Govt plans extending stay of mid-level officials

Proposal suggests permanent set-up in Central Secretariat

Govt plans extending stay of mid-level officials

Middle-level Central government employees may get a chance to stay in a particular department for more time if a draft policy on rotational transfers is adopted. 

An under secretary may get six years in place of the existing five while a section officer could get 10 years instead of seven in a department. 

However, officers in the Prime Minister’s Office, cabinet secretariat, office of the solicitor-general and the attorney-general will be exempted from the rotational transfer policy.

The government has come up with a draft policy for Central Secretariat Staff (CSS) for which comments have been invited from ministries, departments and individual officers by November 7, said a senior official. 

The CSS provides a permanent bureaucratic set-up in the Central Secretariat and its officers provide continuity. 

The new draft admits that there are divergent opinions on rotational transfers with one section arguing against it saying it would result in “loss of institutional memory” besides creating work-related difficulties. However, the other side of the view is that it helps avoid developing vested interests. 

The government view is that rotational transfers help the overall growth of an officer as he gets exposed to different organisations and aspects of working of the government.

However, there are riders. On promotion, the draft said, an officer will be posted out if he has served in the same place for a period exceeding the prescribed tenure for the promotion post. However, an officer who has not completed the prescribed tenure will also have to leave on promotion if there is no vacancy to accommodate him there.

In a gesture to officers who are on the verge of retirement, the draft policy said they could continue in the same place even after promotion if there is an existing vacancy of the promotional post.

“If the officer is due for superannuation within six months on promotion, he or she will not be transferred as in such a short period one cannot be expected to contribute usefully in another ministry or department,” it said. 

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