Biometric monitoring for I-T department employees

The Income Tax Department has decided to bring its over two-lakh strong staff under biometric monitoring system to ensure strict adherence to working hours.

In an ambitious project rolled out by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), I-T’s administrative authority, the department has invited tenders for ‘purchase, installation and monitoring of biometric based attendance monitoring system’.

“The new scheme will initially run as a pilot project in two large offices of the I-T Department in Delhi which approximately has 1,000 employees. Once successful, the scheme could be implemented across various other offices across the country,” a senior I-T official involved in the planning of the scheme said.

The total strength of I-T staff and officers is more than two lakh across the country, the official said. The ambitious plan also includes procuring appropriate software, infra-red access cards and other monitoring gadgets for the functioning of this system.

“The idea to install a biometric system is to ensure proper working hours in the offices of the department. We deal with taxpayers day in and day out and it is our effort to ensure the best services to them,” the official said.

The Union Home Ministry, in 2009, had similarly put a biometric attendance system for its staffers at its establishment in North Block.

According to the tender requirements floated by the department, the supplier should also ensure that the machines ‘should also have capability to be upgraded and used for biometric access control’.

“A biometric access control will ensure against unauthorised entry in the tax department offices which store sensitive and confidential financial data of taxpayers,” he said.

The pilot project will run at two prominent office buildings of the department here, once the bids are finalised in the next few months.

“Income Tax Department intends to install biometric based attendance system for monitoring the attendance of the staff/officers under the charge of Directorate General of Income Tax (Administration) and Chief Commissioner of Income-tax-XIII working in Mayur Bhawan and Hans Bhawan, New Delhi,” the I-T tender said.

The department, in the tender invite, has also said that the biometric machine should have a storage database for fingerprints and should a 24-hour power backup.