Government officials cannot take up jobs — part-time/contractual or full-time — in the private sector immediately after they retire. The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has directed that unless retired officials complete the ‘cooling off’ period, which is compulsory, they cannot take up a private-sector job. If they fail to comply, they will be accused of misconduct and invite strict action.
Also, all government bodies, secretaries of Central government departments and heads of public-sector banks have been instructed not to offer post-retirement jobs to retired government officials without clearance from CVC. Non-compliance will be regarded as ‘serious misconduct’. The CVC order also outlines the procedure to be followed for government organisations to obtain vigilance clearance for retired-babus before taking them on for assignments or jobs.
Although rules do exist in almost all government organisations regarding observing a ‘cooling off’ period, retired officials rarely follow these rules, and rarely is any action taken against them.
Government organisations have been asked to put in place rules and guidelines to ensure that their employees adhere to the mandatory ‘cooling off’ period before taking up other assignments or jobs post retirement. Proper guidelines and protocols have to be set to ensure that retired officials seek permission before taking up any offers that come their way during the ‘cooling off’ time.
It has been rightly observed by the CVC that in the absence of a standard or set procedure for obtaining vigilance clearance, before employing retired officials by government organisations, there is always a risk of officials with a negative track record or with pending cases against them being employed. This can further lead to complications in the future.
In case a retired officer has worked in more than one organisation, the vigilance clearance will have to be sought from all organisations that have employed the official in the decade preceding his retirement.