Secretaries may have to explain delay in providing inputs accountability in the higher bureaucracy, the process of inter-ministerial consultations should be completed within two weeks. Secretaries of ministries which fail to provide â€œcriticalâ€ inputs for Cabinet proposals within the stipulated time could be made to explain the delay in doing so before the Union Cabinet. A latest missive from the Cabinet Secretariat addressed to all Union Secretaries says that inter-ministerial consultations for any Cabinet note should be completed within two weeks. â€œIt has also been decided that if any consulted Ministry /Department has inputs that it considers necessary/critical for decision making in the case, and these could not be communicated to the sponsoring Ministry (the ministry which has initiated the proposal), Secretary of such Ministry could be required to indicate such inputs during the meeting of the Cabinet along with reasons for not having been able to provide the comments in time,â€ the June 20 circular said. Also Read: Fresh directive: Pay attention to time-bound requests, PMO tells secretaries Aimed at bringing more accountability in the higher bureaucracy, the circular says that the process of inter-ministerial consultations, before the Cabinet note is finalised, should be completed within two weeks. Seeking to end any ambiguity, it says that the two-week timeline will begin from the day the ministry concerned delivers the draft Cabinet note to other ministries for consultations. â€œIn cases where the consulted ministries fail to forward their comments to the sponsoring departments within two weeks, the sponsoring departments will clearly indicate in the body of the note the date on which comments were sought from the ministries concerned and the fact that the comments of the ministries have not been received till finalisation of the note for the Cabinet or the Cabinet Committee,â€ the instruction says. The Cabinet Secretariat has also compressed the timeline for providing requisite number of copies of the Cabinet Note from the recently-decided seven working days to three. â€œIt has further been decided that after sending a single copy of the final (Cabinet) note to the Prime Ministerâ€™s Office and the Cabinet Secretariat, the time of seven working days for forwarding the requisite number of copies to the Cabinet Secretariat will stand revised to three days,â€ it says. Usually, the copies of the note are circulated to ministers, and in some cases to Secretaries, a day before the Cabinet meeting so that they come prepared on the subject to be taken up. Secretaries may have to explain delay in providing inputs | The Indian Express *********************************************************** It appears that the new Govt is serious about governance. One has to have time bound decision making. A good start to awaken a lethargic and all pervasive bureaucracy. No longer will they be the masters and lords of India!