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Secys told to ensure Cabinet notes are free of ‘defects’

Some notes lack desired standard and quality, says Seth

Written by Raghvendra Rao | New Delhi |
September 9, 2014 12:50:57 am
 Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth . Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth .

Pointing out that some of the Cabinet notes being received by the Cabinet Secretariat were “procedurally deficient” and lacked the “desired standard and quality” in their content, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth has shot off a missive to all secretaries asking them to ensure that “personal attention is given to preparation and finalisation” of Cabinet notes “so as to ensure that defect-free notes only are forwarded” to the Cabinet Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office.

Seth has asked the secretaries to ensure that the “defect-free notes” also have the necessary approvals in accordance with the laid down procedures.

“The approval paragraph in some cases is not self-contained, and in some cases includes a reference to preceding paragraphs, the contents of which are not meant for approval,” Seth’s sharply-worded missive states.

“Similarly, inter-ministerial consultations are sometimes not undertaken with all concerned, and in some cases, the gist of such consultation is not brought out in the main note. Especially on the points of difference, the sponsoring Ministry/Department should bring out their view with sound justification/reasoning,” the letter adds.

Underlining that “deficient notes cause considerable inconvenience to the Council of Ministers and in some cases lead to delay in decision-making,” Seth asked the secretaries to “advise” the officers’ association with preparing Cabinet notes to “closely go through the instructions and handbook on writing Cabinet notes”.

“They may also be nominated to attend one-day workshops organised by the Institute of Secretariat Training and Management on the subject,” the communication states.

Seth’s letter also states that a set of instructions have been been compiled and is available to ensure “the notes are conceptually clear, lucid and well-organised and facilitate smooth decision making during Cabinet deliberations”.

“However, it is matter of concern that some of the notes that are being received in this secretariat are not only procedurally deficient but content-wise too, lack the desired standard and quality,” the Cabinet Secretary has written.

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