Getting work done through the government offices of Haryana is an ordeal for the common man. Corruption is rampant and bribery the norm. A high illiteracy rate in many parts of the state leaves the residents ignorant of their rights and makes them unable to cope with the bureaucratic mechanism in place. Starting from inordinate delays in movement of files and work orders, to massive corruption in handing out tenders and permits have virtually eroded any semblance of work ethics in the state.
Most of the citizens of the state are unaware of the very existence of a state vigilance bureau. The Bureau is obliged to dispose any complaints made to it within 30 days. The RTI or the Right to Information is another potent tool to combat corruption and malpractices in government offices. The citizens of the state are sadly unaware of these options and resort to bribes for resolution of their daily work.
Whistleblowers in Haryana are currently subject to much persecution. Ashok Khemka, a senior Indian Administrative Service officer, became well-known for cancelling Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's land deal with DLF in Gurgaon due to its lack of adherence to legal standards. Sanjiv Chaturvedi, another honest Indian Forest Services officer blew the lid off a number of illegal allocations of protected forest areas in the state in favour of senior Congress politicians and to charitable trusts. Much of this land was garnered illegally. Both officers faced charge sheets and were repeatedly transferred while the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was withheld from conducting investigation into these cases. With such precedents, it is imaginable that officials in the government offices of Haryana are vary of bringing up ethics, rules, and regulations with their seniors. Political pressure is a key factor for the rampant corruption in the state.
It is time when the government of Haryana needs to pay much attention to the functioning of public offices in the state. Decorum and discipline among the officers is at an all-time low. While bribery and influence can get almost anything done, work is neglected both in terms of pace and quality. Smart systems are the need of the day. Publication of records in online databases with the record of officials who are accountable is a great way of reducing red tape in public offices. Cloud systems and digital databases of records eliminate fear of tampering at a later date. Most importantly, Haryana is in much need of a robust system of audits and accounts to set right the government offices.