In its bid to encourage its serving officers to take up assignments in non-governmental bodies to hone their administrative skills, the UPA Government has formulated a new set of policy guidelines.
The principal objective of the new policy that has already come into force is to achieve the broad parameters of "public interest". Taking up lucrative jobs in the private sector to make a quick buck is to be discouraged.
Spelling out the highlights of the new policy, LK Joshi Secretary Personnel told HT that officers desirous of taking up assignments in non-governmental outfits such as NGOs, charitable trusts, a host of UN bodies etc, will be encouraged to improve upon their administrative experience in such diverse fields. "It may help them a great deal, once they come back to the government after a fixed tenure of three to five years," he observed.
That apart, two year cooling period for being considered for promotions after their return from on-governmental service is to be waived off. However, the concerned officers will have to procure an "assessment report" from the employer, once they return to their government jobs.
According to Joshi, these assessment reports along with their previous confidential reports (CRs) will form the basis of the future career promotions of the concerned officers.
The new policy also makes it obligatory for all the State/UT Governments to refer all such cases connected with non-government employment to the Centre.
Previously, the State/UT Governments granted such permissions on their own. The latest move is aimed at putting a top to large-scale permissions granted by the State-UT Governments to allied service officers paying scant respect to the imperatives of public interest.
In accordance with the new policy, the Centre has just rejected the plea of five senior officers of the ranks of Jt Secretaries and Additional Secretaries to take up private sector assignments. In the case of another senior officer, the permission has been withheld since the concerned officer is facing a vigilance inquiry.
The plea of five officers in the mid-level IAS cadre has been accepted since their non-governmental tenures are expected to serve public interest, in tune with the new policy guidelines.
As regards post-retirement avenues of employment in the private sector, the cooling off period has been reduced from two years to just one year. Henceforth, no government permission will be required if a retired officer takes up a new job in the private sector after one year of superannuation.
For officers seeking re-employment within one year of their retirement, government permission will be necessary. The permission letter will also take into account the service record of the concerned officer during three years of his/her pre-retirement tenure. This measure, according to the Personnel Ministry insiders, is to guard against any kind of quid pro quo with a prospective private employer.
Earlier, the appraisal period for post-retirement employment, though after two years, was five years preceding to their superannuation.
In a related development that is perceived to be very significant, the Centre has okayed the upgradation of all the 24, 1973-batch IAS officers to the ranks of special secretaries. At least six of them are to be posted as Secretaries against vacancies due towards the end of this month. Others will be in the queue for Secretary-slot promotions in the coming months.