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Vigilance clearance mandatory for Govt employees going on private foreign visits: CBDT

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, JAN 14, 2018: TO take a flight out of India one may need to take care of only sufficient funds and a visa. But if you are a government official and it is a case of a private visit abroad, there are many things that need to be streamlined and ensured. One of them is to seek prior vigilance clearance. With the CVC building up its database of all such private visits by government officials, the Govt has further tightened the procedures and also made the clearance granting authorities more accountable. And the maximum time limit for sitting over an application is 21 days. If the sanction is not officially communicated, it is to be treated as deemed granted.

In a communication the CBDT has detailed the guidelines for the ease of its officers posted in the field formations. And they are:

A. The officers/ officials shall make requests for grant of permission for private visits abroad to the Leave Sanctioning Authority at least 21 days prior to their expected date of departure. In case the permission for private visit abroad is required for processing of Visa application, then the request for grant of permission for private visit abroad shall be made well in advance so that at least 21 days are available for processing the request.

B. The request shall be made in the proforma prescribed the DoPT OM dated 27th July 2015 issued from F. No. 11013/8/2015-Estt.A-III and shall be complete in all respects. Estimated Expenditure should be given head-wise i.e. Travel/ Boarding/ Lodging/ VISA/ Misc. etc. Details of estimated expenditure should be given in respect of all the dependant family members travelling with the officer/ official on the foreign visit.

C. In all cases where an officer/ official intends to accept any foreign hospitality, the officer must certify that prior permission of the Central Government under FCRA, 2010 shall be taken separately before undertaking the private foreign visit.

D. The Leave Sanctioning Authority/ Pr. CCIT of the region shall make a reference for grant of Vigilance Clearance for private foreign visit so as to reach the office of Pr. DGIT (Vig)/ Zonal ADG (Vig)/ Addl. C1T (Vig) in the office of Pr. CCIT, as the case may be, at least fifteen (15) days before the expected date of departure. An advance copy of the reference may be sent by FAX/ email to ensure that no time is lost in transit.

E. The officer/ official shall file an expenditure statement to the Leave Sanctioning Authority and to the Pr. CCIT of the region furnishing the head-wise details of actual expenses incurred i.e. Travel/ Boarding/ Lodging/VISA/ Misc. etc. along with sources of expenditure within 15 days from the date of return from private foreign visit. Details of expenditure shall also be given in respect of all the dependant family members travelling with the officer/ official on the foreign visit. Wherever applicable, a copy of permission of the Central Government under FCRA. 2010 to accept any foreign hospitality shall also be filed with the expenditure statement.

E. The Leave Sanctioning Authority/ Pr. CCIT of the region, while making a reference for grant of Vigilance Clearance for private foreign visit, shall certify that the officer/ official concerned has furnished details of expenditure in respect of private foreign visits undertaken by the officer/ official during the last four years and that copies of permission of the Central Government under FCRA, 2010 to accept foreign hospitality have also been filed, wherever applicable. A proforma for the purpose is attached as Annexure-F.