Employees barred from expressing political views

Kathmandu, November 24

The Ministry of Home Affairs has introduced the Integrity Code to be observed by employees working in the ministry and the agencies under it.

According to the MoHA, the code was developed as per point 69 of the Home Administration Reform Action Plan in exercise of the powers conferred by the Good Governance (Management and Operation) Act and the Regulation Concerning the Conduct of Employees of the Civil Service.

Preamble of the code states that it aims to provide maximum service to the people by making public administration more effective, protect human rights by ending impunity through better security arrangements, strictly enforce the Local Administration Act and make the employee working in the ministry and the agencies under it more responsible and sensitive towards their official duties by making their conduct and behaviour transparent.

“This code shall be applicable for all employees in the ministry, department, agencies, projects, district administration offices, area administration offices, border administration offices and prisons,” it states.

The code requires each employee to adopt the principle of ‘Home Administration for National Unity and Public Service ! Peace, Security and Good Governance for Development and Prosperity’ and focus his/her full attention on the campaign of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepalis’.

“Employees shall maintain cordial relations between the home administration and elected people’’s representatives by enhancing the credibility of the government at the public level. They shall dedicate themselves to the service of the people by carrying out their official duties without any discrimination on the basis of caste, gender, occupation, religion and geography,” the code states.

Employees are also obliged to make maximum efforts to address the grievances of citizens under the laws in force. According to the code, the employees shall discharge their official responsibility without being guided by any undue influence, greed, pressure and recommendation of anybody.

“Employees shall get to the office on time and spend the full hours as prescribed for the public service, wear prescribed uniform and identification card conspicuously. No one shall be allowed to take leave without prior approval of the concerned authorities and engage the junior employees in his/her domestic and private work,” it states.

The code has barred the employees from expressing any opinion in favour of or against any political party and prohibited them from making any comment or criticism, give public expression or public articles in a manner to cause harm to any agency of the government intentionally.

“No employee shall use any machinery, equipment, vehicle and other facilities of the office for personal purpose and benefit,” the code states. Similarly, employees shall not accept or take any present, gift, donation from any person or institution related to their functions.

The code also prohibits employees from opening account in a foreign bank without obtaining prior approval of the ministry, and consuming alcohol and tobacco products during office hours. They shall lead a simple life and stay away from committing sexual harassment and other activities punishable by the existing laws.