Waste paper to phone use: Govt revives checklist against leaks
*Don’t throw secret papers into waste paper baskets. Tear such papers into small bits and ensure that all the waste papers from your room are collected and burnt before shutting up.
*Don’t fully close the doors of safes, cabinets of cupboards unless they are locked. A closed safe may give the impression that
it is locked while actually it is not.
*Don’t discuss secret subjects on the phone which is a public service.
These are some of the 26 instructions on a “confidential” list revived by the NDA government to “safeguard information” and “secure government property and premises” following the alleged leak of official documents from various ministries.
The list is part of a “re-sensitisation” drive launched by the government following a meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth in the last week of February of officials from the ministries under the scanner.
As part of this drive, the government is making detailed presentations on the Manual of Departmental Security Instructions 1994 for its senior officers.
Along with the manual, which has been revised several times over the years, the two-page list of Dos and Don’ts —- part of the official security protocol for long —- is being circulated among section officers.
“Though used for training purposes —- for example, by the Postal department and the Defence Headquarters Training Institute during the UPA regime —- these archaic rules were always considered either too obvious or rather impractical. Now the government is serious about full compliance,” said a senior bureaucrat, who did not wish to be identified.
While CISF personnel have already taken over the security of most ministerial premises, where additional CCTV cameras are being installed, the government has barred entry to those without ID cards or prior appointments with joint secretary-level officers and above.
Under the new security regime, all files have to be routed through the e-filing system and the divisional heads need to get the “security and character antecedent verification of outsourced staff as well as manpower deployed by service providing agencies in their buildings done… on priority basis.”
Burning “all security waste papers… daily under adequate supervision” seems to remain the top priority of the government as this figures under both Dos and Don’ts on the “confidential” list.
The government this month widened an investigation into suspected leaks of confidential documents from the oil ministry to include the defence, coal, environment and power ministries.
The scandal erupted in February with the arrest of junior staff suspected of stealing secret documents and selling them to consultants.
Source:: Indian Express