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Nigerian civil servants leaking official documents risk dismissal

By News Desk

Should the Federal Government go ahead in implementing provisions of the Public Service Rules 030401 and 030402, civil servants caught leaking official documents on social media would be shown the door out of the service after termination of their employment.

The government explained that the punitive action been considered by the federal civil service was aimed at ensuring a stop was put to continuous leaking of important documents to the public.

It explained that the consideration of the rules followed incessant unauthorised disclosure of official documents on social media and other platforms by civil servants allegedly conniving with some members of the public.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, who gave the hint, said that the practice by the said civil servants involves posting, reposting of secret, confidential, and classified government correspondences, policy drafts, minutes, notes, memos, among others on social media.

Yemi-Esan, through a circular released on Tuesday and marked HCSF/3065/Vol.1 /94, said that any officials caught leaking, and possibly conniving with others to release important documents to the public without authorisation would be dismissed with immediate effect.

Those copied in the circular were the Chief of Staff to the President; Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Office of the Vice-President; ministers; Secretary to the Government of the Federation; permanent secretaries; service chiefs/lnspector-GeneräI of Police; and Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria.

Others are the chairmen of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Police Service Commission, Code of Conduct Bureau, Code of Conduct Tribunal, Federal Character Commission, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

The circular read, “The attention of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has been drawn to the incessant unauthorised disclosure of official documents/information on social media platforms.

“This reckless action is tantamount to a breach of the Oath of Secrecy public servants swore to, and a serious misconduct which may lead to dismissal from the service, as provided in the Public Service Rules 030401 and 030402.

“Henceforth, any officer caught posting/reporting government documents on social media and other platforms without authorization would be severely disciplined in accordance with the provisions of the PSR.

“This circular, therefore, reinforces the earlier circular on the subject, Ref. No/ HCSF/109/S.l/120 dated May 22, 2020 and other extant regulations prohibiting unauthorised publishing of official documents.

“Permanent Secretaries and Heads/Chief Executive Officers of extra-ministerial departments are to bring the content of this circular to all staff for compliance.”

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