Friday, October 25, 2013

Are you a govt officer lobbying for a foreign post? Wait, first read this handbook

SENIOR officers are at times seen lobbying hard to get plump postings abroad. But what the rulebooks say about government officers lobbying for foreign posts? In a handbook titled “Consolidated Instructions on Foreign Assignment of Indian Experts”, it is clearly said that…“serious view would be taken and appropriate action initiated against the officers and members of the official Indian delegations to international conference, who indulge in canvassing or lobbying for posts in the international organisations with which they have official dealings.” In fact, the stated position of the government is that its officers should not lobby for international assignments though officers are often seen working around the system to get foreign assignments.
The government thinks, the officers in a nodal ministry of GOP office of a head of department/attached and subordinate offices of the government/Indian Missions abroad who are directly dealing with an international organization in a coordinating or nodal capacity are more susceptible to such activities, and hence they are not allowed to take up assignments in the secretariat of the concerned organization for a period of two years after they have relinquished charge of their posts. “At the same time, however, in very exceptional cases where a post at the headquarters/secretariat of an international agency is considered to be a key post or a post of critical importance and the Government feels that  particular officer though dealing with the organization, is the most suitable and qualified and is likely to be accepted, the officer may be nominated for the post with the recommendation of the Civil Services Board (CSB)/Cabinet Secretary and approval of the Prime Minister. Those assignments would typically include-very high level posts in the international organisations, some of which are primarily filled through election or on considerations of regional representation on very high level of expertise.”

4 Types of Foreign Posts
Non-IFS officers take one of those four routes to get a foreign postings.
1. Foreign posts of the Government of India (GOI) under the various ministries of the government. These include the posts in the Indian Missions abroad under the administrative control of the ministries of finance, commerce etc. (other than the ministry of external affairs), the overseas offices of the ministry of tourism, ministry of civil aviation and other ministries, the India Investment Centres and other similar public bodies. The selection for these posts is made through the Civil Services Board (CSB). The normal tenure for these posts is three years.
2. Bilateral assignments to the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. These cover assignments under the ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) and other similar programmes and contract appointments in the governments and para-statal organisations in the developing countries of Asia, Pacific, Africa and Latin America and remunerated by the concerned developing countries (as distinguished from the oil-rich and developed nations) according to their salary scales.
3. Captive posts of GOI in the international organisations where recruitment is limited to the Indian officials. For example, executive directors in the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) etc., advisers and technical or executive assistants to the Executive Directors and other similar posts where recruitment is restricted to the Indian experts.
4. International assignment to the UN and its agencies, other multinational organisations, the governments and public institutes in the oil-rich and developed countries. This category covers the assignments under the international organisations like the UN and its specialised agencies, the World Bank, IMF, ADB and the Commonwealth Secretariat including the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC) and other multinational public institutions. Included in this category are also assignments to the Governments, para-statal organisations and public institutions like universities, research and academic institutes in the oil-rich and developed countries.

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