Be courteous or face punishment!
This is the advice given by the government to thousands of its employees while dealing with correspondences from members of Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies.
Noting non-adherence to set guidelines, a set of 'do's and don'ts' have also been issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to government officials to avoid mistake, act promptly and respectfully while communicating with the MPs and MLAs.
"The members of Parliament and State Legislatures as the accredited representatives of the people occupy a very important place in our democratic set-up. In connection with their duties, they often find it necessary to seek information from the ministries/departments of the government of India or the state governments, or make suggestions for their consideration or ask for interviews with the officers...
"Some instances of non-adherence to the existing guidelines have been brought to government's attention by MPs and a need has been felt for again sensitising all administrative authorities concerned," the DoPT said in a circular issued to all ministries, public sector units and departments concerned.
Explaining the procedure, it said that communications received from a MP should be attended promptly and pre-printed or cyclostyled replies should be scrupulously avoided.
"Each communications received from the MP, a member of the public, a recognised association or a public body will be acknowledged within 15 days, followed by reply within the next 15 days of acknowledgement sent," the DoPT said.
Citing the All India Service (Conduct) Rule, it said, "Every member of the service shall in discharge of his duties act in a courteous manner and shall not adopt dilatory tactics with the public or otherwise."