DETAILED NOTE ON E -PAYMENT TO CGA
AS A FOLLOWUP TO THE MEETING HELD WITH CGA ON 30TH MAY 2013
All India Civil Accounts Employees Association
(RECOGNISED BY GOVT. OF INDIA)
Central Office: - Address for Communication:-
16-A, Akbar Road Hutments, 17/2 – C, P & T Quarters,
New Delhi: - 110011 Kali Bari Marg,
No: AICAEA/HQ/A-2/2013/1027-1067 Dated: 9th September, 2013
The Controller General of Accounts,
Ministry of Finance,
Department of Expenditure,
New Delhi – 110003
Subject: Item No:- 3 of the minutes of the meeting - note on e-payment regarding.
Ref:- Your Office letter endorsement No:- A-11019/25/2011/MF.CGA(A)/NGE/ AICAEA/HQ/117 dated 24-06-2013.
I am directed to refer to the above and forward herewith a detailed note on e-payment for your perusal and further necessary action.
We request you to kindly examine and take favorable action on the views given by us and requests made thereafter.
Enclo: as above
Copy to all Federal Executive members for information and necessary action.
The concept of releasing payment through Electronic Payment Mode has been developed and implemented by the O/o CGA. The e-payment module embedded into the COMPACT (PAO 2000) application is being implemented by the PAOs of Central Civil Accounts Departments since 01.04.2012.It is also known to everyone that it is being managed and operated by the filed accounting Staff and Officers.
02. Nature of the work and Contribution demanded from Staff & Officers.
The actual work forces for the implementation of the above software module are the officials and officers upto the level of PAO/Sr.AO only. It may be noted well that though the work requires great volume of data entry at the level of Accountant and Senior Accountants (who contributes more than 98% of the data entry), they are totally responsible for the success of the system, which have been handed over to them, despite the fact that they were not properly trained in that work nature nor no guidance was given to them as given in the case of AAOs/PAOs. So naturally, it is a commendable fact to record here that without proper training, the Accountants/Sr. Accountants have come over it very successfully that even the CGA Office itself could declare the success, in a very jubilant manner, in its web site.
Originally, at the time of introduction of the “e-payment system” it was stated that the system would be used for payment, other than Salary, to staff and others like Suppliers, Contractors etc., when the value of payment exceeds Rs.25000. Further, in respect of Central Govt. Servants, all the payments towards settlement of retirement benefits like Gratuity, Commuted Value of Pension, GPF etc., also have to be made through e-payment only. At present, as per the system, staff have the option to receive their salary also through e-payment but not compulsory.
But, on the contrary, the success of the system delivered by the staff and officers of the PAOs has made up the mind of the Senior Officers and Staff of the attached Ministries/Departments that they all have now opted for the e-payment in respect of salary also.
It is needless to mention here that majority of the Staff and Officers of the Civil Accounts Organisation, under the head of CGA, has opted for “e-payment” for Salary also.
Factually, the amount of money transactions released through e-payment for payment of salary bills is more than all the other bills under payment of OE, GPF, Retirement Benefits etc., Of course, this fact can very well be verified with the records maintained at the O/o the CGA ( Appropriation Section). Those figures will communicate everything transparently and will definitely substantiate the facts now furnished by the Assn.
03. Volume and Nature of additional Work attended to by the Staff/Officers.
Here comes the valuable contribution made by the Staff of the Civil Accounts Organisation for the success of the system.
It is known to everyone that as soon as a bill is presented for payment to the PAO, after making all scrutiny as per the rules in prevalence, the process of passing the bill begin at “ PAO-2000”. For passing a bill, even for a single payment to an individual, nearly 150 Key Depressions are to be made by Accountant/Sr. Accountant.
The e-payment module having vast number of data fields are manually entered at the bill passing stage by Accountants and Senior Accountants. The data for a bill for e-payment typically consists of IFSC, Account No., MICR, Name, Address, Mobile Phone No., Particulars, NPB (approx. 9 fields). These fields require 150 key depressions per payee record. However, to make payment through cheque mode the key depressions and fields requiring manual data entry is less than 25. (With most of the details having “drop down” selection option).
So, naturally, under e-payment, particularly at the time of Salary payment, when, a single bill is presented to the PAO which normally consists of 50 individual salary claims ( that is the minimum no of salary claims under one salary bill in major Departments), the Staff has to do at least 7500 to 9000 Key Depressions on that single bill.
04. Problems encountered at the execution of work at Field level Offices.
It is a pity that no one could ever understand the tension and stress, the staff and Officers are undergoing at the time of passing and making Salary Payment under e-payment since it is of very emotional issue and importance of statutory obligation on the part of the PAO Units to a working employee/Officer.
04.01 Shortage of Staff Strength :
Here the PAO Offices encounter a peculiar problem also, i.e. Shortage of staff strength at field level. So sometimes a single Accountant/Sr. Accountant would be required to enter and pass nearly 5 to 6 Salary bills at the same time without any reasonable time gap. There could be no denial of the fact that, during pre-check of salary bills, the Accountant and Senior Accountants are stressed beyond limits to bring in greater accuracy.
04.02 Presentation of Pay Bills by the DDOs: - Delay /non-furnishing of details /furnishing incorrect bank details which cause additional work pressure
Added to the fuel is the fact that the problem of late presentation of Pay Bills by the DDOs. Though it is specified in the rules that Salary Bills are to be presented well in advance to the PAOs, the attached DDOs never care to follow such rules and never care about the functionality of the PAO offices nor about their shortage of Staff strength nor the work load do they undergo due to changed electronic payment system. So the DDOs present the Pay Bills giving time of two or three days only. Due to this practice, sometimes, the PAO and its staff are to work day and night, under stress and tension, to process all the formalities of the bill, apart from Key Depression functions to be carried out under “e-payment”, in a hurried manner but to the point of perfection and error free, to ensure timely credit of salary by the due date.
One more critical issue that comes to the fore very often is the matter of furnishing of Bank account number by the DDO, on behalf of the staff- in the event of furnishing of incorrect number or account no of another employee there is the danger of the credit passed to the wrong account instead of the right account. There is no definite process in-built into the software module that could alert and caution the PAO staff. Rather, the PAO is held accountable for any monetary loss arising out of the above transaction and they have to bear the loss out of their own pocket. The PAO and the staff are not insulated through proper check and balances in the system.
Further to this, It may be noted here that even omission of any single digit in any of the filed by the DDO – the field staff have to break their head since the system would not allow us to proceed. Then again the DDOs are to be contacted at such short notice for rectification of mistakes.
So, the e-payment which has been touted as having reduced the time cycle of “receipt of bill to date of settlement” (Direct credit to bank account) have brought in untold hardship and stress to already skeletal work force in the grade of Accountant and Senior Accountant and to the AAOs.
One more misery is the fact that the Direct Benefit Transfer initiative of the Govt. implemented through CPSMS portal/software platform, AAOs are drafted to do the work. The order of work allocation clearly states that, “in addition to their present work allocation”, which itself quantifies increased work load for the concerned AAOs.
It is never to be forgotten here that despite all the odds, the commendable working nature of the Accountants/Sr.Accountants/AAOs combined with toiling contribution of work in a very effective and razor sharp manner only has brought in laudable victory to the success of the “e-payment system”. They are the backbones for the success story but it may be noted that we are not properly compensated in any whatsoever manner nor we are given any encouragement by way of proper remuneration/better pay package/scale of pay/GP.
05. Additional Work load due to Automation of Accounting Work from the days of ‘IMPROVE” & work contribution by the Staff as demanded
In order to substantiate our claims, we wish to go back to the older periods and bring out the following facts to the kind remembrance, to understand the issues in a better way.
In 1985, the CGA Office introduced the Accounting Automation system through the introduction of ‘ IMPROVE”. The Accounting Staff, though initially showed some reservation for the acceptance of the automation, then gradually we agreed and we carried out the work successfully, on the reasonable belief that the grievances of the Accounting Cadre would be redressed by the Authorities by offering better pay scales in recognition of the work they have contributed for the success of the Automation of the Accounting system; but it is regretted to note that the Administration is yet to take care the Accounting Employees, for what they have delivered to them.
Due to the above, we are compelled to bring it to your knowledge that strong resentments is brewing in the minds of the members about the step motherly attitude they have been met at the hands of the authorities when compared with the other Organisations like CCSC.
Despite the above, when the Administration introduced the system of computerized accounting in the name of “PAO-2000” during the year September/2001, the Staff responded well and cooperated with the CGA Admin., to undergo the transit very smoothly from “IMPROVE” to “PAO 2000”.
06. Absence of proper recognition of work contributed purely on technical basis but denial of restoration of Pay Parity with CCSS
But, it is a pity to record here that once again, during 2006, the Accounting
Staff and AAOs were not given proper recognition for the services they are rendering and what they have been requested and asked for, in their day to day discharge of functions and duties.
The parity with the CCSS, so far been enjoyed by the Accounting Organisation were snatched off and again they are left out in the streets to show their protests and agitations for the restoration of their rightful place; which the judiciary of the Nation has also acknowledged to give from 01.01.96.
Though the judiciary could grant us justice and fairness on our plea, what we really need and plead and ask for is our own Accounting Head, CGA should acknowledge the work so far contributed by his own people or rather it can be well said that by his own family members.
Since CGA is our Accounting Head with whom we can depend upon and with whom we can fight it out for our welfare, we put forth the following suggestions for the kind attention of the CGA.
Since the time of implementation of IMPROVE, COMPACT from 1984 onwards, the CCAS cadres has seen more vacancies. The sanctioned strength of staff has not been increased with increase in the staff strength in the Civil Departments of Govt. of India. Rather, the vacant posts have piled up over time. The staff has also not been compensated suitably for doing highly skilled nature of work on Computers.
It may be emphasized here that Civil Accounts Organisation is the only Organisation doing work in a total computer environment basis when compared with their recruitment standards; at the same it is felt that it is the only Organisation where the Staff/Officers are not properly compensated against the line of work demanded from them or for the implementation of various technical advancements like PAO-2000/e-payment in the course of their career.
07. Our requests
Now we bring forth our grievances to the kind and favourable attention the CGA with earnest hope and belief that our genuine requests, furnished below, would be met at the hands of the CGA and our justified requests would be fulfilled to restore the original place to the Accounting Staff/Officers, which has been lost in the present pay commission.
· filing of vacancies of Accountants in the PAO Units / AAOs
· Training Mechanism should be strengthened and training institutes may be opened in more stations. At present there are only 3 RTCs, which may be increased to at least 1 RTC in each state. Staff may be given training on continuous basis, which could help them to given more productive output in their daily work.
· More personnel should be trained at advanced level, so that they may be utilised for imparting training to other staff in their state through the proposed new RTCs. The opening of RTCs would invariably help in creation of additional posts at RTCs and further, reduce displacement of staff to outside their state during training period.. There is a sure possibility all the Officers and Staff would be willing to have training, on rotational basis and the RTCs would serve their real purpose.
· Immediate merger Accountant and Sr. Accountant under single nomenclature of “Accountants” since there is no functional difference in actual practice/discharging their day to day work and very important point is RR is common for both the posts. So, merger of the posts is practically feasible.
· The post of Accountant may be placed in the GP of Rs.4600 (interview based as in the case of Assistants of CCSS Cadre / Inspr. of Income Tax/Central Excise). So now, the demand of the PAY PARITY with Assistants can very well be restored, since the VI CPC has left the matter in the hands of the concerned authorities to make amendments for provision of Pay Scales accordingly.
· Grant of 4 advance increments from the date of declaration of result for Confirmatory exam for accountants. For example, In CBDT and CPWD, the employees who qualify the departmental exams are allowed advance increments.
· Grant of 4 advance increments after qualifying the AAO(C) exam.