The Centre has warned of strict action against its employees for tardiness and said that habitual late attendance and early leaving from office should be viewed seriously by the authorities concerned.

The move comes after it noticed that several employees were not registering their attendance in an Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS) and "some of the employees have been coming late on a regular basis".

In an order, the Personnel Ministry suggested use of a mobile phone-based face authentication system that provides "live location detection and geo-tagging" among others as well.

The matter of strict implementation of AEBAS has recently been reviewed and taking a serious note of the laxity in its implementation, it is "reiterated that all MDOs (ministry/department/organisation) will regularly monitor the attendance reports", according to the order.

"Habitual late attendance and early leaving of office should be viewed seriously and be essentially discouraged. Strict action against the defaulters may be initiated under the extant rules," it said.

All central government departments have been asked to ensure that employees mark their attendance using AEBAS without fail.

"This will ensure that there will be no discrepancy between 'registered' and 'active' employees on AEBAS," said the order issued to all secretaries of Central government departments. 

All HODs of the MDOs have been asked to sensitise their employees to adhere to the instructions relating to office hours, late attendance, etc.

"They would download the consolidated report from the portal ( on a regular basis and identify the defaulters," the order said.
Citing existing rules, the Personnel Ministry said "half-a-day's Casual Leave (CL) should be debited for each day of late attendance, but late attendance up to an hour, on not more than two occasions in a month, and for justifiable reasons may be condoned by the competent authority".

In addition to debiting Casual Leave (or Earned Leave, when no CL is available), disciplinary action may also be initiated against government servants coming to office habitually late as it amounts to 'misconduct' under the conduct rules, it said.

"Early leaving is also to be treated in the same manner as late coming. The data relating to punctuality and attendance of an employee should also be taken into account, while considering him/her for important assignments, trainings, deputations and transfers/postings," the order said.

All government departments and ministries have been asked to ensure that the biometric machines remain functional at all times.
In case any employee is not registered over AEBAS, immediate steps should be taken to register his/her biometric data on the portal, it said.

"In respect of Divyaang employees, MDOs will make appropriate arrangements for providing convenient and easily accessible machines for capturing biometrics through suitable alternative modes," reads the order dated June 15.

The Personnel Ministry, in its order, also highlighted face-based authentication applications using Android/iOS based phones rolled out by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

"The face authentication offers robust features like faster authentication, live location detection, geo-tagging, etc. The nodal officer of respective MDO shall configure personal mobile policy in attendance portal for the employees of their organisations and get the geo-coordinates fed into the entry locations of the office," the order said.

The Personnel Ministry said that it has issued instructions "from time to time for observing punctuality by the government employees. Responsibility for ensuring punctuality in respect of their employees rests with the concerned ministry/ department/organisation (MDO)".

In this regard, instructions on implementation of AEBAS by the MDOs have also been issued from time to time, it added.

In its order dated June 23, 2023, the Personnel Ministry had said "all the MDOs were, inter alia, advised to ensure strict implementation of AEBAS and periodically monitor the marking of attendance to ensure punctuality".

It has now asked the secretaries of the ministries/departments, etc., "to kindly bring the contents of these instructions to the notice of their employees and put in place a robust monitoring mechanism to ensure complete compliance by the employees and initiate suitable action against the defaulting employees".

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by staff)

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