The mysterious cases of missing files

[ Amar Sangno ]

Instances of government files disappearing mysteriously surface time and again in many departments in the state; but such cases often go unreported and die an unnatural death within the four walls of the offices.
According to unverified reports, there has been an alarming rise in cases of missing government files in various departments, which has considerably slowed down the working system and created unnecessary gridlocks.
The most vulnerable files are said to be related to finance, appointments, promotions, and, sometimes, recruitment rules. Sometimes the authority concerned is unable to retrieve a lost file, and at other times they retrieve the file, but in a tempered or doctored form.
It is said that 90 percent of the cases involving the disappearance of government files may be attributed to politicians; the general consensus is that politicians and their coteries treat government files as their personal properties.
“Almost 90 percent missing files can be attributed to politicos and the chamchas in their offices,” said a high-ranking officer on condition of anonymity.
“Politicos carry their files hand to hand, and after all the work is securely done, treat those files as disposable napkins,” he added.
However, the understanding among the commoners is that tussles among the top bureaucrats in the state’s power corridors are the reasons behind the disappearance of files.
“Some important files are intentionally held up by bureaucrats at their whims and fancies, leading to failure to meet the deadlines,” opined a commoner.
He cited politics among desk-clerical staffers in the offices as another reason for the missing files, claiming that some clerical staffers illicitly hand over government files to individuals.
It is understood that the state government has appointed an IAS officer as an inquiry officer to investigate the cases of the missing files and submit a factual report.
The state government has launched e-office in departments such as administrative reforms, personnel, information technology, and the capital DC office. Some officers believe that the menace of missing files can only be checked, or at least controlled, by introducing e-office system and file tracking system.
The new e-office system is an integrated file and records management system that allows employees to manage content and search for data internally, collaborate to improve productivity, quality, resource management and turnaround time, and increase transparency by replacing the old manual process with an electronic file system.