Odisha’s Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy today stated in a letter to a senior Government official that, “The newly appointed Assistant Section Officers (ASOs) of Odisha will not be engaged in mundane works rather be moulded as significant resources in policy making. Their actual main job is restricted to mechanical file pushing jobs, which do not add any value to the process of government function in the Secretariat”.
While addressing one of the ASOs meeting, the CS realized that the newly appointed ASOs were not utilised to their fullest capacity. Therefore, a definite set of roles and responsibilities have been charted for the post.
The charter states that the ASOs should be given responsibilities associated with projects and schemes and they should report to Deputy Secretary, Joint Secretary or Additional Secretary directly.
As per duty, the ASOs should routinely sent to interact with the Directorates and go on field trips obtaining feedback on the happenings on the field.
In a letter addressed to Industries Secretary Hemant Sharma, the Odisha CS said that the State Government has taken a significant step in recruiting 1,300 ASOs in two phases to strengthen the Odisha Secretariat Service. The officers in OSS cadre discharge important responsibilities in making policies and monitoring schemes and programmes, the letter read.
"The challenges of present times throw up myriad issues in public administration requiring appropriate responses and therefore, the role of the officers need to undergo significant changes, both in outlook as well as in capacity," Tripathy stated.
As per the letter, "When the Department makes presentations for review of important matters before the Chief Secretary or Development Commissioner, they must be accompanied by the dealing ASO, who will prepare the PPT."
The letter also mentioned that all the ASOs must be associated with the PMUs functioning in the Department so that they pick up the style and orientation of the consultants and will contribute in the long run.