is required to be sent on such complaint. b. Action as deemed fit – no further reference be made with higher office. c. Factual report – a report may be sent to higher authority with or without investigation. d. Investigation report – investigation be conducted and report be sent to higher office with recommendations of competent authority. e. Action taken – action taken report be sent to higher office.
11. In cases where it is felt that investigation by Central Bureau of Investigation is necessary in terms of circumstances enumerated in Vigilance Manual Para 1.2 Chapter-III (extract enclosed as annexure- IV), a proposal for the same should be sent to CVO. No case will be handed over to CBI without approval of CVO/CMD.
12. If complaint against an employee of Corporation is found to be malicious, vexatious or unfounded, action in terms of Para 8 of Chapter III of Vigilance Manual Vol.I (extract enclosed as annexure-V) should be initiated against the complainant for making false complaint. Habitual complainants making false complaints should be dealt with sternly.
13. It is expected of officers investigating complaints to clearly report findings based on merits. Lop-sided, incorrect, imaginary investigations lead to misguided action against the employees which not only demoralise the affected employees but also prove to be a wasteful and futile exercise.
14. Separate file should be opened for each authenticated complaint. This issues with the approval of ED(V)/CVO. General Manager (Vigilance)