The Ministry of Forests and Environment has issued Internal Control Procedure in a bid to enhance its public accountability and transparency through austerity measures and effective performance. It also strives to achieve efficient financial system.

The procedure published on the website of the MoFE requires all the employees under the ministry to perform their work at office in an honest, disciplined and impartial manner. No one will be allowed to remain absent without permission of the higher level official. Similarly, it has made dress code with identity card mandatory during office hours.

The procedure will be applicable for the ministry and its subordinate departments and offices.

It has six objectives, which include assurance of effective and speedy service delivery, prevention of loss or damage and misuse of resources, economical, transparent and accountable public expenditure, credible records-keeping and reporting system, compliance with prevailing laws and rules, and enhancement of good governance.

The procedure has maintained zero-tolerence against bribery. "No employee shall accept any gift or financial and physical benefits from any person or organisation for their work under the law," it says.

The procedure also bars employees from expressing opinion on political matters on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among others.

In yet another restriction, no office bearer shall engage office employees in their personal and domestic chores.

Similarly, the procedure has prohibited the participation of employees in any workshop, symposium and training without permission of the authority concerned.

Likewise, the ministry and its subordinate departments and offices shall not form a separate committee or taskforces for any study, research and investigation that can be carried out from the existing governmental mechanism. However, experts may be hired on contract basis for special work.

"While fulfilling any vacant post, the concerned agency shall strictly follow the provisions articulated in the Civil Service Act and Rules," the procedure says.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 14, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.