- Guidelines in the Resolution and Disposition of Administrative Disciplinary Cases
- DENR Memorandum Circular No. 18-10
November 23, 2010
DENR MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 18-10
|SUBJECT||:||Guidelines in the Resolution and Disposition of Administrative Disciplinary Cases|
In the interest of the service and pursuant to the DENR's Integrity Development Action Plan (IDAP) as well as its Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards, the following guidelines in the resolution and disposition of administrative cases must be observed by all lawyers, administrative officers and designated officials and employees:
I. Jurisdiction of Disciplining Authority
1.1. Employees below SG 24
All complaints involving employees with salary grade below 24 except lawyers designated as OIC-Division Chiefs, shall be handled and resolved at the Regional Office/Bureau (Central or Regional) where the complaint is filed. Aggrieved parties may however file their appeal to the Office of the Secretary not more than fifteen (15) days from receipt of the Order/Decision.
1.2. Lawyers and Non-presidential Appointees
All complaints involving DENR lawyers designated as OIC-Division Chiefs, officials with salary grade 24 or higher who are not presidential appointees shall be handled and resolved at the Office of the Secretary (OSEC).
1.3. Presidential Appointees
All complaints involving presidential appointees may be considered for fact-finding investigation in the DENR, subject to the disciplinary authority of the President.
1.4. Environmental Ombudsman
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Office of the Secretary may decide to refer any complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) through the Environmental Ombudsman.
1.5. Officials and Employees of Attached Agencies
Attached Agencies shall have sole jurisdiction over their officials and employees, subject to the disciplinary authority of the OMB and the President.
II. Disposition of Cases Originally Filed with the DENR
All administrative complaints filed at the DENR whether at the Central or Regional Offices, unless referred to the OMB upon instructions of the OSEC, shall be referred to the Legal Service and shall be acted upon and disposed in the following manner: SHcDAI
2.1. Disposition of Cases Without Any Investigation
The following are administrative disciplinary cases which do not require any investigation:
2.1.1. Anonymous complainant/s
Complaints by "concerned" citizens or DENR employees shall be dismissed outright through the issuance of a standard Order to be signed by the Secretary/RED/Bureau Head/RD or his/her authorized representative.
2.1.2. Anonymous respondent/s
Complaints against "certain" officials/employees shall be dismissed outright through the issuance of a standard Order to be signed by the Secretary/RED/Bureau Head/RD or his/her duly authorized representative.
2.1.3. Unverified complaint
Complaints without signature, or with signature but not under oath shall be RETURNED to the complainant for his/her signature and/or oath.
However, if no address is indicated in the complaint, the same shall be dismissed outright through the issuance of a standard Order to be signed by the Secretary/RED/Bureau Head/RD or his/her authorized representative.
2.1.4. Complaint without the relevant and material facts
Complaint without a "narration" of the relevant and material facts which showing the act/omission being complained of shall be dismissed outright for lack of merit through the issuance of a standard Order to be signed by the Secretary/RED/Bureau Head/RD or his/her duly authorized representative.
2.1.5. Light offenses clearly established by official records, or with admission of respondent
In cases like habitual tardiness, habitual absenteeism and the like, where the offense is clearly established by official records, the head of office having jurisdiction or supervision shall require the respondent to explain in writing within 3 days why no administrative sanctions shall be imposed against him/her.
Should the respondent admit the act/s or omission/s complained of, and does not raise any factual or legal defense, the matter shall be referred to the Director of the Administrative Service in the case of the Central Office who shall recommend to the OSEC the imposition of the appropriate penalty, without the necessity of referring the case to the appropriate division of the Office of the Legal Services. However, in the case of the Regions, Bureaus, and Attached Agencies, the matter shall be handled by the Legal Division which shall recommend to the Head of Region/Bureau, the imposition of appropriate penalty.
2.2. Disposition of Cases Through Preliminary Investigation
The following cases shall be subjected to preliminary investigation in accordance with Sec. 12 of the
2.2.1. Anonymous complaint/s but there is either:
Obvious truth/merit to the allegation based on ordinary human experience, as can be determined from a sufficiently detailed description of the act/omission complained of, and logical connections of circumstances alleged (otherwise, it shall be dismissed); or
there is documentary or direct evidence attached that proves the allegation/s constituting the major element of the act/omission complained of (otherwise, it shall be dismissed)
2.2.2. Anonymous respondent/s but the Secretary/RED/Bureau Head/RD directs the conduct of preliminary investigation, after identity of the respondent had been established; SIDTCa
2.2.3. Unverified complaint but the complainant subsequently affixes his/her signature and/or subscribes to the complaint under oath;
2.2.4. Preliminary investigation shall be conducted by requiring the respondent to file Counter-Affidavit or Comment under oath within 3 days from receipt of the Complaint and Notice. After receipt of counter-affidavit or comment, or when the deadline had lapsed without such counter-affidavit or comment, the case will be resolved based on evidence on hand in the following manner:
188.8.131.52. If there is substantial evidence proving the act or omission complained of, an Order will be issued declaring respondent guilty and imposing the appropriate penalty.
If there is no substantial evidence but only prima facie case and the case involves a light offense of the 1st or 2nd incidence, further preliminary investigation shall be conducted. Such investigation shall be resolved through an order either declaring the respondent guilty if there is substantial evidence, or dismissing the case if there is no substantial evidence.
184.108.40.206. If there is neither substantial nor prima facie evidence, an Order will be issued dismissing the case.
2.3. Disposition of Cases Through Formal Investigation
2.3.1. For grave or less grave offense, or light offense of the 3rd incidence, formal charge shall be issued against respondent, unless the case is referred to the Environmental Ombudsman for further action;
220.127.116.11. formal charge specification of the charge/s, brief statement of material/relevant facts, documentary evidence, and a directive to answer the charge/s in writing under oath within 3 days from receipt thereof, advice whether or not to elect a formal investigation, and notice that he/she is entitled to a counsel of his/her choice;
18.104.22.168. preventive suspension may be imposed simultaneously with, or after the service of formal charge, and only in the following cases:
c. Grave Misconduct
d. Neglect in the performance of duty
e. If there is reason to believe that the respondent is guilty of the charge/which would warrant his removal from the service.
In lieu of preventive suspension, reassignment may be done by the disciplining authority. Preventive suspension without formal charge or outside the foregoing instances shall entitle the respondent to payment of backwages upon exoneration.
2.3.2. Formal investigation shall be conducted in accordance with Sections 22 to 35 of the
2.3.3. All formal investigations shall be completed and terminated within sixty (60) days from the issuance of the special order creating the hearing committee and a report shall be submitted to the office of the Secretary within thirty (30) days from the termination.
2.3.4. All formal investigations still ongoing upon the issuance of this Circular shall be terminated within forty-five (45) days from the effectivity hereof.
2.3.5. Failure on the part of the hearing committee to terminate proceedings within the period prescribed herein would obligate the said Committee and the designated prosecutor to explain in writing the reasons of delay. Unsatisfactory explanations shall be dealt with accordingly. TcDIaA
III. Disposition of Cases Originally Filed with the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC)
3.1. If the Office of the OMB or the CSC exercises jurisdiction over the case by requiring the respondent to submit his/her Answer, Counter-Affidavit, or Comment, the DENR shall dismiss the case filed with it without prejudice to any directive of the Office of the OMB pursuant to
3.2. If the Office of the OMB or the CSC has not yet required the respondent to submit his/her Answer, Counter-Affidavit or Comment, then the DENR shall hold the case in abeyance until the Office of the OMB or the CSC acts on the case, after which the case will be dismissed, unless the case is immediately dismissible without investigation in accordance with the Rule on disposition of cases without any investigation specifically on complaints filed by anonymous complainants such as concerned citizens or DENR employees.
IV. Disposition of Cases that May Be Subjected to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
The following are cases appropriate for ADR pursuant to
4.1. Those arising from personal transaction between complainant and respondent such as agreements and contracts where a dispute/disagreement arose.
4.2. Those arising from personal quarrels and the like, and there are no allegations involving graft and corrupt practices, grave misconduct, or gross negligence in the performance of official functions.
V. Disposition of Cases Under the DENR's Grievance Machinery
5.1. Work-related issues/complaints giving rise to employee dissatisfaction shall be addressed through the DENR's grievance machinery created in line with the Policies on Settlement of Grievance in the Public Sector contained in CSC MC 2001-02 and Resolution No. 010113 dated January 2001.
5.2. Non-implementation of policies, practices and procedures 1) on economic and financial issues and other terms and conditions of employment fixed by law such as salaries, incentives, working hours, leave benefits such as delay in OT pay, unreasonable withholding of salaries and inaction on application for leave, 2) which affect employees from recruitment to promotion, detail, transfer, retirement, termination, lay-offs, and other related issues that affect them such as failure to observe selection process in appointment, and undue delay in the processing of retirement papers;
5.3. Inadequate physical working conditions such as lack of proper ventilation in the workplace, insufficient facilities and equipment necessary for the safety and protection of employees whose nature and place of work are classified as high risk or hazardous; and
5.4. Poor interpersonal relationships and linkages such as unreasonable refusal to give official information by one employee to another.
5.5. The following shall not be included in the grievance machinery:
5.5.1. Disciplinary cases complaint with the Dept/Agency Head pursuant to
5.5.2. Sexual harassment cases complaint with the Department's committee on decorum and investigation (CODI) on sexual harassment cases pursuant to CSC MC 2001-17 on administrative disciplinary rules on sexual harassment cases;
5.5.3. Union-related issues/concerns complaint with CSC's public sector labor management council (PSLMC) pursuant to
5.5.4. Complaint relative to performance evaluation system (PES) complaint with the Department's performance evaluation review committee (PERC) through the Personnel Division/Section; and
5.5.5. Protest on appointments, which must be filed with the Department/Agency Head. aSCHcA
(SGD.) RAMON J.P. PAJE