THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Citing the rampant misuse of official vehicles, the government has directed departments to ensure they are not used by employees for personal tasks like shopping and ferrying children to school. The government had issued the directive, in the last week of February, asking various departments to stick to the various measures prescribed by the finance (inspection technical wing) department to curb the misuse of vehicles.
According to the finance department circular, government vehicles should not be used to transport employees to the office and then back to their homes. This, however, is not applicable to the private secretaries of ministers, department heads and principal secretaries of the departments. They have been told to limit the use of department vehicles for official travel from their offices.
The circular also barred the use of vehicles for shopping, travelling to railway and bus stations, cinema halls, markets, places of worship, marriages, and for ferrying children of the employees to schools. However, those officials who are eligible to use the vehicles for private purposes after paying from their pockets were exempted from the restriction.
Department drivers have been asked to enter the distance travelled during official journeys in the log book which should be submitted for inspection when required. The vehicles should bear government boards both in front and rear and they should not be covered in any scenario.
The government had received several complaints from the general public regarding the misuse of official vehicles following which department heads were told to rein in such practices. Being responsible for the monitoring and upkeep of vehicles, department heads will have to pay 50% of the fuel expenses in case of a violation of government rules.