Guidelines on procedure for preparing a Cabinet Memorandum
Government of West Bengal
325, Sarat Chatterjee Road
Howrah – 711 102
No. 19-Cab. Sectt./ Cab.Procedure-01/11
Dated 31st March, 2017
The guidelines on procedure for preparing a Cabinet Memo., as detailed under chapter XIII of the Secretariat Manual, has undergone several modifications from time to time suggesting insertion of some necessary as well as important points. The objective of the instant circular is also to being another significant modification, as noted at paras- 3(a) and 3(b) below, in the existing guidelines.
To ensure that multiple circulars on the issue do not create any confusion, the salient points of all previous circulars are compiled herein under along with the current modification, in supersession of all previous circulars.
1) The essential features of the procedure that must be followed for preparing a Cabinet Memo are reiterated in the following paragraphs :-
i) The subject matter of the case should be explained precisely and clearly. Relevant details and the background / context in which the case has been brought up should be indicated. Adequate justification for the proposal should be furnished.
ii) If the case relates to enactment of a legislation, promulgation of an ordinance or amendment of an existing legislation, salient features of the proposed legislation or ordinance or amendment, as the case may be, should be explained in the Cabinet Memo. In such cases, the draft legislation / ordinance / amendment must be got vetted by the Law Department.
iii) All other departments of Government which may be administratively affected by the proposals should be consulted.
iv) To the extent the views of the departments so consulted are acceptable to the administrative department, the proposal will have to be modified. Where a modification suggested by an administrative department is not accepted, the reasons for non- acceptance will have to be clearly mentioned.
v) Where the case involves a question of law, Law Department/ Legal Remembrancer will have to be consulted. The views of Law Department / Legal Remembrancer will have to be quoted verbatim.
vi) Where consultation with the Finance Department is necessary in terms of rule
10 (1) of the Rules of Business, that department must be consulted and views of the department will have to be obtained in writing and quoted verbatim in the Cabinet Memo.
vii) When any case relates to a proposal coming within the purview of rule 10 (2) of the Rules of Business, that is to say, where the Finance Department has not concurred with the administrative department, as well as in cases where the Finance Department has accorded concurrence with some conditions, the observations of the Finance Department will have to be quoted verbatim in the Cabinet Memorandum prepared by the administrative department.
2) An illustration of the heading under which the Cabinet Memorandum should be drawn up is given below. The headings are suggestive:
i) Subject for discussion ;
ii) Salient facts of the case, and the department’s proposals with justification indicating the financial implications of both recurring and non-recurring nature along with also the manner of meeting the related expenditure ;
iii) Views of other departments, if any (to be quoted verbatim) and the administrative department’s comments thereon, if any ;
iv) Views of the Finance Department, wherever this department is required to be consulted (to be quoted verbatim) and the administrative department’s comments thereon;
v) Proposal: The administrative department shall explicitly propose, in an exclusive paragraph, the points on which approval of the Cabinet is sought.
vi) A time schedule for implementation of the policy/ programme/ scheme seeking approval of the Cabinet, must be mentioned in a separate paragraph as a part of the Cabinet Memo.; and upon approval by the Cabinet the administrative department will have to send a periodic report on progress of implementation to the Chief Secretary. The Periodicity may be determined by the administrative department and indicated in the Cabinet Memo. An illustrative example as regards implementation schedule is enclosed.
vii) A draft Press note summarizing the decision sought.
3) For taking any proposal to the Cabinet, the administrative department will have to obtain the orders of the Chief Minister after completing the due processes of examination and consultation.
a) In the cases of Cabinet discussion the existing practice of mentioning in the Cabinet Memo. that prior approval / consent of the Chief Minister for placing the matter before the Cabinet has been obtained, should be discontinued from now on.
b) The Cabinet Memo. in respect of the Cases for Cabinet Mention, should invariably mention in the last but one paragraph that the approval/ consent of the Chief Minister has been obtained for their being placed before the Cabinet as a Mention Case.
4) 65 (sixty five) copies in both English and Bengali version together with 2(two) sets in original (ink-signed), being stapled with English version atop the Bengali version, of the Cabinet Memoranda should be sent to the Cabinet Secretariat so as to reach the Secretariat at least three days before the meeting of the Cabinet in which it is desired that the subject be taken up.
5) When any matter in respect of which decision has been taken with the approval of the Chief Minister with the direction to mention the same in the Cabinet, is brought up in a meeting of the Cabinet as a Mention Case, the procedure laid down hereinbefore shall be followed with necessary changes.
6) The Additional Chief Secretaries / Principal Secretaries / Secretaries in charge of respective departments will ensure that the instructions contained in this memorandum are properly followed. Cabinet Memo.s without following the instructions as aforesaid will not be accepted for placing before the Cabinet.
By order of the Governor
Chief Secretary & Cabinet Secretary