Don’t involve private firms in organising events: Centre to states

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NEW DELHI: All state governments have been asked not to involve private firms in organising or sponsoring official events, the Centre has said.
The move comes following a report from a Parliamentary committee in this regard.
The committee on ‘Violation of Protocol Norms and Contemptuous Behaviour of Government Officers with Members of Lok Sabha’ in its report tabled in the lower House on January 4 has recommended “discouraging and desisting the state governments to involve private companies/agencies in organising/sponsoring functions which essentially fall under the domain of state governments”.
The panel has also recommended that the instructions or guidelines on official dealing between the administration and Member of Parliament and state legislature should strictly be complied with by all the government servants, both in letter and spirit.
“All ministries/departments requested to ensure that the above basic principles and instructions are followed by all officials concerned, both in letter and spirit. Violation of the guidelines laid down on this subject will be viewed seriously,” the personnel ministry said in a recent directive to chief secretaries of all state governments.
The Members of Parliament and state legislatures, as the accredited representatives of the people, occupy a very important place in our democratic set-up, it said.
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 ministry 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, the ministry said.
However, keeping in view the instances of “occasional non-observance” of these guidelines, a need was felt by the Committee of Privileges of the Lok Sabha for consolidating and reiterating the existing instructions.
Accordingly, revised comprehensive guidelines were issued in December 2011.
The latest instructions from the personnel ministry has asked the states to ensure its strict adherence.
Chief Secretaries of all states or union territories are requested to circulate these instructions to all state government officials at the state/division and district levels and to periodically review implementation, the ministry’s order said.