Friday, November 30, 2012

Advice on “online gossip” for Australian bureaucrats is a must-read for all

AUSTRALIAN bureaucrats have been advised not to make “harsh or extreme” criticisms of the government, parliamentarians or a political party’s policies even if the comments are anonymous. In the backdrop of more and more bureaucrats getting wooed by social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, the guidance as a part of State of the Service Report is a must-read for bureaucrats across the world. Here are some details:
The report gives some details about what not to be done during “online gossips”. The guidance, however, acknowledges that public servants have the same right as the other citizens regarding freedom of expression, but that right needs to be tempered by the need to maintain “an impartial and effective public service in which the community can have confidence”, according to articles quoting the report.
Many in Australia regard the advice “as excessively cautious, and worse”, but the report itself mentions why it is needed. It says that the trust in the Australian Public Service would “quickly erode if ministers, shadow ministers, members of Parliament and senators, or the public, form the view that their confidences risk being broken through public gossip, including on the internet, about matters they have a right to expect should remain private”.  

a) Enforcement Directorate, or ED under the ministry of finance has registered 1993 cases under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) in the last two years and property of 103 persons valued at Rs 24 crore was seized, during investigation.
b) Similarly, ED registered 396 cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 20102 (PMLA) and during investigation property of 58 persons valued at Rs 569 crore was attached in the same period.
In a reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, minister of state for finance SS Palanimanickam said that in the interest of investigation under the provisions of FEMA/PMLA, the names or details of individuals can not be disclosed by the ED.

Action and Appointments
a) Ms Alka Arora Misra, a 1985 batch Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS) has been empanelled for appointment to the post of joint secretary or equivalent under Central Staffing Scheme (initial) in view of enhancement of ceiling from 60% to 75% of eligible officers in a batch.

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