Govt directs bureaucrats to stay away from media platforms or face the music
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has banned the civil servants from participating in electronic, print and social media platforms without its express permission. Any violation will lead to proceedings for misconduct, a letter, a copy of which is available with The News, issued by the establishment division on July 23 said. It said that various instances have come to the government’s notice that civil servants participate in electronic, print and social media platforms to air their views on a variety of subjects. It has been observed that in many such instances, procedural requirements under the Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964 are either not complied with in letter and spirit, or totally ignored.
The letter said that under the Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964, no government servant can participate in any media platforms except with the express permission of the government. It pointed out that Rules 20, 21, 22, 25, 25-A and 25-B bar government servants from expressing views against policy or ideology of Pakistan, which may harm the security of Pakistan or friendly relations with foreign state, offend public order, decency or morality, or amount to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence, besides propagation of sectarian creeds, and also places a bar on them from taking part in any public demonstration directed against a government decision or policy.
The letter invited the attention of civil servants to Rule 22, which, it said, prohibits a government servant from making any statement of fact or opinion, which is capable of embarrassing the government in any document published or in any communication made to the press or in any public utterance or television programme or in any radio broadcast delivered by him. Also, Rule 18 bars government servants from communicating any official documents or information to an unauthorised to receive it or to a non-official person or to the press, the letter said.
It said that these rules need to be complied with in letter and spirit. They may, therefore, be circulated to all government servants of all the occupational cadres falling under the federal government jurisdiction. Any violation of these instructions will tantamount to misconduct and is liable to be proceeded against under Government Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 1973.
The letter asked all federal secretaries, additional secretaries (in-charge), Service and Cadre Administrators, Chief Secretaries to ensure implementation of these rules.
Newspaper: The News