New Delhi, Aug. 7 (PTI): The Centre has amended service rules to spell out that civil service officers should maintain “high ethics” and “political neutrality” while discharging their duties.
The All India Services (Conduct) Amendment Rules, 2014, notified by the department of personnel and training yesterday, ask officers to declare any private interests relating to their duties and take steps to resolve any conflict of interest.
“Every member of the service shall maintain high ethical standards, integrity and honesty, political neutrality; promoting the principles of merit, fairness and impartiality in the discharge of duties and accountability and transparency,” says the notification. “Make choices, take decisions and make recommendations on merit alone.”
The officers have been asked not to place themselves under any financial or other obligations to any individual or organisation that might influence their performance. They are also asked not to misuse their position as civil servants and not take decisions in order to derive financial or material benefits.
Officers should be responsive to the public, particularly the weaker sections, and ensure courtesy and good behaviour, the notification says.
The rules also spell out that officers shall guard the information, disclosure of which may prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, strategic, scientific or economic interests, friendly relation with foreign countries or lead to incitement of an offence.
The All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, had limited mention of the role of civil service officers.