Govt staff told to return excess payments

Government employees benefited by “wrongful”payments will have to return the excess money to the exchequer or  face criminal case if they accrued the benefit through “fraud, misrepresentation, collusion or favouritism”.

The order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) last week also said no waiver on recovery should be allowed without the approval of Department of Expenditure.It said “immediate corrective” action must be taken in all cases where excess payments because of wrong pay fixation, grant of scale without due approvals, promotions without following the procedure, or in excess of entitlements etc come to notice.

A show-cause notice will be issued to the employee informing him of the decision to rectify the order, which has resulted in the overpayment, and intention to recover such excess payments.

“Reasons for the decision should be clearly conveyed to enable the employee to represent against the same. Speaking orders may thereafter be passed after consideration of the representations, if any, made by the employee,” it said.

Departmental or criminal action should be considered in appropriate cases whenever any excess payment has been made because of "fraud, misrepresentation, collusion, favouritism, negligence or, carelessness etc". The roles of those responsible for overpayments in such cases and the employees who benefitted from such actions should be identified.

The order said recovery should be made in all cases of overpayment barring “few exceptions of extreme hardships”.

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