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Tuesday September 10, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday September 10, 2013 MYT 9:09:15 AM
PETALING JAYA: Civil servants in other countries are also subjected to strict codes of conduct. The Federal Court in Australia ruled last month that a public affairs officer in the Immigration Department in Canberra could be sacked for criticising the country’s asylum seeker policy on Twitter.
The World Socialist website reported that the court had held that Michaela Banerji could be sacked for the tweets although she did it in her own time using an anonymous personal Twitter account.
Banerji had used Twitter as well as other social media channels to criticise the actions of the Labour government and the Liberal-National Coalition opposition to block and deport asylum seekers.
She was subjected to an investigation, which included the monitoring of her Internet activity even after work hours. She went to court after her department initiated the disciplinary process.
Banerji has not been sacked from her job but the court ruling allows for that to happen, the website said.
In England, a civil servant was sacked after criticising an MP for not paying tax on her second home.
Lisa Greenwood, who worked at the Department of Children, Schools and Families, criticises Hazel Blears, the former Communities Secretary, in an anonymous message posted on the Internet in 2009.
According to Mail Online, senior civil service managers traced the posting to Greenwood’s work e-mail account and accused her of breaking the civil service code.
Greewood was brought before a disciplinary panel and dismissed.
A DCFS spokesman said Greenwood had breached the code “which states that civil servants should be politically impartial at all times and not act in a way that could damage the reputation of their department”.
“We expect all our staff to adhere to this code of conduct and there are clear consequences for those who break the rules. This makes sure that the civil service remains honest, impartial and professional, and continues to provide a high level of service to the public,” he said.
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