DailyPost 2292

What we document is what you do, and what you do, is what you document, should be the running functional philosophy of every organization. This would help it steer clear of every storm however much dangerous it might be. All renowned certifications in the world relating to quality and quality assurance, run on this philosophy of documentation and practice, they are not bothered what you actually do and how proficiently. This in itself can run the organizations smoothly and efficitently seems to the time-tested mantra. Conversely, if this glue does not stick, there is no way an organization can be successful for long.

I am not sure of the fact whether this match of documentation and practice was ever achieved in the governments. The unison of document and the practice speaks of a basic truthfulness of the organization which enduring business organizations die to achieve, creating trust which moves on to credibility and at the end of all, a brand which can be anybody’s envy. It can stand on its own feet. On the governmental side, Singapore government may be a case in point. The general presumption in governments here to create documents which are clean and full proof and rest can be taken care.

The concept thus is that there is clear cut distinction between documents and practice. It is also a part of the government psyche, that if documents are made strong, you will never land into trouble. That government documents are not created to translate it into reality both in word and spirit is a truism. From the constitution to laws to policy to programs, schemes, delivery, governance, policing etc., does it all connect. Is there a conscience of practice, of what you do (as per the documents), and what you should be accountable for? Who does the audit and who gives the clean chit? The internal checks and balances, what we call as organizational control, does it hold good? Or do the organizations work as business lobby.

A business lobby to stall governance. Can’t even night rounds not be maintained in the national capital and on it a vigilant emergency response mechanism? There are systems on systems in place, documents of global level, but where is the practice? This is a decade after everything was tweaked from law to the emergency response in the aftermath of Nirbhaya. Who will bell the cat of easy life? It has to be consistently done to make it a practice, to finally become a part of the non-paper DNA. We saw the extremely difficult situation of oxygen plants not coming to life during the second wave while all documents were in a very healthy shape. Then we have the voluminous documents and equally affidavits which are created and submitted to the courts, when governments get caught in this imbroglio. More often than not, they are able to manage the legal minefield with their battery of legal eagles, paid by the taxpayer. The paper governance goes on.

Sanjay Sahay

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