7th CPC Views on Outsourcing, Downsizing and Contracting of government jobs
Views of JCM-Staff Side : The JCM-Staff Side has, in its memorandum to the Commission, strongly opposed outsourcing stating that the existence of a large array of personnel employed by the government through contractors is pushing a major segment of government functions into the informal sector.
Nature of Deployment: The Commission had sought from all ministries/departments information with regard to remuneration levels of contacted manpower to ascertain the level of work being assigned to them. In most ministries/departments that have provided information, it is evident that the nature of jobs being contracted out were of a routine nature, involving a low level of remuneration. However Department of Electronics and Information Technology did engage a fair number of contractual personnel at higher levels of remuneration. Railways and Ministry of Home Affairs also reported deployment of some contract personnel with higher remuneration.
Expenditure on Contractual Manpower: The Commission also sought information from all ministries/departments on expenditure towards engagement of contractual manpower. The information provided is brought out in Table 12.
While the expenditure incurred on contractual manpower is relatively small compared to expenditure on Salaries of personnel serving in the government, they are in their own right significant and also likely to increase in the coming years. This warrants streamlining the existing regime governing outsourcing of contracted manpower, as has also been suggested by some ministries.
The responses and data received by the Commission suggests that there is a general consensus that routine administrative jobs in the government can continue to be outsourced. In this regard the Commission is of the view that a clear guidance from the government on jobs that can and should be contracted out would be appropriate. While doing so the concerns of confidentiality and accountability may be kept in view. Further, to bring about continuity and to address the concerns regarding exploitation of contractual manpower, uniform guidelines/model contract agreements may be devised by the government.
Earlier in this chapter the fact that in a number of ministries/departments a large percentage of personnel will be retiring in the near future has been brought out. Loss of experienced high level personnel can entail unquantifiable costs as new recruits will require investment in terms of training, mentoring etc. In this light utilisation of retiring personnel with suitable skill sets can also be considered.
The Commission is also of the view that a database should be available with the government which can enable it to draw upon high level retiring personnel, who have the required capabilities to be utilised through contractual appointments.