How bureaucratic transfers work- Deccan Herald
Though money is key, personal equations and caste also play a role in transfers. Some influential politicians make sure that officials of their caste are posted in their constituencies.
Group A, B and C officials such as tahsildars, sub-registrars and police inspectors approach politicians, while those in the lower rungs (Group C and D) approach power brokers close to politicians. The minute system is so widespread that bundles of recommendation letters can be seen in all departments. However, IAS and IPS officers are usually not transferred in lieu of bribes.
Political interference is common in the revenue, transport, excise, public works, energy, home, urban development and social welfare departments as they have huge budget allocations. Bengaluru and other big cities are always the most sought-after for corrupt officials.
Big money changes hands for the transfer of sub-registrars, especially in Bengaluru, assistant commissioners (field work), tahsildars, surveyors, road transport officials, excise inspectors, engineers, police sub-inspectors and inspectors, and revenue officials.
Only those who are influential and ready to pay bribes get key postings in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and the Bengaluru Development Authority.
The bribes vary from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore, depending on the place and post. Even clerks pay up to Rs 5 lakh to get posted to sub-registrar offices in Bengaluru, according to senior officials who spoke to DH.
Corrupt officials in the Transport Department are more ‘organised’ than others in getting postings of their choice.
Officials have formed a group to take transfer decisions on their own.
They pool in their bribes (to be paid to politicians) and get the transfers done without much ado.
Members of the group even take turns at lucrative posts. Officials in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) were part of this racket in the past, it is reliably learnt.
Illegal and reckless transfers of officials is seen as the root cause of corruption in administration. A transfer for bribe is virtually a licence to loot. Officials who get there by foul means remain unaccountable to their higher-ups. The result: they pocket taxpayers’ money and funds allocated for government schemes.
Reports of the national auditor, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, placed before the state legislature, expose this system. The transfer mafia is so powerful that legislators have on occasions revolted against their own government and threatened to bring it down.
Several governments have attempted to control the mafia and failed. A top official working in the CMO during the B S Yeddyurappa regime (2008-11) was shunted out for attempting to control the mafia.
Senior IAS officers have remained mute spectators to the racket. Those who raise a voice against it are transferred frequently and also harassed in other ways.
The helplessness expressed by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy recently sums it up: “Transfer of officials is where corruption begins. If I try to uproot it immediately, I won’t be allowed to remain in power even for two minutes.” more