Kejri gets tough with staff missing during work hours

In a major crackdown on staff members “missing” during work hours, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked for a surprise head count done in all departments to expose the errant employees.

The latest physical check on presence of Delhi Administrative Subordinate Services cadre (DASS) and Steno cadre officials in their respective departments was done on Friday afternoon and a report prepared by the Chief Minister’s Office by 4 pm.

For this purpose, an official note was issued by the Chief Minister’s Office to all Principal Secretaries and Heads of Departments.

“A list of DASS and Steno cadre officials, who remain absent from duty... or leave office after marking their attendance, may kindly be submitted to the Principal Secretary to Chief Minister,” said the note.

Sources said Kejriwal has taken exception to staff members staying away from work during office hours.

“The collection of information on absenteeism is a precursor for cautioning or taking action against the missing employees as per rules,” said an official.

The Chief Minister has repeatedly maintained that when Cabinet Ministers are putting more than 12 hours a day in office, the least other employees can do is to remain on their seats all through the working hours.

The CMO’s check on DASS and Steno cadre officials’ presence in their departments comes in the backdrop of a long agitation by employees of these groups for better work conditions.

Sources said there were reports that many of the officials of these categories of employees were leaving their desks to attend their agitation related meetings during work hours.

Some reportedly overstayed at sit-in held outside the Secretariat during lunch hours.
Along with restructuring of cadre and payment of arrears, DASS and Steno cadre employees have been agitating for transparent transfer and posting policies and cashless medical facility.

Soon after an official of the CMO issued a note on Friday for the surprise check, departments like audit even got their field units to prepare reports on the number of DASS/Steno cadre officials who left office on that day after marking attendance.

Sources said the General Administration department is going to soon caution “missing” officials against remaining away from work during office hours.

Soon after taking oath of office, Kejriwal had addressed all senior officials and assured full support for honest workers.

He also sought suggestions from them on improving efficiency of the government in an attempt to improve the AAP government’s relation with the work force.

However, the latest move to prepare list of officials “missing” during work hours is likely to increase friction between the elected functionaries and the agitating staff members.

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