Public administration in India is generally perceived to be unresponsive, insensitive and corrupt. If one visits to the States, one could had on several occasions meet and hear from the public and most of the observations by citizens were about the poor quality of services provided by the Government, the indifferent attitude of government servants, corruption and abuse of authority and lack of accountability. A common complaint pertained to excessive red-tapism and the long time taken to get even routine work done. The Sixth Central Pay Commission’s comments in this connection are worth noting:
“For the common man, bureaucracy denotes routine and repetitive procedures, paper work and delays. This, despite the fact that the Government and bureaucracy exist to facilitate the citizens in the rightful pursuit of their legal activities. Rigidities of the system over centralization of powers, highly hierarchical and top down method of functioning with a large number of intermediary levels delaying finalization of any decision, divorce of authority from accountability and the tendency towards micromanagement, have led to a structure in which form is more important than substance and procedures are valued over end results and outcomes. Non-performance of the administrative structures, poor service quality and lack of responsiveness, and the subjective and negative abuse of authority have eroded trust in governance systems which needs to be restored urgently.”
The Fifth Central Pay Commission had the following to say on the public impression about civil servants: “However, if one speaks to any enlightened member of the public he has several complaints against the public services. These relate to their size, productivity, accountability, transparency and integrity.