The Scheme of the Vigilance Commission approved in GO Ms No. 421 General Administration (SC. D) Department, dated 3.8.1993 defines the jurisdiction and functions of the Commission. It can cause an inquiry into any transaction in which any public servant, including a member of an All India Service, is suspected or alleged to have acted for an improper purpose or in a corrupt manner; and to cause an inquiry or investigation into any complaint that a public servant had exercised or refrained from exercising his powers for improper or corrupt purposes and into any complaint of corruption, misconduct or lack of integrity or other kinds of malpractices or misdemeanour on the part of a public servant i.,e, criminal misconduct in the discharge of official duties under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. It can call for records, reports, returns, and statements from all Departments, Government Undertakings and other autonomous bodies notified by the Government from time to time, in order to exercise general check and superintendence over the vigilance and anti-corruption work. It is empowered to ask the Anti Corruption Bureau to register a regular case and investigate it or it may entrust a complaint, information or case for inquiry by a Department, Public Undertaking or an autonomous body.
Commission has the same degree of independence and autonomy as the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission, even though the recommendations of the Commission are advisory in nature. However, in the event it is proposed by the Government to deviate from the advice of Commission, the case has to be circulated to the Chief Minister through the Chief Secretary as contemplated in the Business Rules. An Annual Report is to be presented to the Legislature by the Commission in which all cases where the Government did not accept its advice and cases of non-consultation with the Commission are mentioned. A memorandum explaining the reasons for non-acceptance of the advice of the Commission is to be placed before the State Legislature along with the Annual Report.
The Commission issued procedural instructions, with the concurrence of the Government vide its letter No. 66/VC.A2/93-3, dated 10-10-1994, setting forth the authorities to which complaints may be made, the procedure relating to enquiry by the departmental authorities or the ACB, into complaints, information or cases received or taken note of by the Commission; requiring reference of vigilance cases to Commission for first stage advice on enquiry reports regarding disciplinary action or investigation reports relating to criminal prosecution as the case may be, and second stage advice relating to punishments, specifying the role of Chief Vigilance Officers, the Vigilance Officers and the Collectors in implementing the Scheme of the Commission and such other matters in detail.
The Government issued clear guidelines in Memo No.235/Spl.B/2001-1, dated: 26.7.2001 in the light of the advice of Commission in regard to the nature of cases to be referred to the Commission for advice. In the said circular the disciplinary cases were categorised as vigilance cases and non-vigilance Cases. All cases of misconduct on the part of public servants involving lack of integrity like illegal gratification, bribery, causing loss to Government, unlawful gain to self or others, and such other acts of corruption and criminal misconduct like misappropriation, cheating, fraud etc., are categorized as vigilance cases which have to be referred to the Commission for advice. Other cases of misconduct of an administrative nature in which disciplinary action is proposed, which have no vigilance angle, are not required to be referred to Commission for its advice.