Nine agencies short- listed for first- of- its- kind study

BHOPAL: Apparently bitten by the Aam Aadmi Party ( AAP) bug, the State Government has invited offers from private agencies to study the level of corruption in government offices, particularly in delivery of primary public services like issuing caste, domicile and income certificates and distribution of destitute pension.

Through the poverty monitoring and policy support unit ( MPPSU) of the state planning commission, the government has received offers from nine private firms for undertaking a study on consumer satisfaction regarding certain services.

” The process is underway to select one agency among the nine submitted offers,” said official sources. This will be the first of its kind study to be carried out by any state government in the country to gauge satisfactory level of public on services and corruption, said officials.

” Earlier Bihar government did such study but its findings were not put in public domain,” they said. The officials will prepare citizen report cards from the study, which is expected to be over in a year. The agency will interview around 18,000 subjects all over the state on services like Public Distribution System, School – Primary and Secondary level, ICDS – Anganwadis, Health – Government health care services, MGNREGS, Distribution of Pensions – Old age, widow and disabled people, Issuance of Certificates – Income, caste, domicile, Birth/ death

Besides, feedback will be also collected on grievance redressal system. In urban area, the study will also cover public transport and vehicle registration services as well.

The surveyors will find out satisfactory level of the services, rank them, the number visits public pay or amount of time in getting services, corruption and use of speed money and rank in government offices and blocks for particular service.

Move may open a Pandora’s box: The BJP government may have opened a Pandora’s box by conducting such a survey as its findings could trigger a debate on the government’s performance. The government officials said, findings on questions like casteism in mid day meal or corruption in delivery of services could be problematic for the government. The Bihar government had carried out such study but its findings were confined to files because of the bitter truths it revealed.

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