Monday, January 25, 2016

SUBJECT TAKEN BY TAMILNADU P3 CIRCLE UNION - LETTER ADDRESSED BY SECRETARY GENERAL TO HONBLE MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS ON CBS & CIS ISSUES

No. PF-35/CBS/2016                                                                               Dated: 20th January, 2016

To

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad,
Hon`ble Minister, Communications & IT,
Government of India,
New Delhi-110 001.

Sub: Miseries and untold sufferings faced by the staff in CBS &CIS rolled out offices throughout the nation – Immediate and personal intervention requested to rein in the situation
                                                                                  .....

With due respects and profound regards, we are perforced to bring the following to your kind notice for your immediate intervention and to halt the hasty exercise without minding the adverse effects in implementing the CBS and CIS by the administration in the Postal department.

At the outset, we wish to make it clear that we are not against to the modernisation of the postal service and we are welcoming the recent changes taken place in the department in the arena of modernisation. In fact, it is the postal service that only modernizes without engaging any experts or other agencies with the fullest cooperation and optimum utilization of the staff particularly the Postal Assistants called as Systems administrator with their personal knowledge which they already acquired in the computer oriented operations. Even today the same officials only attend faults and servicesby releasing so many patches to the software and maintain properly whenever required and not depending the agency services and without any extra remunerations.

Now, a hasty exercise is being carried out by the department and CBS migration is undergoing in large no. of offices in many Circles without minding the capacity of the network and the peripherals available in the offices. Till time more than 6000 offices are rolled out to CBS, due to the pressure exercised by the Department in haste.  Because of such anunrealistic fast approach, the end users   at the Counter area are affected very badly, and the public are also suffering a lot.

Whereas, in Banking Sector, when such migration is undertaken, it has been carried out in a phased manner; for example, in SBI, the leader in Banking sector, the migration was made only in 100 branches at the  first year and so on.

It is the known fact that the staff are suffering and struggling with the outdated computers and peripherals, which were purchased during the year 2000 to 2005 that is at the time of introduction of computer in the post offices and no adequate funding has been made so far to replace or substitute them till date and as a whole the Department is surviving with very old outdated hardware. Even proper up gradation of CPU has not been made in many areas and the Software loaded is upto Windows XP, almost in most of the offices. Finacle can be  loaded only with Windows 7 and  hence  the  officers at ground level are  pressurized to use pirated version of Windows 7, which is  totally illegal and  leads to  legal litigation from  Microsoft. The staff are compelled to work in the outdated mode with pirated software, resulting in non-operation.

The MOU made with M/s Sify, for network integration is limiting to low bandwidth such as 128 Kbps to 256 Kbps in single and double handed offices, and 256 kbps to 512 kbps in ‘A’ class to LSG offices resulting in sluggish connectivity and takes hours together to transform the data. This results in hang over and the transactions could not be able to be made at the instant, as the Department expects. It requires at least 1 to 4 Mbps and M/s Sify refused to increase the bandwidth now. Despite these facts were brought to the notice of the Secretary, Department of Posts several times, still there is no action to upgrade the bandwidth to the existing needy offices but going on introducing CBS in new offices and creating the problems further.    
                                                                                     
End of day process cannot be made after validation/supervisor verification and the staff has to wait for the nod from the Infosys, even after midnights on several days and at times it can be made on the next day morning.  Even the women employees are compelled to   complete the EOD process in midnights and their husbands or wards waiting till midnights to carry home. They could not attend even their family, personal and social obligations, resulting in loss of mental balance, family problems, stress and social problems. There is no safety and security for the women employees leaving the office by late nights, especially in rural areas, where there is no transportation available. It is our responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the women employees and no untoward incident should be allowed to happen as in case of Jyoti Singh Pandey of New Delhi.

Even the Help desk provided is not answering and the end users are taken to task and receiving brick bats from the irate public.  This results in  closing of  accounts in large numbers  that too,  can be made  not on the  date of presentation but  after few days  and  our  Department loses  large  chunk of customers, because of the miscalculations, wrong estimations  and over ambitious stand of the  bureaucrats. If the particulars about the closure of accounts by the public in the CBS introduced offices is collected, it will establish our concern about the service.

Consequent to the increase in large number of Post Offices on CBS, it was observed for the past four months that the Data Centre Closure process is executed during day time that too during peak Counter hours. This results in slow accessibility of Finacle throughout the country. Irrespective of bandwidth, the Finacle slowness has been experienced in all Post Offices in the recent past. This affects the public services very badly during the peak hour viz.from 11.00 am to 03.00 pm on daily basis.

Further, due to Finacle slowness, the most affected operation is the Cheque Clearing operations.  The Clearance House sends the images of the cheques to the Head Offices at around 08.00 am in the morning. The onus of furnishing the information pertaining to Bounced Cheques, that too before 11 am to the clearing house, lies on the respective Head Offices.  If the information pertaining to Bounced Cheques is not received before 11.00 am from the concerned HOs, the entire amount of Inward Clearance cheques are deemed to be CLEARED by the clearance house.  This leads to encashment of bounced cheques, the responsibility of which lies on the shoulder of the  poor officials and they have to face contributory negligence  recoveries.

Since from the day of the first migration, the staff unions are complaining about the deficiency in services provided my M/S Infosys Ltd, especially facing enormous problems in the Finacle Software, besides bandwidth, network, transmission and Server problems. On each and every occasion or from the day we are complaining at all levels, there is one word reply that, everything will be set right and put into rails one by one as this is only the transition period and everybody should bear with, in the interest of the Department. This is the saying mooted out and spread everywhere, from top to bottom.  Now the 2 years Contract period for total the implementation is nearing completion and there is no sign of improvement and the problems persist and aggravate everywhere. It is most unfortunate to mention that the postal employees are all bearing with all these hardships and sufferings, in the interest of M/S Infosys.

Because of all these deficiencies the Department not only losing the customers, besides there is  huge loss of man days and  due to non-operation  there is huge loss of  money. This should be compensated with. There is a penalty clause in the Contract for deficiency in service. Instead of pulling the poor ground level officials, the application of penalty clause may perhaps be considered and applied on the service providers’ viz. Ms. Infosys and M/s Sify. It is reported that India Post has undertaken the project for switching over to Core Banking Solution platform with a total project outlay of Rs.800 crores.  Hence, in the interest of the Department, we request the Hon’ble Minister for Communication to pursue with, on the direction, in order to pull the vendor and to save the customer services, the image of the Department and the public money.

The following are the few examples  the staff facing across the counters which have not been attended by the department but expanding the problems to more offices in the nation.

1.       Connectivity is the major problem which is damping the image of the Postal Department.

2.       Slowness & non accessibility of Finacle server affects the day to day work. (Each and every transaction getting an error message “COULD NOT CONNECT THE SERVER”, “SERVER IS NOT ACCESSIBLE”, “PLEASE CONTACT YOUR ADMINISTRATOR”, “WEB PAGE COULD NOT OPEN THIS PAGE” etc.,)

3.       “USER ALREADY LOGIN” problem is occurring very often. In single handed offices System Administrator should alone rush and resolve this problem.

4.       Even in first attempt an error message “USER ID IS LOCKED. PLEASE CONTACT ADMINISTRATOR” and could not able to access the finacle. “CSAC” menu only authorized to CPC. SO that they can only reset the user ID. ‘CSAC’ menu option may kindly be provided to Divisional SPOC or concerned System Administrator.

5.       Report option not working properly.
i)                    E.g, There is no provision to generate/print SSA LOT
ii)                  Certificate numbers not shown in the KVP/NSC certificates daily issue report
iii)        Sometimes MIS & SCSS account numbers not shown in the LOT of counter transactions
iv)                There is no provision to print the previous days LOT, Consolidation, KVP/NSC Issue & Discharge journals, SB automatic credit report etc.,

6.       Total menus available in the Finacle not educated to all the officials. (Like CMRC, HABI, HPSP etc.,)

7.       Inadequate training to the officials. Online training not given to the officials at the time of the training period. All the training were given to theoretically not practically (Eg., Agent transaction, Certificate discharge, Inventory movement etc.,)

8.       SOL/Role change not effectively used by the administrative level. Whenever PA of the CBS counter proceeds on leave in his user ID working with other officials.

9.       Some POSB rules are blindly violated in the CBS Finacle software. Eg., RD account can close even on the same day of opening, not bothering about the eligible date of birth for SSA account etc.,

10.   No clear cut ruling about the other SOL transactions whether we can update the pass book entry of other office?

11.   Changing of rules very often. Officials could not able to update the current rulings.
12.   Even modifying the CIF ID no message received for deposit and withdrawal.
13.   Deposits and withdrawals allowed to Supervisor option also. This cause to verify the transactions. Other office supervisor only can verify these transactions.
14.   If someone office transaction verified at other office that particular transaction shown in the verified office’s LOT not in the transaction performed office’s LOT.
15.   Certificate numbers not shown while issuing KVP/NSC certificates.
16.   There is no option to reprint the certificate. If one forget to print the certificates there is no provision to print the same in future.
17.   In the cheque clearing option facing much difficulty to find out the bank code, branch code, POSB cheque option not available in the said menu.
18.   “ALREADY SESSION AVAILABLE” error message shown frequently.
19.   BAT & DLT not shown in CBS Finacle.
210.   If any withdrawal done no provision to block such amount till verifying the said transaction. There may be chance to withdraw the amount by using ATM card. In banking sector if any amount withdrawn such amount will be blocked and cannot withdraw by using ATM card.

There is not tangible action wither by the department or by the vendors so far. Based on the above, our Union requests  the  Hon’ble Minister of Communications that
i) to stop  such unmindful migrations into  CBS/CIS  immediately till settlement of the problems reported ;
ii) to provide adequate  infrastructure to the  ground level offices,  such as replacement of systems, computer peripherals , UPS, battery, printers  etc.  immediately;
iii) to improve the bandwidth  of sify network   atleast to the  level of  512 kbps in single handed offices and to the level of  4Mbps in Head Post offices ;
iv) to centralize the EOD process at CPC  level  in all circles and to relieve the official at ground level
after completion of validation process , without  late night detention ;
v) to centralize the cheque clearance work  at  CPC  level, since  it is  now under  CBS ;
vi)  to ensure  the operation of  CBS  without  interruption/slowness during  peak hours  to cater  the  need of the  common public .

As we have no positive response from the department to mitigate the sufferings of the staff deployed in the CBS introduced offices and as an act of adding fuel to fire, the department unmindfully is introducing the CBS in the remaining offices and losing the customers as well as causing mental torture to the officials, we have no other alternate except to bring these facts before the Hon’ble Minister and seeking his personal intervention to create a congenial and calm working atmosphere and ensure a correct and well planned expansion of CBS further in the Department of Posts.

May we request your response, Sir,

With Profound regards,

Yours sincerely,

(R. N. Parashar)

General Secretary

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