Vigilance officials should curtail foreign jaunts: CVC

By Mayank Aggarwal, IANS,

New Delhi : The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has come down heavily on its officials going on foreign trips, asking them to explain the utility of the training programmes they undertake abroad and also attend only relevant ones.

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“Of late, it has been observed that in certain cases, not only was the commission’s prior concurrence not obtained for undertaking foreign visits of CVOs (Chief Vigilance Officers), but some of the visits were for purposes which were neither relevant nor related to the vigilance work of the CVOs,” said the CVC in a circular.

This comes at a time when the union government has directed its ministers, MPs and party leaders to undertake austerity measures.

“The commission has viewed these instances seriously and would therefore reiterate its earlier officer orders and emphasise that the commission’s prior approval should be obtained before the CVOs go on official visits abroad, either on training or otherwise,” the circular said.

The CVC observed that although it had no qualms about CVOs and officers in vigilance set-ups undertaking training programmes abroad to fight corruption, it felt that officers should attend only appropriate training programmes that can be useful in improving vigilance administration.

In 2005, the commission had specified it would not be advisable to recommend officers for such trainings abroad if similar programmes are available in India and that the same should have relevance to their work.

In its circular, the commission said that the exact purpose of the trip abroad and its relevance to the work will also have to be cleared.

“While seeking the commission’s approval, the exact purpose of the visit/details of the training programme, its relevance to vigilance work and all other relevant details should be submitted,” the circular said.

“On completion of the foreign visit, along with their monthly report, the CVO should submit a report on the programme attended and its utility for the commission’s perusal,” it added.

A few days ago, the CVC had put up the names of 123 government officials on its website against whom it has either advised penalty or prosecution for corruption. For the first time, the commission displayed such a list on its website and said it would do that on a regular basis.

The list included officials from the Indian Police Service, nationalised banks, forest service, railway ministry and others.

Not only are trips to foreign countries under the scanner, the CVC has also decided to keep a check on the trips of vigilance officers within the country.

“The commission has also decided that all full time CVOs would mandatorily send a copy of their tour programmes of visits undertaken to places other than their headquarters in connection with official work within the country,” the circular noted.

“All full time CVOs may, therefore, furnish the requisite details of official tours to the commission together with their monthly reports to the commission,” it said.

The CVC warned that its instructions need to be strictly complied with.