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Appointment of PS, OSD: Govt declines to make public orders

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New Delhi (Nov. 9, 2014): The NDA government has declined to show orders issued by it barring appointments of officials who had served in key positions in the erstwhile UPA regime as private secretary and Officer on Special Duty to the present ministers saying such memorandums were confidential in nature.

Official Memorandums relating to appointment in the personal staff of Ministers are "confidential" in nature and not in public domain, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said in reply to an RTI query.

It, however, did not cite any section of the RTI Act while denying the information.

The DoPT was asked to provide copies of circulars, note or official memorandum issued on appointments of private secretary (PS) and Officer on Special Duty (OSD) of ministers since the new government took over in May this year.

The new government had in June asked all its ministers not to appoint officials who had served in key positions in the UPA government as their personal staff. The directive, which was widely reported in media, was not denied by the government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also put on hold appointments of various private secretaries who had worked with ministers in the previous regime as the staff of new ministers.

The government has also directed that all PS and OSDs could be appointed only after the approval of the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister.

The central government has also made mandatory clearance from Intelligence Bureau (IB) for appointment of a private person as OSD to a minister.