Late comers beware! Grappling with the problem of 50% of its employees turning up late for work, the home ministry has warned its staff of strict disciplinary action if they do not become punctual.
After assuming charge of the ministry, the then home minister P Chidambaram had introduced biometric attendance system in 2009. In the past few months, it was seen that on an average only 50 to 60% of the staffers reported at 9.30am and despite some action against habitual defaulters, the situation has not improved.
There are around 1,150 officials working in the ministry.
"It has also been observed that some staff wilfully do not register their attendance in the system, either in the morning or evening or both. This is unacceptable and therefore, there is a need for making a concerted effort to improve punctuality, and hence the discipline," an office memorandum of the ministry said.
All joint secretaries have been asked to direct the section heads to monitor the biometric data regularly and find out the habitual defaulters who either do not mark attendance in the biometric system, report later than 9.30am more than five times in a month or leave the workplace early and having deficit exceeding 10% of the total working hours in a month.
"It has been observed that in spite of clear instructions regarding strict adherence to the office timings, some employees are still reporting late and also not compensating the deficit hours.
"All joint secretaries in MHA are requested to further advice their senior officers to counsel the defaulting officials/officers and take appropriate corrective measures by way of counselling, issue of memo, deduction of leave, entry in annual performance, appraisal reports or initiation of disciplinary proceedings against misconduct," the memorandum said.
Centralised monitoring of the biometric attendance records in MHA is done from time to time and action taken in cases of chronic and habitual defaulters.
But keeping in view the large number of staff in the ministry, it is not always possible to make a comprehensive monitoring of punctuality of staff as there is always a gap of information available centrally and that available with the branch/controlling officers.
"Hence, the new order has been issued," an official said.