Govt threatens action against officers not following protocol on live WhatsApp location

In an order, issued on December 17, the department has also threatened to take action against erring officials, including penalising for “insubordination”, and entrusted a deputy secretary-rank officer with the responsibility of preparing a weekly list of erring officers from this Friday, said a senior government official.
The protocol requires officials to share live WhatsApp locations in a group to register their attendance and field visits.(REUTERS)
The protocol requires officials to share live WhatsApp locations in a group to register their attendance and field visits.(REUTERS)
Updated on Dec 23, 2020 03:07 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByAbhishek Dey, New Delhi

The women and child development department of the Delhi government in a recent order said that several of its officers were found to be “reluctant” in complying with a protocol that requires them to share live WhatsApp locations in a group to register their attendance and field visits.

In an order, issued on December 17, the department has also threatened to take action against erring officials, including penalising for “insubordination”, and entrusted a deputy secretary-rank officer with the responsibility of preparing a weekly list of erring officers from this Friday, said a senior government official.

On October 15, Delhi’s women and child development (WCD) minister Rajendra Pal Gautam had issued directions that required officers in the department to register daily attendance by sending WhatsApp locations in a particular group – after coming to office in the morning and leaving office in the evening. The same protocol was also to be followed for field visits.

Senior officials said that the directions were issued in the light of complaints regarding absence of officials from public offices and skipping field visits. The government has plans to implement the same protocol across several departments in 2021 to increase efficiency, said the official quoted above.

On December 17, the government had issued another order which flagged “reluctance” by officials and “non-compliance” of the directions issued by the minister on October 15. It further threatened to take action against erring officials including action for “insubordination”.

“Some of the district officers have shown reluctance in sending live location on the WhatsApp group. The secretary (department of WCD) has taken a serious view in the matter and also shown displeasure at the non-compliance of the directions issued by the minister,” said the December 17 order that HT has seen.

It further said, “Hence, all district officers are directed to post their daily arrival and departure attendance through live location as well as field visits location, failing which it would be assumed that the officer is not attending to his or her duty, and further action would be initiated against them for insubordination.”

Action against insubordination can include measures such as temporary suspensions and transfers, said a government official.

Gautam said, “This is an initiative which is aimed at boosting efficiency in public officers, starting with those under the WCD department. We need cooperation in this regard from officials of all ranks without any compromise. Action will be taken in case of non-compliance.”

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Friday, December 03, 2021