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Follow code of conduct during media interaction: Odisha govt


Press Trust of India Bhubaneswar
Odisha government has warned its employees of disciplinary action if they make any adverse remarks about its policies during media interaction in violation of service conduct rules, an official said.
The General Administration department, principal secretary, Sanjeev Chopra in a letter to all heads of department emphasised that government servants should observe restraint while making statements to the print and electronic media, taking part in public meetings and discussions in their official capacity the official said.
The letter, dated October 25, has been titled "code of conduct of government servants in connection with interaction with media."

The letter said that "It has come to the notice of government that despite specific regulatory provisions in the Odisha Government Servants' Conduct Rules, 1959 and restrictions thereunder, some government servants on occasions have been making statements in print, electronic and social media without adherence to the rule in place, which is a violation of the code of conduct for government servants."

It said the Odisha Government Servants Conduct rules restrict the government servants from indulging in any kind of communication or publication to the effect that bears criticism to the government and compromises the relation between the state and Central Government or any foreign state for that matter, unless specifically authorized.
The letter noted that a communication was also circulated in 2017 for making government servants aware of the code of conduct.
"This may be impressed upon all the government servants working under your jurisdiction to comply with the instructions in this regard and also maintain due restraint in writing, releasing, contents/statements to print and electronic media, participate in public meetings/discussions on themes/issues when they interact with media in their official capacity," it said.
"Deviation of the conduct rules by government servants may be reviewed from time to time followed by appropriate disciplinary action to deter deliberate misconduct," added the letter.
The letter evoked a strong reaction from different circles with opposition political parties terming the move as "unfortunate" and an "attempt to hide the weakness" of the state government.

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First Published: Oct 31 2019 | 2:05 PM IST

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