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Reply promptly to communications from MPs: Govt to babus

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New Delhi: All communication received from Members of Parliament (MPs) should be promptly responded to and government servants should show courtesy and consideration to the Parliamentarians, the Centre has said.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has issued fresh instructions to secretaries of all central government departments, chief secretaries of states and union territories administrators and asked them to sensitise all officers under them on official dealings with the MPs.

The move comes following recommendations from a ‘Committee on Violation of Protocol Norms and Contemptuous Behaviour of Government Officers with Members of Lok Sabha’.

The Committee in its first sitting held on October 28, 2014, felt that the consolidated instructions or guidelines issued by the DoPT in 2011, on official dealing between administration and Members of Parliament need to be again circulated to all concerned executive functionaries.

“Communications received from a Member of Parliament should be attended to promptly,” said the DoPT guidelines.

Information sought by a Member of Parliament should be supplied unless it is of such a nature that it would have been denied to him, if similar information had been sought in Parliament.

“While corresponding with Members of Parliament, it should be ensured that the letter is legible. Pre-printed or cyclostyled replies should be scrupulously avoided,” the guidelines issued in 2011 said.

Every member of the central civil 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.

“Government servants should show courtesy and consideration to Members of Parliament and State Legislatures,” the guidelines read. Earlier, the Committee had in its first report tabled in the Lok Sabha on February 6, this year recommended that DoPT may also sensitise all civil servants and officials in various ministries and departments particularly under them for strict compliance of the instructions relating to official dealings with the MPs issued in this regard.

The Members of Parliament and State Legislatures as the accredited representatives of the people occupy a very important place in our democratic set-up.

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 interviews with the officers, the DoPT said.

The guidelines concerning official dealings between administration and Members of Parliament and State Legislatures have been issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and reiterated from time to time, it 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.”

“However, keeping in view the instances of occasional non-observance of the above guidelines, a need was felt by the Committee of Privileges of the Lok Sabha for consolidating and reiterating the existing instructions,” the DoPT said.

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