In an age where Right to Information Act has brought a new transparency in the style of governance, the Delhi government wants to set the clock in the reverse motion. It has issued a circular banning the "leakage of confidential information".

The circular, issued by the General Administration Department (GAD) last week, said the Cabinet proposals are publicised even before they are passed. "The confidentiality of the Cabinet proposals should be ensured," the note to all the heads of departments and principal secretaries to the government said. The note was issued following the directions of chief secretary R. Narayanaswami who was upset at the way the Cabinet notes were being published in the newspapers even before being officially passed.

The GAD circular, dated November 11, 2007 which too has been marked "confidential" and is not supposed to be with any "unauthorised person" is in possession of HT. It specifically says: "It is reiterated that all Cabinet proposals should be dealt with in strict confidentiality and secrecy."

Interestingly, most of the issues which are taken up by the Delhi Cabinet are known to the media and through them the people as they are announced in advance by the ministers or the Chief Ministers. There are very few issues which are "fresh" in the Cabinet meetings, said a senior official of the government.

By HT : November 19, 2007