Lack of manpower hits CVC`s anti-graft helpline

Tired of calling the Central Vigilance Commission`s anti-corruption helpline and getting no response?

New Delhi: Tired of calling the Central Vigilance Commission`s anti-corruption helpline and getting no response?

Believe it or not, the country`s premier anti-corruption watchdog is grappling with increasing complaints of "no-response" from the anti-corruption call centre set up to register corruption complaints in central government departments.

Official sources said the probity watchdog does not have dedicated manpower to man the helpline, causing trouble to aggrieved callers.

In order to take a step forward in its fight against corruption, the CVC had in 2010 constituted the helpline to assist people and register graft cases.

It has a dedicated toll free number 1800-11-0180 and a helpline number 011-24651000 which are functional from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 7 pm.

Besides this, the CVC had last year announced another 24x7 helpline --1964-- to deal with corruption complaints. After a lot of technical and managerial glitches, the number has been made operational but there is insufficient staff to attend calls.

The number, 1964, assumes significance as the CVC was set up in February 1964 by the government.

"There have been increasing instances where callers are unable to get through the anti-corruption helpline or receive any response. It is mainly due to lack of manpower. In fact, the staff answering queries or registering complaints are not properly trained or permanent," a senior CVC official said, requesting anonymity.

Repeated calls made to all the three anti-corruption helplines of the CVC during weekdays did not yield any response.

Officials said a proposal to have a full-fledged call centre with people trained in handling such calls is pending administrative approval within the Commission.

There were no comments on the issue from senior CVC officials authorised to talk to the media. Calls made to CVC Secretary KD Tripathi, who also acts as spokesperson, too went unanswered.

"The Commission is aware of the issue and has called for a feasibility study to set up a call centre and resolve all other issues. It is likely to be done by Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd, a government of India`s Public Sector Enterprise," a source said.

In a related development, a Parliamentary Standing Committee had recently expressed concern over the "acute shortage" of manpower in the anti-corruption watchdog.

"The Committee took serious note of the acute shortage of manpower in the CVC particularly... The Committee hopes that CVC will prioritise the filling up of vacant positions in a phased manner," it had recommended.

The CVC is a statutory body empowered to inquire or cause an inquiry or investigation on a reference made by the Central Government. It is also empowered to exercise superintendence over the vigilance administration of the various central government ministries, departments and organisations including the CBI.

Many sensational cases of graft, including the Commonwealth Games scam, are being investigated by the CVC.


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