No. 16012/7/97-Estt. (Allowances)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
(Department of Personnel & Training)

New Delhi, the 13th February, 1998

OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Subject:- Scheme of engagement of Consultants- Revision of guidelines regarding-

Normally, appointments are made in the Govt. against sanctioned posts. However, occasions may arise where for undertaking specific jobs of a specialized nature, specialists have to be appointed as Consultants. Such Consultants may be appointed either on a full-time or a part-time basis. In the case of a full-time Consultant, he is not allowed to take up any other assignment during the period of consultancy. In the case of a part-time Consultant, since the services are not availed of on a whole-time basis, there is no objection to his undertaking other jobs. Further, the officers engaged as Consultants could be either non-officials (outside experts) or retired Govt. servants.

2. The question of further streamlining the guidelines on the scheme of engagement of Consultants including the revision of fee payable to Consultants has been under consideration of the Government in the context of the revision of pay-scales of Central Government employees on the recommendations of the Fifth Central Pay Commission and it has now been decided that henceforth engagement of consultants (retired Govt. servants as well as outside experts) should be limited to skills which are not available within the cadre or in respect of specific and time-bound jobs like preparation of Project Reports etc. and no Consultant should be engaged for routine day-to-day work, for which regular staff is available, or to work as Personal staff of Senior Officers and Ministers if the job can be performed by a serving cadre Officer. Accordingly, in modification of the existing guidelines issued as per this Departmentís O.M. No. 1601/6/93- Estt. (Allow), dated the 21st December, 1993, the different aspects of the scheme of engagement of Consultants, including the payment of fee to them, will henceforth be regulated as under:-

(a) Criteria & Number of Consultants

Consultants should be engaged only to undertake specific jobs of a specialized nature and should not be appointed for the regular work of the Ministries/ Departments. Engagement of any Consultant (whether outside experts, i.e. those who have not been in Govt. service, or retired Govt. servants) should henceforth be limited to tapping of skills which are not available within the cadre or for attending to specific and time-bound jobs like preparation of Project Reports etc. and engagement of Consultants should not at all be allowed for routine day-to-day work for which the Ministries / Departments have regular staff support.

The strength of Consultants should be restricted to 10% of the total number of posts at the level of Joint Secretary and above within the Ministry/ Department, including attached/ subordinate offices, except in case of the Planning Commission, where the maximum number of consultants can be upto 25. When retiring/ retired Govt. servants are engaged as consultants, the number of such Govt. servants shall not exceed two at any time. In exceptional cases, where a consultant is engaged for performing regular work, the post earmarked for such work should be kept vacant till he completes the work as Consultants.

In respect of Ministries/ Departments having special problems, where appointment of retired/ retiring employees in large number is unavoidable, proposals may be made separately for such appointment beyond the permissible limit to the Department of Personnel & Training and Ministry of Finance.

(b) Period of engagement

Consultants may be engaged for the minimum period required. The maximum period of engagement should not exceed two years in case of outside experts. (An outside expert is one who has not been in Govt. service.). However, in case of retiring / retired Govt. servants, the period of engagement as Consultants should not be engaged for jobs which cannot be completed within a period of two years or six months, as the case may be.

© Age limit

No retired Govt. servant should be engaged as a Consultant beyond the age of 62 years. No relaxation of age limit shall henceforth be allowed by the Department of Personnel & Training.

(d) Fee

The consolidated fee payable may be decidedf in each case by Ministries/ Departments in consultation with their Financial Advisers after taking into account all the relevant factors including the level of the post which the individual held on the date of his retirement.

In the case of non-officials (outside exerts), the fee will henceforth be subject to a ceiling of Rs. 26000/- p.m. (with no DA, HRA, CCA or any other relief) if the engagement as Consultant is on a whole-time basis and of R. 13,000/- p.m. (with no DA, HRA, CCA or any other relief) if the engagement is on a part-time basis. In the case of retiring/ retired Govt. servants engaged as full-time consultants, the fee will be fixed subject to a ceiling of Rs 13,000/- p.m.. They will also draw their pension and relief thereon in addition. If the retiring/ retired Govt. servant is engaged as a part-time consultant the fee will be subject to a ceiling of Rs. 65000/- p.m. (without any adjustment of the pension drawn by him). In case any Ministry/ Department wishes to appoint any retired Govt. servant as a consultant at a fee higher than the limit prescribed, it should obtain the approval of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet by following the procedure prescribed in this regard.

Special care should be taken to ensure that henceforth the fee is fixed at an appropriate amount and is not fixed at the maximum, as has been the tendency hitherto, when the fee was routinely fixed at Rs. 4000/ 8000/ Further, in the case of a retired Govt. servant engaged as a full-time consultant, it should be ensured that the fee plus pension drawn by him should not exceed the last pay drawn, provided that in the case of a pre- 1.1.96 retiree the notional pay he would have drawn as on 1.1.96 in the revised pay scale on the basis of the last pay drawn by him before retirement in the pre-revised pay scale shall be treated as the lst pay drawn. In the case of a retired Govt. servant engaged as a part-time consultant, the fee should not exceed half the amount of last pay drawn, or deemed to have been drawn, as the case may be., Wherever it is considered appropriate, Ministries/ Departments could consider the payment of fee on a lump sum basis in two or three installments, keeping in view the quantum of work handled by the Consultant.

3. The provisions regarding payment of TA, DA and the facility of Telephone and Accommodation will continue to the same as prescribed under this Departmentís OM dated 21.12.93.

4. The Financial Advisers of the Ministries/ Departments should ensure that no consultant (outside expert or retired Govt. servant) is engaged/ continued to be engaged in violation of these instructions so that there is no case for seeking ex-post-facto approval for regularizing any infringement thereof. No extension of consultancy should be allowed without the prior approval of the Deptt. of Personnel & Training. Proposals for extension of consultancy, if at all required in any case in public interest, as also for any other relaxation of the conditions, should be forwarded through the Financial Adviser of the concerned Ministry/ Department. To facilitate proper/ timely scrutiny of the proposal for extension of consultancy in any genuine case, up to date information regarding the Consultants in position in the Ministry/ Department as a whole (as per prescribed proforma) should be forwarded, on file. However, no relaxation of the period of the consultancy of retired Govt. servants beyond a total period of one year and the age limit of 62 years in their case shall henceforth be considered/ allowed in any case.

5. Ministries/ Departments are also requested to ensure that to facilitate central monitoring of the scheme of engagement of Consultants, the information about the consultants employed in the Ministries/ Departments including subordinate offices, as on 1 Jan. and 1 July of every year should be forwarded to this Department in the prescribed proforma well in time.. The Financial Advisers may also adopt appropriate procedures for the requisite monitoring of the scheme within the Ministry/ Department.

6. These orders take effect from 1st December, 1997. the fee of the Consultants who are engaged on or after 1.12.97 as also of those engaged earlier but whose consultancy is continued beyond that date, with proper approval, may be refixed w.e.f. 1.12.97, keeping in view the provisions of para 2 (d) above.

Hindi version will follow.

Sd/-
(B. GANGAR)
UNDER SECRETARY TO THE GOVT. OF INDIA

To:

All Ministries/ Departments of the Govt. of India
(As per Standard List)
No. 16012/7/97-Estt. (Allowances), New Delhi, the 13th February, 1998
Copy forwarded to Comptroller & Auditor General of India.

Copy also forwarded to:-

1. Controller General of Accounts/ Contrtoller of Accounts, Ministry of Finance.

2. Union Public Service Commission/ Supreme Court of India/ Election Commission/ Lok Sabha Secretariat/ Rajya Sabha Secretariat/ Cabinet Secretariat/ Central Vigilance Commission/ Presidentís Office/ Planning Commission.

3. Department of Personnel & Training (AIS Division, JCA, Administration Section)

4. All State Governments and Union Territories Administration.

5. Secretaries to Governors of all States/ Lt. Governors of Union Territories.

6. Secretary, National Council (Staff Side), 13-C Feroz Shah Road, New Delhi.

7. All Members of the Staff Side of National Council of JCM/ Departmental Council.

8. All Officers/ Sections of the Department of Personnel and Training/ Deptt. of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances/ Department of Pensions & Pensioners Welfare.

9. Ministry of Finance, Deptt. of Expenditure (E-II-A) Branch.

10. Official Language Wing (Legislative Department) Bhagwan Das Road, New Delhi.

11. Railway Board.

12. 500 spare copies.

 

Sd/-
(B. GANGAR)
UNDER SECRETARY TO THE GOVT. OF INDIA