Monday, November 24, 2014

Kindly stand up while receiving an MP; 10 dos and don’ts for civil servants

THE government officials must show courtesy to MPs and MLAs and stand up to receive and see them off, according to a notification issued last week by the DoPT, quoting a three-year-old guideline of the same department. In fact, the committee on violation of protocol norms and contemptuous behaviour of government officers with members of Lok Sabha in its report…
tabled in Lok Sabha on February 6, 2014 had recommended that the DoPT should sensitize all civil servants of various ministries or departments for strict compliance of the instructions relating to official dealings issued in this regard between the administration and MPs.  Here are 10 things officers should remember while dealing with MPs or MLAs.
1. Government officials should show courtesy and consideration to Members of Parliament and state legislatures.
2. Any deviation from an appointment made with a Member of Parliament/state legislature must be promptly explained to him to avoid any possible inconvenience. Fresh appointment should be fixed in consultation with him.
3. An officer should be meticulously correct and courteous and rise to receive and see off a Member of Parliament/state legislature visiting him. Arrangements may be made to receive the MP when, after taking prior appointment, they visit the officer of the Government of India, state government or local government.
4. Arrangements may also be made to permit entry of vehicles of the MPs/ MLAs to these offices subject to security requirements or restrictions.
5. Members of Parliament of the area should invariably be invited to public functions organized by a government office. Proper and comfortable seating arrangements at public functions and proper order of seating on the dais should be made for members keeping in view the fact that they appear above officers of the rank of secretaries to government of India in the warrant of precedence.
6. The invitation cards and media events, if organized for the function held in the constituency, may include the names of the MP or MLA of that constituency who have confirmed participation in these functions. If a constituency of any MP is spread over more than one district, the MP should invariably be invited to all the functions held in any of the districts which are part of his or her constituency.
7. Where any meeting convened by the government is to be attended by an MP, special care should be taken to see that notice is given to them in good time regarding the date, time, venue etc. of the meeting.
8. It should especially be ensured that intimations regarding public meetings or functions are sent through speedier communication devices to the MPs so that they reach them well in time, and that receipt of intimation by the MP is confirmed by the official concerned.
9. Letters from Members of Parliament and Members of state legislatures must be promptly acknowledged, and a reply sent at an appropriate level expeditiously according to the relevant provisions of the central secretariat manual of office procedure.
10. A government servant should not approach MPs or MLAs for sponsoring his individual case as bringing or attempting to bring political or non-official or other outside influence is prohibited under the conduct rules e.g. Rule 18 of the All India Service (Conduct) Rules, 1968 and Rule 20 of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules.


  1. It is a normal practice at the United Nations to stand up and receive all visitors, irrespective of their rank, and likewise see them off at the door with a shake hand. Officers normally show this courtesey even to junior officials who do not work directly under them. The emphasis is on correct actions, while maintaining due courtsey at personal level. Actions should speak and there is no need to be rude or crude.....
    - Abraham Mathai
    Senior Advisor, UN Human Rights, Geneva

  2. The GOI has asked bureaucrats to “stand up” and show courtesies to MPs and MLAs,both while “ receiving and seeing them off ”.Though, the civil servants have been bending forward for 66 years,why instructions are reiterated by DOP T& AR, year after year? MPs / MLAs khuda hain kya.? Minimum courtesies must be extended to all visitors particularly the poor and the helpless.All must be treated at par.
    A K Saxena (A retd civil servant)