7th November 2019
Suggestions received from a concerned citizen regarding possible improvements to the ECI’s complaints system
For my future reference:
1. Currently, the GRS (NGS) on ECI website https://eci-citizenservices.eci.nic.in/default.aspx is a single tier complaint system; it needs to be made a 3 -tiered ascending GRS.
At present all complaints are sent to the constituency of the complainant. But the local officers can do nothing when the complaint relates to policies of the ECI. Therefore, the GRS should be addressed at the DEO level if it relates to the district local matter. If not satisfied, then it may be escalated by the complainant to state CEO and finally to ECI.
If the complaint relates to decisions or policies of the State CEO then the complaint should not go to the DEO level but there should be 2 levels within the state CEO and finally to the ECI. Similarly, if the matter relates to decisions and policies relating to the EC office then all 3 tiers of complaint should lie within the ECI.
2. There is no citizen charter or detailed description of the grievance redressal system provided on the website, this is necessary. e.g: https://www.bsnl.co.in/opencms/bsnl/BSNL/about_us/consumer_griev.html
3. The ECI website provides https://eci.gov.in/files/file/5440-list-of-pgros/
but in what case are they to be contacted? Besides, even registered letters are hardly replied to by government departments, so to expect a reply to an email is futile. The system should be designed to operate independently of human intervention. For each level an automatic grievance number and reply system must be created with clearly stated redressal time-limits. It must also state the actions that may be taken by the higher authority if the grievance is not attended within the time-limit or closed without any real action.
Complainants must receive an automatic message about the resolution of the complaint and a period of time provided, say 48 hrs, to escalate the complaint or to note his/her satisfaction. If the complainant takes no action to escalate the complaint or to note his/her satisfaction then the complaint should be automatically closed by the system and a notification sent to the complainant by SMS or email or mail (as preferred by the complainant). No official should be allowed to close the complaint.