Government of West Bengal
Personnel & Administrative Reforms Department
Writers’ Buildings, Kolkata 700001
No. 92()-PAR(TRg)/HR/O/3T-15/2012 Dated Kolkata, the 26th March, 2012.
Sub: Guidelines regarding foreign visits of employees of State Government, Semi or Quasi-Government organisation including Corporations, Autonomous bodies, PSU’s etc.
In supersession of Memo No. 466-PAR(T/g)/HR/O/3T-112/97 dated 18th July, 2003 on the above subject, following guidelines are being issued in connection with foreign visits of employees of State Government, Semi or Quasi-Government organisation including Corporations, Autonomous bodies, PSU’s etc. No official or private foreign visit shall be undertaken without the prior permission of the State Government as these rules.
2. Official Visit: A foreign visit of an employee shall be treated as an official visit if any part of the expenditure related to the visit is being borne by
- Central or State Government; or
- Multilateral agency like World, ADB etc. or any other sponsoring agency and the employee has been nominated for this visit by the Central or State Government.
The application for permission shall be submitted by the employee to his/her department in the prescribed format (Annexure-I) and after processing the same shall be forwarded to the Under Secretary to the Government of West Bengal at least four (4) weeks before the commencement of such visit stating the following facts:-
i) Whether a composite proposal in respect of all officers so nominated for the same event is being sent;
ii) Whether there is any vigilance case or disciplinary proceeding, (pending or under contemplation)against the officer(s) (in case of IAS/ WBCS (Executive) officers vigilance clearance would be obtained from this Department);
iii) Whether the officer has been abroad earlier during the course of last three years and details thereof;
iv) Whether the approval of the Minister In-Charge or Minister of State of the Department, as the case may be, has been obtained (in case Chief Minister is the Minister In-Charge, her/ his approval not required at this stage);
v) Outcome to be achieved by the proposed visit;
vi) Justification why the number of delegates nominated for the same event cannot be reduced;
vii) Why the purpose cannot be served by utilising the services of Indian Mission abroad, of another officer already abroad or any other officer being sent abroad;
viii) Whether there is any direct/ indirect financial involvement of the State Government.
After this following procedure shall be adopted for the following two cases:-
2.A. In case where visits are fully funded by the Government of India, Multilateral Agency like World Bank, ADB or any other sponsoring agency: The application shall be forwarded by the Under Secretary to the Chief Secretary through the Secretary, Personnel & Administrative Reforms Department. After Chief Secretary’s opinion the file shall be sent to the Chief Minister for order. In terms of the Finance Department’s Memorandum No. 1885-F(P) dated 2nd March, 2012 reference to the Finance Department shall not be required.
No expenses for such visits, including insurance, travel from place of posting to the place of taking international flight etc. will be borne by the State Government. In case of funding by the multilateral agencies, there should be no share of the State Government funds in the Staff component of the project under which an employee is sent abroad. In case the State Government has contributed to the staff component of the project, such visits shall be deemed to come under 2B.
2.B. Official visits not coming under the purview of 2.A: The application shall be forwarded by the Under Secretary to the Principal Secretary, Finance Department through the Secretary, Personnel & Administrative Reforms Department. After obtaining the concurrence of the Finance Department, the file would be submitted to the Chief Minister through Chief Secretary.
Government of India’s approval, regarding
i) Clearance from the Nodal Ministry concerned with the subject matter;
ii) Political clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs;
iii) Clearance from the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance; and
iv) Clearance under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 from the Ministry of Home Affairs*
– for all official visits, shall be obtained by the concerned Department through Personnel & Administrative Reforms Department.
The detailed guidelines for obtaining central government’s permission are attached (Annexure II).
3. Private Visit: Any visit which is not official shall be treated as private. Any visit being undertaken on invitation received by the officer by name shall be treated as private visit. Following procedure shall be adopted in this case:-
3.A.: When entire expenditure is borne by the employee or his / her family#: All such cases shall be governed by the Memo No. 42-PAR(Trg)/HR/O/3T-ll/2011 dated 2nd March, 2011.
3.B.: Cases which does not fall under the purview of 3.A.: The application for permission shall be submitted in the prescribed format (Annexure-I) and the same after processing shall be forwarded to the Under Secretary to the Government of West Bengal at least four (4) weeks before the commencement of stating the following facts:-
i) Nature and duration of leave sanctioned for the visit;
ii) If the proposal has approval of the Departmental Minister In-Charge;
iii) No expenditure devolves on the Central or State Government;
iv) No vigilance case / disciplinary proceeding is either pending or under contemplation against them [in case of IAS / WBCS (Executive) officers vigilance clearance would be obtained from this Department];
v) If any domestic / foreign hospitality or funding is being accepted on any component of the visit like travel, boarding etc. If the answer is affirmative, an intimation has to be given to the cadre controller authority;
vi) Prior clearance of the Government of India as per procedure mentioned in Annexure-ll should be obtained for visits being undertaken in professional capacity such as, participation in the seminar / workshop / international congress with acceptance of foreign hospitality##.
The application shall be forwarded by the Under Secretary to the Chief Secretary through Secretary, Personnel & Administrative Reforms Department for order.
Sd/- Samar Ghosh
# The term family means husband or wife as the case may be, sons and daughters including adopted sons and daughters, mother and father.
## Foreign Hospitality means any offer, not purely casual one, made by a foreign source for providing a person the cost of travel to any foreign country or territory or with board, lodging, transport or medical treatment. Foreign source include the government of any foreign country or territory or its agency; an international agency; a foreign company; and citizen of a foreign country. Agencies of the United nations, World Bank and some other International agencies multilateral organisations are exempted from the definition of ‘foreign source’ and some other International agencies or organisations is available on the website: http://mha.nic.in/fcra.htm.
* Only when hospitality is expected to be accepted from any Foreign Source.