In a significant move, the Jammu and Kashmir government has requested all administrative departments to provide ‘supporting documents’ for the verification of appointments to a committee headed by the principal secretary of the finance department before November 15 for Jammu and Kashmir Human Resource Management System (JKHRMS). This development has raised eyebrows, particularly with the inclusion of two judicial officers in the list, whose records were previously verified by the High Court during their induction into service. Notably, the government appears not to have consulted the High Court regarding these appointments. On the other hand, the unavailability of the appointment documents sparks concerns over potential discrepancies and bypassing of procedures, particularly pre-2019 when Article 370 was in effect.
This initiative comes on the heels of the withholding of salaries for over 990 officials since the implementation of the Jammu and Kashmir Human Resource Management System (JKHRMS) in October 2022. The General Administration Department (GAD) has issued an office memo dated October 31, urging employees to submit ‘supporting documents’ to establish the genuineness of their appointments.
The breakdown of affected officials reveals that 541 employees from the Health and Medical Education Department, 128 from Irrigation and Flood Control, and 83 from the Education Department are among those facing salary issues. Other impacted departments include Industries and Commerce, Home, Jal Shakti, Public Health Engineering, Agriculture Production, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Finance, Forests, General Administration, PWD, and Hospitality & Protocol.
The required ‘supporting documents’ encompass various records such as the first page of service books, recommendations of Service Selection Board (SSB)/Public Service Commission (PSC) in case of direct recruitment, muster roll entries, and documents related to contractual or ad-hoc employment. All documents must be submitted to the GAD by November 15 for further review by the committee headed by the principal secretary of the finance department.
The JK-HRMS, launched in October 2022, aims to streamline employee services, including the maintenance of digital service records, postings and promotions, GP Fund, income tax statements, and performance monitoring. The decision to disburse October 2022 salaries exclusively to employees registered on the JK-HRMS underscores the government’s commitment to digitizing governance and restructuring the administration.
A senior officer in the Union Territory administration justified the decision, stating that the GAD has already received supporting documents for a significant number of affected employees. The resolution of issues concerning the remaining employees, reduced to 600-700, is anticipated in the coming days.
This development not only reflects the government’s commitment to addressing potential irregularities but also underscores the broader agenda of mainstreaming the Union Territory and enhancing accessibility for efficient governance. The HRMS implementation is poised to play a pivotal role in modernizing administrative processes, ensuring transparency, and fostering a more responsive government.