Produce quality notes for Cabinet, GoMs: Cab Secy

New Delhi: Unhappy with the quality of notes prepared for meetings of the Union Cabinet and Group of Ministers, the Cabinet Secretariat has directed all departments and ministries not to rush with the documents at the last minute but to prepare them well in advance while ensuring they are of "high quality and procedurally-compliant".

"Notes for consideration of the cabinet/ cabinet committees/ EGoMs have to be of a high quality and procedurally compliant, " a recent cabinet secretariat circular notes.

"However, in some case, it is seen that the notes forwarded by the ministries, departments are often rushed just one of two days prior to the scheduled meeting, which hardly leaves any time for scrutiny of notes by the cabinet secretariat," says an October 10 circular of the Cabinet Secretariat posted on its website.

The circular, issued by Alok Rawat, Secretary (Coordination and Grievances) in the Cabinet Secretariat, mentions unhappiness expressed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee over the quality of one of the notes put up before an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM).

"Incidentally, Minister of Finance had also mentioned about quality of an EGoM note in an EGoM meeting held recently," it states. Through the circular, the Cabinet Secretariat instructed the ministries and the concerned departments to ensure that the notes for EGoMs and GoMs are "procedurally compliant, informative, concise and based on inter-ministerial consultations." .

Interestingly, the Cabinet Secretariat had previously also tried to ensure that the quality of notes for important meetings remains of a high standard and had even put up written guidelines for preparation of notes on its website.

The guidelines mention that "Special attention needs to be paid to the quality of drafting. The note, while being brief, should bring out all relevant details and no material fact should remain unstated. The main note should be self- contained, lucid, straightforward and contain only the relevant details."

The Ministries/Departments must plan their activities in such a manner that the proposals for consideration of the Cabinet/Cabinet Committee(s) are not sent just before these are to be announced or operationalised leaving little time for examination of the pertinent issues"," the Cabinet Secretariat guidelines released earlier state.