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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Babus on foreign jaunts need to spell out outcome of such tours

NEW DELHI: Government officials undertaking foreign trips will have to clearly spell out the outcome of such tours. All those who undertook official foreign visits since 2013-14 need to submit details of the outcome of such tours in the next few days.

 The move comes against the backdrop of persistent feeling in many quarters that the trips, ostensibly for gaining experience and insights, often turn into pleasure jaunts. There have been cases of officials traveling abroad in numbers more than necessary, stretching the duration of stay and visiting and stopping at places irrelevant to the stated purpose of the trip.

In keeping with the new work culture, the NDA government has created a website under its Software Management Information System for uploading details of foreign tours and visits by officials. Ministries and departments have set a December-end deadline for its officials to upload details on this portal.

 Moreover, every ministry and department has been directed to prepare a "rolling plan" for future foreign visits to be undertaken by officials. "The idea behind the rolling plan is to submit the proposed trips of officials in the next quarter. This can be updated and amended. Government wants foreign trips by officials on government expenditure to be result-oriented," said a senior government official.

According to sources, cabinet secretary P K Sinha recently called a meeting to ensure that officials and departments comply with the decision.

 "In certain cases, it's difficult to get the details of foreign visits by officials, who have already gone back to the states or are retired. But the message has gone to one and all to provide the outcomes of their visits since they must be keeping some details. We are also trying to get the records kept in departments so that some details can be uploaded," said a government source. 
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