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One might also infer from the message that the department may be monitoring computers in the workplace and online activities of its employees.”For the first time, the government has publicly released the manual for the “caretaker convention,” which includes guidelines to govern the conduct of ministers, political staff and public servants during elections and, for the first time, flags the use of social media.[np_storybar title=”The best reader comments on this story” link=””] “Public servants are just that, the Public’s servants — they are not the governing party’s servants (remember that only 38% voted for this government! Public servant are a check and balance within our system and must be allowed to voice their concerns when sitting governments exercise undue power.
I can accept the need for secrecy if in times of war, or the like, but the bureaucracy must be able to have a voice for the average citizen.
(a) A public servant commits an offense if the public servant solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept an honorarium in consideration for services that the public servant would not have been requested to provide but for the public servant's official position or duties.(b) This section does not prohibit a public servant from accepting transportation and lodging expenses in connection with a conference or similar event in which the public servant renders services, such as addressing an audience or engaging in a seminar, to the extent that those services are more than merely perfunctory, or from accepting meals in connection with such an event.(b-1) Transportation, lodging, and meals described by Subsection (b) are not political contributions as defined by Title 15, Election Code.(c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor. For the purposes of this subsection, the term "official action" includes deliberations by the governing body of a governmental entity. (a) A person commits an offense if by means of coercion he:(1) influences or attempts to influence a public servant in a specific exercise of his official power or a specific performance of his official duty or influences or attempts to influence a public servant to violate the public servant's known legal duty; or(2) influences or attempts to influence a voter not to vote or to vote in a particular manner.(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor unless the coercion is a threat to commit a felony, in which event it is a felony of the third degree.(c) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a)(1) of this section that the person who influences or attempts to influence the public servant is a member of the governing body of a governmental entity, and that the action that influences or attempts to influence the public servant is an official action taken by the member of the governing body. In this chapter:(1) "Custody" means:(A) detained or under arrest by a peace officer; or(B) under restraint by a public servant pursuant to an order of a court.(2) "Party official" means a person who holds any position or office in a political party, whether by election, appointment, or employment.(3) "Benefit" means anything reasonably regarded as pecuniary gain or pecuniary advantage, including benefit to any other person in whose welfare the beneficiary has a direct and substantial interest.(4) "Vote" means to cast a ballot in an election regulated by law. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly offers, confers, or agrees to confer on another, or solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept from another:(1) any benefit as consideration for the recipient's decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion as a public servant, party official, or voter;(2) any benefit as consideration for the recipient's decision, vote, recommendation, or other exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding;(3) any benefit as consideration for a violation of a duty imposed by law on a public servant or party official; or(4) any benefit that is a political contribution as defined by Title 15, Election Code, or that is an expenditure made and reported in accordance with Chapter 305, Government Code, if the benefit was offered, conferred, solicited, accepted, or agreed to pursuant to an express agreement to take or withhold a specific exercise of official discretion if such exercise of official discretion would not have been taken or withheld but for the benefit; notwithstanding any rule of evidence or jury instruction allowing factual inferences in the absence of certain evidence, direct evidence of the express agreement shall be required in any prosecution under this subdivision.(b) It is no defense to prosecution under this section that a person whom the actor sought to influence was not qualified to act in the desired way whether because he had not yet assumed office or he lacked jurisdiction or for any other reason.(c) It is no defense to prosecution under this section that the benefit is not offered or conferred or that the benefit is not solicited or accepted until after:(1) the decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion has occurred; or(2) the public servant ceases to be a public servant.(d) It is an exception to the application of Subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of Subsection (a) that the benefit is a political contribution as defined by Title 15, Election Code, or an expenditure made and reported in accordance with Chapter 305, Government Code.(e) An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree. We have so few checks and balances in our system so we must protect, at all costs, the few we have.” – Chipreader“There’s a great deal of irony to be found in a democratic government telling its own employees that they do not have the right to freedom of expression outside of business hours.I don’t expect public sector workers to be devoid of personal opinion.It is not the place of the government to deny the rights of their own employees.” – not my real name [/np_storybar]It says departments’ websites and social media channels can only be used for government business and “government resources should not be used to support personal or partisan social media accounts.”The Thériault memo reminds public servants of the guidelines, as well as the values-and-ethics code that governs behaviour during an election.What irks the unions is a list of warnings about their “duty of loyalty” to the government when using social media in their personal lives.Though independent India reformed its Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr PC) in 1973 and junked the 1932 amendment - introduced to counter freedom struggle - Delhi continued to follow the older variant making sections 186, 189 and 506 IPC cognizable (police could arrest without warrant) and sections 188 and 506 non-bailable (only courts can grant bail after some duration).The sections relate to "disobedience of order of government servant" and "criminal intimidation" as also "obstructing public servant." A division bench comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath recently allowed a PIL filed by Rajiv Mehra seeking to apply uniformity to these sections as they exist in the rest of India.