New Delhi: The Centre on Friday directed all central government departments to take cognisance of corruption complaints containing verifiable allegation.
"If a complaint contains verifiable allegations, the administrative ministry or department may take cognisance of such complaint with the approval of the competent authority to be designated by the ministry or department as per their distribution of work," the Ministry of Personnel said in a missive.
In such cases, the complaint will be first sent to the complainant for owning or disowning, as the case may be. If no response is received from the complainant within 15 days of sending the complaint, a reminder will be sent.
"After waiting for 15 days after sending the reminder, if still nothing is heard, the said complaint may be filed as pseudonymous by the ministry or department," it said.
The Ministry, which acts as nodal department to ensure transparency measures, also issued guidelines on handling of anonymous complaints of corruption by central government departments.
No action is required to be taken on anonymous complaints, irrespective of the nature of allegations and such complaints need to be simply filed, the official order said.
"Complaints containing vague allegations could also be filed without verification of identity of the complainant," it added.
The move is part of putting in place a mechanism for handling of corruption complaints under the Public Interest Disclosure Protection of Informers` Resolution (PIDPI)-2004, a mechanism for handling complaints where identity of the complainant is kept secret and the complainant is provided protection.
Both the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and central government departments get a huge number of anonymous and pseudonyms corruption complaints, which at most of the times contain vague contents. The PIDPI resolution encourages a whistleblower to expose act of corruption while ensuring his security.
All central government ministries have already been directed to designate a nodal officer to look into complaints of corruption received from whistleblowers under PIDPI resolution.
Earlier, the CVC was the only designated agency to receive complaints from whistleblowers -- a term given to people who expose corruption in government departments.