<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central government has decided to crack down on officers for interacting with the media without permission from relevant authorities, a move that is aimed at regulating information flow to the public.”It has come to the notice of this ministry that some officers of this ministry/media units interact with media without authorisation from the competent authority,” a recent circular released by the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting says.Sources said that other central ministries are also likely to be issued similar directives soon.The circular warns officials to restrain from communicating with mediapersons without being authorised by the competent authority and also inform other officers in respective departments of the directive.The circular has been sent to top officials of the I&B Ministry and other departments, highlighting the procedures and guidelines to follow, if they speak to the media. It refers to the Press Information Bureau’s Information Dissemination Manual 2017, which lays down guidelines for officers’ interaction with the media on the government’s behalf.Highlighting chapter 3 of the manual dealing with communication with the media, the circular says that official information to the “Press, Electronic and Digital media will normally be communicated through the Press Information Bureau.”It says that only ministers, secretaries and other officers authorised to speak to the media may give information or be accessible to the media.”Any other official, if approached by a representative of media, will direct him/her to the Press Information Bureau or will seek permission of the Minister or the Secretary of the ministry/department before meeting the media person,” it says.It says that the Information, Education and Communication (ICE) strategies for various programmes and policies of the ministries should be prepared in consultation with relevant PIB officers.Earlier, the cabinet secretariat had also asked ministries to prepare detailed communication plans when they send Cabinet notes.

Original article:

Centre to crack down on officers for speaking to media sans nod