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December 13, 2019

Sindh government bars its officials from participating in TV shows

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December 13, 2019

KARACHI: The Sindh government has barred its own officials and that of the provincial police force from participating in TV talk shows and other programmes without prior official authorization.

In this regard, a circular dated 10th December, 2019 been issued having subject: “Media talk/participation in TV programmes by the Government Officers without permission/authorization” by Additional Secretary (Services-1) at the Services, General Administration, and Coordination Department of Sindh government. The circular was sent to the heads of all departments of Sindh government, commissioners, deputy commissioners, and inspector general of Sindh Police.

The circular states: “I am directed to refer to the subject noted above and to state that certain Government Officers/Civil Servants have been seen taking part in television talk shows/programmes and tendering their opinion/views without prior authorization of the respective competent authority which is against the rules.

"In this regard attention is invited to Rule-56(l) of the Sindh Government Rules of Business 1986, which states that no government servant shall, unless generally or specially authorized in this behalf, communicate to the Press, Officials belonging to other Government Offices or any private individual, any information acquired directly or indirectly from official record or in the discharge of his official duties. Sub-Rule (iv) of Rule-56 further states that no person other than a Minister, Secretary, or such other officer as may be authorized, shall act as official spokesman of government.

"Further, Rule-22 of Government Servants (Conduct) Rules 1964 (Rules governing the Conduct of the Federal Government Officers) and Rule-23 of the Sindh Civil Servants (Conduct) Rules, 2008 which in essence say that no civil servant shall, in any document published, or in any public utterance or radio broadcast delivered, or in any television prorgramme attended by him, make any statement of fact or opinion or act in a manner which is capable of embarrassing the Central or any Provincial Government.

"Rule-22 of the Sindh Servants (Conduct) Rules, 2008 states that no civil servants shall except with the previous sanction of Government or any other authority empowered by it in this behalf, or in this bona fide discharge of his duties, participate in a radio broadcast or television programme, or contribute any article or write any letter either anonymously or in his own name or in any other name, to any newspaper or periodical.

"I am, therefore, directed to bring this to your notice and convey that the competent authority has taken serious view of this and has directed to bar all officers and officials from unauthorized appearance before media for opinion making. Any civil servant found indulging in this practice in violation of the aforementioned conduct rules shall be strictly dealt with and proceeded against under the relevant rules.”