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CVC Tightens Rules for Employing Retired Govt Officials, Days After Alapan Bandyopadhyay Row

File photo of the former Chief Secretary of Bengal, Alapan Bandopadhyay.

File photo of the former Chief Secretary of Bengal, Alapan Bandopadhyay.

The CVC in its letter mentioned that the absence of a uniform procedure sometimes led to a situation where officials with tainted past or cases pending against them got engaged.

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has directed the secretaries of all the Central government ministries and departments, chief executives and chief vigilance officers of all public sector undertakings to get vigilance clearance before employing a retired official on contractual or consultancy basis.

Interestingly enough, the letter came only a few days after the West Bengal government engaged former Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay as the chief advisor to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

In a surprise development last Monday, Bandyopadhyay, who was given an extension of three months, opted for his normal superannuation scheduled on May 31, apparently putting an end to the Centre-state tussle over his Central deputation.

Alleging that the decision for Central deputation was fallout of the Centre’s vendetta politics, Banerjee appointed Bandyopadhyay as the Chief Political Advisor to the CM.

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On Thursday evening, Bandyopadhyay replied to a show-cause letter sent to him on the ground that he refused to comply with the lawful directions of the Central government, violating Section 51 (b) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The CVC in its letter mentioned that the absence of a uniform procedure sometimes led to a situation where officials with tainted past or cases pending against them got engaged.

“The Central Vigilance Commission has observed that the absence of a uniform defined procedure for obtaining vigilance clearance, before engaging retired officials by government organisations, sometimes lead to a situation where officials with tainted past or having cases pending against them are engaged by the government organisations. Such a situation not only leads to unnecessary complaints/allegations, but is also against the tenets of fairness and probity, which is the basic principle governing the functioning of government organisations," the letter said.

“In respect of retired officers belonging to All India Services, Group A officers of Central government or their equivalent in other organisations owned or controlled by the Central government, before offering employment to them on contractual/consultancy basis, vigilance clearance from the employer organisation, from which the government officer had retired, should be necessarily obtained," it said.

“In case a retired officer had served in more than one organisation, vigilance clearance should be obtained from all the organisations where the retired officer had served during a period of 10 years prior to his retirement," the letter added.

The CVC has also made it clear that the private sector should also follow the procedure before employing retired government officials.

“It has been observed that on some occasions, immediately after their retirement from government organisations, retired officials are taking up full time job/contractual assignments in private sector organisations. Quite often, cooling off period, as prescribed under the rules of organisations concerned, is not observed before taking up such offers. Post-retirement acceptance of offers by retired government officials without observing cooling off period constitutes serious misconduct on their part," the letter said.

“All government organisations may, therefore, formulate appropriate rules/guidelines for its employees to ensure that post retirement, cooling off period edgily observed by them before accepting any offer from private sector he rules/guidelines should incorporate procedure for seeking/obtaining before accepting offer from private sector entities during cooling off period. The applicable service/conduct rules should also be revised/modified to ensure that, if required, appropriate action can also be initiated in case of violation of such rules by retired employees," it added.

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first published:June 04, 2021, 23:32 IST