Sunday, September 28, 2008

ACP SCHEME - ACCEPTANCE BY BOTH THE FEDERTIONS

It is informed by the Secretary General, FNPO that both FNPO & NFPE will submit letters to the Department of Posts accepting the ACP Scheme on Monday, the 29th September 2008.
What is Assured Career Progression Scheme ?
According to DO P&T O.M.No. 35043-1/97-Estt.(D) dated 9.8.99, the fifth Central Pay Commission has ;made certain recommendations relating to the Assured Career Progression (ACP) Scheme for Central Government civilian employees in all Ministries/Department. The ACP Scheme needs to be viewed as a ‘Safety Net’ to deal with the problem of genuine stagnation and hardship faced by the employees due to lack or adequate promotional avenues. Accordingly after careful consideration it has been decided by the Government to introduce the ACP Scheme recommended by the Fifth Central Pay Commission with certain modifications.
2. Group ‘A’ Central Services.
In respect of Group ‘A’ central Services (Technical/Non Technical), no financial up gradation under the Scheme is being proposed for the reasons that promotion in their case must be earned. Hence, it has been decided that there shall be no benefits under the ACP Scheme for Group ‘A’ Central Services
3. Group ‘B’, ‘C’ nd ‘D’ Services/ Posts.
3.1 While in respect of these categories also promotion shall continue to be earned, it is proposed to adopt the ACP Scheme in a modified form to mitigate hardship in cases of acute stagnation either in a cadre or in an isolated post. Keeping in view all relevant factors, it has, therefore, been decided to grant two financial up gradations (now three financial up gradations) as recommended by the Fifth Central Pay Commission and also in accordance with the Agreed Settlement dated September 11, 1997 (in relation to Group C and D employees) entered into with the Staff Side of the National Council (JCM) under the ACP Scheme to Group ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D” employees on completion of 12 years (now 10 years) and 24 years (now 20 years and 30 years) (subject to condition no. 4 in Annexure I) of regular service respectively. Certain categories of employees such as casual employee (including those with temporary status), ad-hoc and contract employees shall not qualify for benefits under the aforesaid Scheme. Grant of financial up gradations under the ACP Scheme shall, however, be subject to the conditions mentioned in Annexure-I.

3.2 ‘Regular Service’ for the purpose of the ACP Scheme shall be interpreted to mean the eligibility service counted for regular promotion in terms of relevant Recruitment/Service Rules.

4. Introduction of the ACP Scheme should, however, in no case affect the normal (regular) promotional avenues available on the basis of vacancies. Attempts needed to improve promotion prospects in organizations/cadres on functional grounds by way of organizational study, cadre reviews, etc. as per prescribed norms should not be given up on the ground that the ACP Scheme has been introduced.

5. Vacancy based regular promotions, as distinct from financial up gradation under the ACP Scheme, shall continue to be granted after the screening by a regular Departmental Promotion Committee as per relevant rules/guidelines.
6. Screening Committee
6.1 A departmental Screening Committee shall be constituted for the purpose of processing the cases for grant of benefits under the ACP Scheme.

6.2 The composition of the Screening Committee shall be the same as that of the DPC, prescribed under the relevant Recruitment/Service Rules for regular promotion to the higher grade to which financial up gradation is to be granted.

6.3 In order to prevent operation of the ACP Scheme from resulting into undue strain on the administrative machinery, the Screening Committee shall follow a time schedule and meet twice in a financial year – preferably in the first week of January and July for advance processing of the cases. Accordingly, cases maturing during the first-half (April – September) of a particular financial year for grant of benefits under the ACP Scheme shall be taken up for consideration by the Screening Committee in the first week of January of the previous financial year. Similarly, the Screening Committee meeting in the first week of July of any financial year shall process the cases that would be maturing during the second-half (October-March) of the same financial year. For example, the Screening Committee meeting in the first week of January, 1999 would process the cases that would attain maturity during the period April 1, 1999 to September 30, 1999 and the Screening committee meeting in the first week of July, 1999 would process the cases that would mature during the period October 1, 1999 to March 31, 2000.
Annexure – 1
CONDITIONS FOR GRANT OF BENEFITS UNDER THE ACP SCHEME


1. The ACP Scheme envisages merely placement in the higher pay-scale/grant of financial benefits (through financial up gradation) only to the Government servant concerned on personal basis and shall therefore, neither amount to functional/regular promotion nor would require creation of new posts for the purpose.

2. The highest pay-scales up to which the financial up gradation under the Scheme shall be available will be Rs.14, 300-18300. Beyond this level, there shall be no financial up gradation and higher posts shall be filled strictly on vacancy based promotions.
(N.B: Now, the Govt. will have to change the above pay scale.—G.S)

3. The financial benefits under the ACP Scheme shall be granted from the date of completion of the eligibility period prescribed under the ACP Scheme or from the date of issue of these instructions whichever is later.

4. The first financial up gradation under the ACP Scheme shall be allowed after 12 years of regular service and the second up gradation after 12 years of regular service from the date of the first financial up gradation subject to fulfillment of prescribed conditions. In other words, if the first up gradation gets postponed on account of the employees not found fit or due to departmental proceedings, etc. this would have consequential effect on the second up gradation which would also get deferred accordingly.
{N.B; - Now, the Govt. should amend the above order as 10, 20 and 30 years.—G.S)
5.1 The financial up gradations under the ACP Scheme of the entire Government service career of an employee shall be counted regular promotions (including in-situ-promotion and fast track promotion availed through limited departmental competitive examination) availed from the grade in which an employee was appointed as a direct recruit. This shall mean that two financial up gradation under the ACP Scheme shall be available only if no regular promotions during the prescribed periods (12 and 24 Years) have been availed by an employee. If an employee has already got one regular promotion, he shall qualify for the second financial up gradation only on completion of 24 years of regular service under the ACP Scheme. In case two prior promotions on regular basis have already been received by an employee, no benefit under the ACP Scheme shall accrue to him.
5.2 Residency periods (regular service) for grant of benefits under the ACP Scheme shall be counted from the grade in which an employee was appointed as a direct recruit
6. Fulfillment to normal promotion norms (bench-mark, departmental examination, seniority-cum-fitness in the case of Group ‘D’ employees etc.) for grant of financial up grations, performance of such duties as are entrusted to the employees together with retention of old designations, financial up gradations as personal to the incumbent for the stated purpose and restriction of the ACP Scheme for financial and certain other benefits (House Building Advance, allotment of Government accommodation, advance etc.) only without conferring and privileges related to higher status ( e.g invitation to ceremonial functions, deputation to higher posts etc.) shall be ensured for grant of benefits under the ACP Scheme.

7. Financial up gradation under the Scheme shall be given to the next higher grade to in accordance with the existing hierarchy in a cadre/category of posts without, creating new posts for the purpose.

8. The financial up gradation under the ACP Scheme shall be purely personal to the employees and shall have no relevance to his seniority position. As such, there shall be no additional financial up gradation for the senior employee on the ground that the junior employee in the grade has got higher pay-scale under the ACP Scheme.

9. On up gradation under the ACP Scheme, pay of an employee shall be fixed under the provisions of FR-22(i)a(1) subject to a minimum financial benefit of Rs.100/- as per the Department of Personnel and Training Office Memorandum No. 1/6/97-Pay. I dated July 5, 1999. The financial benefit allowed under the ACP Scheme shall be final and so pay fixation benefit shall accrue at the time of regular promotion i.e., posting against a functional post in the higher grade.

10. Grant of higher pay-scale under the ACP Scheme shall be conditional to the fact that an employee, while accepting the said benefit, shall be deemed to have given his unqualified acceptance for regular promotion on occurrence of vacancy subsequently. In case that he refuses to accept the higher post on regular promotion subsequently, he shall be subject to normal debarment for regular promotion as prescribed in the general instructions in this regard. However, as and when he accepts regular promotion thereafter, he shall become eligible for the second up gradation under the ACP Scheme only after he completes the required eligibility service/ period under the ACP Scheme in the higher grade subject to the condition that the period for which he was debarred for regular promotion shall not count for the purpose. For example, if a person has got one financial up gradation after rendering 12 years of regular service and after 2 years there from if he refuses regular promotion and is consequently debarred for one year and subsequently he is promoted to the higher grade on regular basis after completion of 15 (12+2+1) of regular service, he shall be eligible for consideration for the second up gradation under the ACP Scheme only after rendering ten more years in addition to two years of service already rendered by him after r the first financial up gradation (2+10) in that higher grade i.e. after 25 years (12+2+1+10) of regular service because the debarment period of one year cannot be taken into account towards the required 12 years of regular service in that hither grade.
11. In the matter of disciplinary penalty proceedings, grant of benefits under the ACP Scheme shall be subject to rules governing normal promotion. Such cases shall, therefore, be regulated under the provisions of relevant CS (CCA) Rules 1965 and instructions there under.

12. The proposed ACP Scheme contemplates merely placement on personal basis in the higher pay-scale / grant of financial benefit only and shall not amount to actual/functional promotion of the employees concerned. Since orders regarding reservation in promotion are applicable only in the case of regular promotion, reservations orders/roster shall not apply to the ACP Scheme which shall extended its benefits uniformly to all eligible SC/ST employees also. However, at the time of regular/functional (actual) promotion, the Cadre Controlling Authorities shall ensure that all reservations orders are applied strictly.

13. Existing time-bound promotion scheme, including in-situ promotion scheme, in various Ministries/Departments may, as per choice continue to be operational for the concerned categories of employees. However, these schemes shall not run concurrently with the ACP Scheme. The Administrative Ministry/Department not the employees shall have the option in the matter to choose between the two schemes. i.e, existing time bound promotion scheme or the ACP Scheme, for various categories of employees. However, in case of switchover from, the existing time-bound promotion scheme to the ACP Scheme, all stipulations (viz., for promotion, redistribution of posts, up gradation involving higher functional duties, etc.) made under the former (existing) scheme would cease to be operative. The ACP Scheme shall have to be adopted in its totality.

14. In case of an employee declared surplus in his/her organization and in case of transfers including unilateral transfer on request, the service rendered by him/her in the previous organization shall be counted along with his/her regular service in his/her new organization for the purpose of giving financial up gradation under the Scheme; and
15. Subject to Condition No.4 above, in cases where the employees have already completed 24 years of regular service, with or without a promotion, the second financial up gradation under the scheme shall be granted directly. Further, in order to rationalize unequal level of stagnation, benefit of surplus regular service (not taken into account for the first up gradation under the scheme) shall be given at the subsequentl stage (second) of financial up gradation under the ACP Scheme as a one time measure. In other words, in respect of employees who have already rendered more than 12 years but less than 24 years of regular service, while the first financial up gradation shall be granted immediately, the surplus regular service beyond the first 12 years shall also be counted towards the next 12 years of regular service required for grant of the second financial up gradation and, consequently, they shall be considered for the second financial up gradation also as and when they complete 24 years regular service without waiting for completion of 12 more years of regular service after the first financial up gradation already granted under the Scheme.

(This Scheme is applicable to IPOsASPOs also.= G.S., NUPE-C)