Worried over the spate of official Government documents leakages, the Federal Government is seriously considering regulating or placing an outright ban on all civil servants from social media participation.
Describing civil servants’ participation on social media as “improper,” the Government in a memo said, social media participation should instead be supportive of Government.
The Government listed Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter applications among others, as social media platforms civil servants use in leaking official Government information.
A directive issued by Lawal Ado Dutsin-ma, Permanent Secretary (Administration), for Head of Civil Service, disclosed that civil servants have been participating in various social media handles and leaking sensitive government information and correspondences.
“Government has noted with concern the improper participation of public Servants in various media platforms, most especially Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter applications among others to the extent of disclosing sensitive official government information and correspondences.
“Consequent to the above, all public servants in the state are reminded that unauthorized disclosure of official information and false allegations against the government officials are acts of serious misconduct punishable under Public Service Rules (PSR) No. 030401.
“In addition, the unethical participation of some serving public servants in the social media put to question their loyalty to the government, which is also a serious misconduct and it violates Public Service Rules (PSR) No.030403, as such public servants are to remain strictly guided on the way and manner to use the social media platforms, respecting the civil service pristine dictum of being reticent characters,” Dutsin-ma memo, reads.
The government directed all permanent secretaries and chief executive officers of government ministries, departments, agencies, and parastatals are directed to “inform all staff under them to remain vigilant on movement of sensitive government documents”.