DoPT Guidelines on Acceptance of Awards by Government Servants-OM dated 4.12.2023

DoPT Guidelines have been issued from time to time in respect of acceptance of awards by the Government Servants from Private Bodies and Institutes, in accordance with Rule 14 of the CCS(Conduct) Rules, 1965

Acceptance of Awards by Government Servants

F. No. 11013/22/2023 — Pers. Policy (A-III)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
(Department of Personnel and Training)
(Personnel Policy — A.IIT)

202, North Block, New Delhi
Dated 4 December, 2023

OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Subject: Guidelines on Acceptance of Awards by Government servants

Instructions have been issued by this Department, from time to time, regarding acceptance of awards by the Government servants from Private Bodies and Institutes, in accordance with Rule 14 of the CCS(Conduct) Rules, 1965.

2. Rule 14 of the CCS(Conduct) rules, 1964 provides that “No Government servant shall, except with the previous sanction of the Government, receive any complimentary or valedictory address or accept any testimonial or attend any meeting or entertainment held in his honour; or in the honour of any other Government servant: provided that nothing in this rule shall apply to- (i) a farewell entertainment of a substantially private and informal character held in honour of a Government servant or any other Government servant on the occasion of his retirement or transfer or any person who has recently quitted the service of any Government; or (ii) the acceptance of simple and inexpensive entertainments arranged by public bodies or institutions.

3. As a corollary to the aforesaid Rule, it was stipulated in DOPT OM No.11013/2/99-Estt.(A) dated 24 February,1999 that, in general, awards sought to be given by private bodies and institutes to Government servants do not need to be encouraged, inter alia, because of the fact that if a Government servant has done any outstanding work, there are various methods open to Government itself to recognize his merits and service and it would not be appropriate for him to accept such an award from a private body.

In exceptional circumstances like rewarding the merit of an officer for work done outside the purview of his functions in Government or where Government otherwise thinks that an individual deserves a particular award, it was left to the discretion of the competent authority to decide such issues in a reasonable and judicious manner based on the main criterion that such an award should not have a monetary component.

4. Further, vide DOPT OM No. 11013/2/99-Estt.(A) dated 17th February, 2000 it was emphasized that the Government servants should not be allowed to accept awards of monetary benefits instituted by private trusts/ foundations, etc.

5. It has, however, been observed that these instructions are not being adhered to in their true spirit.

DoPT Guidelines

6. Accordingly, it is, hereby, clarified that:

  1. Awards given by Private Bodies / Institutions / Organizations may be accepted only with prior approval of Competent Authority.
  2. The Competent Authority for acceptance of Awards by a Government servant would be Secretary of the concerned Ministry/Department.
  3. The Competent Authority for acceptance of Awards by Secretaries to Govt. of India and Secretary rank Officers would be Cabinet Secretary.
  4. The Competent Authority may grant approval, only in exceptional circumstances as elucidated in Para 3 above subject to the following conditions:
    • The award should not have any monetary component in the form of cash and/or facilities.
    • Credentials of the Private Bodies / Institutions / Organizations should be unimpeachable.
  1. All Ministries/Departments are requested to ensure strict adherence to these guidelines.

(A K GOPAL)
Under Secretary to the Government of India

View the Order pdf

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