Threat of dismissal should stop nepotism at ONGC

Vol 8, PW 11 (25 Aug 04) People & Policy

ONGC employees across the country who resort to rampant nepotism have only one thing to lose: their jobs! On 11th August, ONGCs employee relations department issued an order from its Dehra Dun HQ warning staff at all levels not to pressurise senior officials for transfers or promotions.

This is a direct result of chairman Subir Rahas 7th August outburst when in an internal communication he poured scorn against employees who had been pestering him day and night by telephone, cell phone, fax, e-mail, letters, signed and unsigned notes. Signed by ONGCs group general manager Sushant Vats, the 11th August order reads: It has been observed that in a large number of cases, in violation of Rule-26 provisions, employees themselves or through their family members bring external or even political influence/pressure on superior authorities in matters such as promotion and transfers.

Vats said that attempts to exert pressure/influence from external sources were neither ethical nor healthy. This reflects poorly on ONGCs image, the countrys most valuable company.

Vats said employees should turn to a grievance redressal forum. Not everybody in ONGC is convinced that this warning will deter rogue colleagues from resorting to unfair or illegal means for a promotion or transfer.

The ultimate punishment will be dismissal of the employee, says a top ONGC official. But this is a very long drawn out process and it takes years before the official is actually asked to leave.

Under Raha, ONGCs board has done away with the previous tenure-based promotion policy. A new policy is coming, the official said.

From now on if an official violates ONGC rules his misconduct will be recorded in a Performance Appraisal Report and promotion will be withheld. An inquiry will follow in which he will be asked to explain his behaviour.

Finally a competent authority will take a decision. This could be either the ONGC board or Raha himself.