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Decision making versus rules of procedure: 03 secretaries in dilemma

By IndianMandarins- 21 Jun 2019


Government decisions are made in accordance with procedures. However, three Cabinet Ministers reportedly had a hushed-hushed discussion this week to formulate the country's response to the strategic issues. For such important meetings, it is the norm that the Secretaries concerned are also made to participate in the meeting and add their inputs. However, none of the secretaries was invited to the meeting, nor was consulted for his views. What has further caused concern among the civil servants is that the secretaries concerned were kept totally in the dark even about the meeting.


Indianmandarins has learned that the secretaries concerned came to know of the meeting only after they were delivered noting from the ministers to formalize the decisions taken.


In this context, it's pointed out that though it is the prerogative of cabinet ministers to take decisions on subjects under their jurisdiction, it is the responsibility of the departmental heads (Secretaries) to advise their bosses even post-facto.


It is further pointed out that the three seasoned ministers, by their oversight in following the established procedures, have created an awkward situation for the civil servants concerned who feel that, since they were not even consulted, they are not required to offer their post-facto advice. And if that was tendered unsolicited, who knows the advice may not be appreciated at all and may even be considered a breach.

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