Karnataka bars government officials from going to media with complaints

Cracking the whip on government officials, including IAS officers, the State government has issued a circular on the public conduct of officials, restraining them from approaching the media with complaints on political or administrative matters.

Responding to legislators’ concerns that some IAS officials were directly approaching the media to air their grievances instead of raising the issue with the Chief Secretary, the State government on Saturday issued the circular asking officials not to approach the media on such matters.

A public spat between two IAS officers in Mysuru had recently embarrassed the government, and the Legislative Assembly had discussed the issue on Thursday. MLAs demanded that the government restrain IAS/IPS and government officials from approaching the media to level allegations against each other or against political representatives.

Using social media

The officials also should not use their private social media handles to claim their department’s achievements, the circular stated, asking them to use social media accounts opened in the name of the government to do so.

The circular quoted the Karnataka State Civil Service Rules, 2021, and said it barred employees/officials from criticising the policies of the Union and State governments.

The circular, issued by Chief Secretary P. Ravi Kumar, also stated that disciplinary action would be taken against officials who embarrassed the government by going to the media or putting out social media posts about the dispensation. Officials are permitted to use media only to disseminate information regarding government schemes and not for pointing out loopholes in the administration, the circular stated.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 7:47:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-bars-government-officials-from-going-to-media-with-complaints/article36545144.ece

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