The Centre has issued consolidated guidelines on official dealings between the administration and Members of Parliament and state legislatures, and said its violation will be viewed seriously.
The Members of Parliament (MPs) and state legislatures, as the accredited representatives of the people, occupy a very important place in our democratic set-up and in connection with their duties, they often find it necessary to seek information from the ministries/departments of the Government of India or the state governments or make suggestions for their consideration or ask for interview with the officers, an official order said.
The comprehensive guidelines regarding observance of proper procedure in official dealings between administration and Members of Parliament and state legislatures were issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions in 2011.
These guidelines were issued to all the ministries/departments and to chief secretaries of all states/UTs, with the request to circulate them to all officials at the state/division and district levels, in order to sensitise them with regard to their duties and obligations in relation to dealings with the Members of Parliament and state legislatures.
These instructions have also been reiterated, from time to time, for compliance of the government officials, both in letter and spirit, the order issued by the Personnel Ministry said.
The provisions of the Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure regarding prompt disposal of communications from MPs have also been reiterated from time to time, it said.
In an exercise to bring various instructions/guidelines on a subject initiated by Department of Personnel and Training at one place, the various instructions issued on the matter of observance of proper procedure in official dealings between administration and Members of Parliament and state legislatures have been consolidated and it has been decided to issue a comprehensive office memorandum on this subject, said the order issued on Tuesday.
All ministries/departments are requested to ensure that these basic principles and instructions are followed by all the officials concerned, both in letter and spirit, it said.
Violation of the guidelines laid down on this subject will be viewed seriously, said the order issued to secretaries of all central government departments and chief secretaries of all states/UTs.
It further said that any violation of relevant conduct rules in this regard, which is established after due enquiry, will render the government servant concerned liable for appropriate punishment.
Communications received from a Member of Parliament should be attended to promptly, the Personnel Ministry said, citing its guidelines issued earlier.
Every member of the service shall, in the discharge of his duties, act in a courteous manner and shall not adopt dilatory tactics in his dealings with the public or otherwise, it said highlighting rules for the all India services officers on courteous behaviour with Members of Parliament and state legislatures.
Letters from Members of Parliament and members of state legislatures must be promptly acknowledged, and a reply sent at an appropriate level expeditiously as per the relevant provisions of the Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure, the Centre said, citing existing instructions.
A government servant should not approach MPs/MLAs for sponsoring his individual case as bringing or attempting to bring political or non-official or other outside influence is prohibited under the conduct rules e.g. Rule 18 of the all India service (Conduct) Rules, 1968 and Rule 20 of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964, the consolidated guidelines read.