The salient aspects of the position of the Chief Secretary.
The Chief Secretary is the kingpin of the State’s administrative system. He heads the civil services in the State and his control extends to all secretariat departments. The Chief Secretary heads the General Administration Department whose political head is the Chief Minister himself. Besides being the chief advisor to the Chief Minister and Secretary to the State Cabinet, he is the main channel of communication between the State government and the Central and other State Governments.
The office of the Chief Secretary is so important that it has no parallel in the entire adminisnative set up of the country So much so, that it has been excluded from the tenure system. The Chief Secretary would normally retire from his post in the State or he would be given position among top echelon at the Center. The Chief Secretary adorns the powers belonging to the Chief Minister when the President’s rule is clamped on a State.
The main functions of the Chief Secretary.
The functions of the Chief Secretary are very broad and crucial. The Chief Secretaryis the principal advisor to the Chief Minister and the Secretary to State Cabinet, he prepares the agenda of Cabinet meetings, maintains records of these meetings and provides assistance to the Cabinet Committees. The Chief Secretary is the head of civil services of the State, decides on the transfers and postings of civil servants and ensures inter-department cooperation and coordination. Central Record Branch, the secretariat library and the staff attached to the ministers are controlled by the office of the Chief Secretary.
The Chief Secretary looks after all matters that do not fall within the jurisdiction of other secretaries. He is secretary, by rotation, of Zonal Council of which the particular State is a member. In a situation of crisis, the responsibility to expedite the relief operations lies with the chief secretary who coordinates with concerned agencies and acts as a nerve-center of the State.