Property statement submission made compulsory for Odisha govt servants, people’s representatives

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government today made submission of annual property statement by all groups/ranks of government servants and people’s representatives compulsory. The same will be placed in public domain for access by citizens.

“The State Government is committed to ensure a transparent and corruption free administration. As a step further in the pursuit, the government has decided to make submission of annual property statement by government servants of all groups & ranks and public representatives mandatory and to place the same in the public domain for access of everybody,” a resolution of the General Administration & Public Grievance Department said.

At present, the submission of annual property statement by the government servants is being regulated as per provisions of Rule-21 of the Odisha Government Servants’ Conduct Rules, 1959. These rules are required to be amended to implement the above decision of the Government.

Pending amendment of the provisions of the Conduct Rules, 1959, the following modalities shall be followed scrupulously to implement the above decision of the Government:

* Annual property returns as on 1st January of each year will be filed by each employee by 31st January of the year. Employees will be unable to submit their PAR online in HRMS unless the property return is submitted. Besides, up-to-date filing of property return will be a prerequisite for promotions.

* Suitable provision will be made in HRMS to enable the above requirements. CMGI will also enable public access of the property returns filed online in HRMS.

* The PAR custodians of the Departments (for Group- B, C and D) may be authorised to download and authenticate the property statement following instructions issued by GA & PG Department in case such statements are required in a DP or in criminal case. For Group-A officers, GA & PG (S.E.) branch shall continue to be the custodian for the purpose of authentication.

* For Group-D employees, the officer in charge of the establishment will upload the property statement on obtaining the same from those who cannot upload online in HRMS.

* Declaration of assets afresh by Government servants within three months of marriage, as required u/r 21 may be done away with since the Government employee shall submit his/her property return each year.

* Since the employee will submit his/her property statement online, the concept of competent authority for submission of property statement will be deleted.

* State Government employees are, at present, required to obtain prior permission for purchase of movable assets whose value is more than two months’ basic pay. This is done away with. Instead, employees will intimate any such transaction immediately to the head of office besides mentioning such transaction in the annual property return.

* Consequent upon online submission, the concept of “Sealed Cover” submission of property statement and their maintenance by GA & PG Department is done away with.

* In the rule-21, the provision of seeking prior approval, if not buying from a reputed dealer, since not defined, will be omitted. Prior approval will be required only in case the property is being bought from someone with whom the employee has had official dealings in the past or the property is located outside the country.

* Benami transactions are prohibited as per the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988. Hence the word ‘benamidar’ in Rule-21 will be deleted.

* AIS officers shall submit their Immovable Property Return on the GoI portal, as usual. This information is already available in public domain and can also be accessed by Lokayukta. Besides, AIS officers are also required to intimate the authority on purchase of movable property where cost is more than two months’ basic pay. A copy of such statement will also be sent to the Lokayukta by the concerned officers.

* State Government employees shall submit their annual property return (both movable and immovable) online as usual. The present portal will be designed to allow access, to public as well as the Lokayukta, to his information.

* All the public representatives shall submit their property return (both movable and immovable) annually online. Existing format used by Government employees will be utilized for filing the property returns, by the public representatives. The concerned departments (PA/H&UD/PR&DW) will develop online system to enable public representatives to upload property statement and allow access to public as well as Lokayukta on the respective websites of their department. User credentials will be issued to each public representative to upload the property statement.

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