Subject: Below Benchmark grading in ACRs prior to the reporting period 2008-2009 and objective consideration of representation by the competent authority against remarks in the APAR or for up gradation of the final grading.
The undersigned is directed to say that prior to the reporting period 2008-09, only the adverse remarks in the ACRs had to be communicated to the concerned officer for representation, if any to be considered by the competent authority. The question of treating the grading in the ACR which is below the benchmark for next Promotion has been considered in this Department and it has been decided that if an employee is to be considered for promotion in a future DPC and his ACRs prior to the period 2008-09 which would be reckonable for assessment of his fitness in such future DPCs contain final grading which are below the benchmark for his next promotion, before such ACRs are placed before the DPC, the concerned employee will be given a copy of the relevant ACR for his representation, if any, within 15 days of such communication. It may be noted that only below benchmark ACR for the period relevant to promotion need be sent. There is no need to send below benchmark ACRs of other years.
2. As per existing instructions, representations against the remarks or for up gradation of the final grading given in the APAR (previously known as ACR) should be examined by the competent authority in consultation, if necessary, with the Reporting and the Reviewing Officer, if any. While considering the representation, the competent authority decides the matter objectively in a quasi-judicial manner on the basis of material placed before it. This would imply that the competent authority shall take into account the contentions of the officer who has represented against the particular remarks/grading in the APAR and the views of the Reporting and Reviewing officer if they are still in service on the points raised in the representation vis-a-vis the remarks/gradings given by them in the APAR. The UPSC has informed this department at the Commission has observed that while deciding such representations the competent authorities sometimes do not take into account the views of Reporting/Reviewing Officers if they are still in service. The Commission has further observed that in a majority of such cases, the competent authority does not give specific reasons for upgrading the below benchmark ACR/APAR gradings at par with the benchmark for next promotion.
3. All Ministries/Departments are therefore requested to inform the competent authorities while forwarding such cases to them to decide on the representations against the remarks or for up gradation of the grading in the APAR that the decision on the representation may be taken objectively after taking into account the views of the concerned Reporting/Reviewing Officers if they are still in service and in case of up gradation of the final grading given in the APAR, specific reasons therefore may also be given in the order of the competent authority.
To: All Ministries/Departments of Government of India