Filing of property Returns twice a year to be relaxed – Central Government Employees to file property returns both under Lokpal Act and Conduct Rules in the year 2015
As per the existing provisions of Lokpal and Lokpal Ayuktas Act 2013 and CCS Conduct Rules for Central Government Employees, Declaration of Assets and Liabilities of an employee has to be filed separately under both these statutes.
Check the clarification given by DOPT in this regard vide OM F. No. 11013/3/2014-Estt.(A) dated 16.01.2015
However, once the existing provisions of Conduct rules is harmonised with filing of assets and liabilities returns under Lokpal, central government employees may be required to file property returns only once a year.
Economic Time reports on this issue as follows:
Central government employees may be exempted from filing details of their assets and liabilities twice as mandated under Lokpal Act and other service rules governing them as the Centre has suggested a way out.
As per the Lokpal Act, every public servant shall file the returns of his assets and liabilities, including that of his spouse and dependent family members. These returns are in addition to the similar ones filed by the employees under various services rules.
"The requirement of filing returns regarding assets and liabilities under the Lokpal Act is in addition to, and not in derogation or suppression of the requirement of filing of property returns under the existing conduct rules.
"In view of this, the requirement of filing of property returns under the existing conduct rules is an independent requirement under the applicable rules and the same can be dispensed with, only by amending those rules," the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
In other words, the requirement of filing returns of assets and liabilities under the applicable conduct rules has to continue, till such time as the provisions of those rules are harmonised with the relevant provisions of the Lokpal Act and the rules framed thereunder by carrying out appropriate amendments in them, it said in an order issued yesterday.
All ministries, departments and cadre controlling authorities have been asked to ensure that necessary follow-up action for harmonising the provisions of the relevant service rules is completed before July 15, the DoPT said.
The Centre had in an order issued last month revised the time limit of bringing in changes to the the relevant service rules to 18 months from the date of Lokpal Act coming into force, i.e January 16, 2014.
Till, the rules are not harmonised, all public servants have been asked to file their annual property returns as per the existing service rules and Lokpal Act.
The last date for filing the assets details under the Lokpal Act is till April this year.
As per the Lokpal Act, every public servant shall file the returns of his assets and liabilities, including that of his spouse and dependent family members, on March 31 every year on or before July 31 of that year.
For the current year, the last date for filing these returns was September 15, which was later extended to December-end and now till April 30, 2015.
All Group A, B, and C employees are supposed to file a declaration under the new rules. There are about 26,29, 913 employees in these three categories, as per the government’s latest data.
Source: The Economic Times