Babus told to bare all

Babus told to bare all

Crusade against graft: Govt cracks whip

Apparently aiming to put systemic checks and ensure transparency in bureaucratic functioning in view of the public outrage over corruption, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has asked the officers to file their annual property returns to reach the department before April 20.  The officers have been asked to disclose details of properties they held as on January 1, 2011.

Dr I V Subba Rao, additional secretary at DoPT, in his communication to all state governments said the Centre would hold vigilance clearances to those officials who failed to submit the property details by April 20. 

On public domain

“They will not be considered for promotion and empanelment for senior level posts in Government of lndia,” the communiqué said.  “The names of defaulting officers will be displayed on the website of DOPT besides initiating action against them,” the letter said.
So far, property returns filed by government officers were only scrutinised in case of a criminal investigation or suspicions of corruption. Till now, the DoPT had been rejecting various applications filed under the RTI Act which sought details of assets of government servants on grounds of privacy.

However, as the pressure is mounting on the Centre to ensure that the official's immovable property should be put in public domain, the DoPT changed the rules regarding property returns to enable it to make it public.

Under pressure

Moreover, the DoPT is also under pressure as some IAS officers hailing from Bihar and Chhattisgarh cadre serving in the Central government have already put their assets in  public domain on the directives of their respective states.

An office of the DoPT said, “After the initiative taken by several states asking All India Service officers of the state cadre to disclose  property returns on the website, the Centre has been left with no choice but to ask all officials to put property details in public domain.”

Blunt diktat

*IAS, central service officers to file annual property returns by April 20
* Defaulting officers may face action, denial of promotion
* Department of personnel to put defaulters’ list on its website

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