LAHORE  - While noticing peculiar attitude of officers who transgressed their authority and acted in a manner unbecoming of officers, the Punjab government has directed them that their attitude and behaviour should be reflective of having semblance of responsibility and accountability.

Official sources told this paper the other day that a number of incidents were noticed where government servants had transgressed their authority. In some instances, they said, the law was taken into hand as well. This emerging trend is not in line with the title and conduct of an officer expected of a public servant, a letter written to department heads and district governments said.

An officer making false official statements, using defamatory of insulting language against another officer or private person, being drunk and acting in a disorderly way in public places, committing moral crimes and indulging in acts of bribery etc, is ‘unbecoming of an officer’.

Dubbing it a move of the government committed to good governance and striving hard to espouse the principles of transparency, merit and public service, the authorities want it imperative that such a trend is checked and reversed. Government servants should act as a model for the society. An officer is understood to avoid deceitful acts, displays of indecency, dealing unfairly, indecorum or acts of cruelty.

The Competent Authority has desired that all supervisory officers will take cognizance of the situation and undertake all remedial measures including disciplinary action against those who are in breach of the government policy.

Earlier, the Punjab government, in a bid to avoid leakage of secret data, had barred the senior officers from proceeding on foreign tours sponsored by foreigners without getting clearance from the competent authority. The government had also put under observation officers’ meetings with diplomats or consulate officials who offer them incentives against secret data. The decision was taken on reports that foreign officials/ diplomats posted at various consulates carry out spotting, cultivation of various Pakistani nationals as sources as part of their long term plan. The Punjab government had also issued the same instruction to the police officers.

In another attempt, the federal government had made moral screening of the official concerned mandatory prior to leaving the country for any official trip. The decision was taken after the reports of moral turpitude by the government functionaries abroad that damaged the image of Pakistan abroad.

Moreover, through an official notification issued on Feb 10, 2014, the federal government placed 15 marks out of 100 for the promotion of officers at the discretion of the Central Selection Board. Five out of the 15 were reserved for the integrity of the officer and three were made compulsory for promotion to the next grade, the officer held.

However, when contacted a secretary of the Punjab government on the issue of new instructions to the officers, he welcomed the development, saying that bureaucrats and the politicians were equally responsible for the undesirable situation. The Punjab government’s emphasis on observing strict instructions regarding official conduct was not the only reason for bad governance, he held.

, urging the need to boost service delivery rather than issuing instructions to the officials. He said that undue political pressure on officers was major reason behind slow paced delivery of services and apathy towards resolution of public issues.

Responding to a query that the mindset of bureaucracy in the country was colonial in its true sense, the officer said that only the political will matters not the public servants. Had there been true leadership like the Quaid-i-Azam, the colonial legacy would have been divorced ages ago in the country, he emphasised.

“The civil services don’t expect its officers to adhere to unrealistic levels of moral standards. An officer should not let his standards fall below the line,” he maintained.