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  1. #1
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    Civil Service Reforms Thread

    Pakistan's civil services have been a topic of a lot of debate. All stakeholders agree that serious reforms are needed to promote ethics, honesty, openness and end the culture of naukarshahi.

    The new PTI govt has promised to revitalize our bureaucracy by incentivizing performance, punishing corruption, and putting an end to political interference i.e bringing back constitutional guarantee for tenure protection.

    Ishrat Hussain is their point-man for these reforms. We are familiar with Hussain as he was also Musharraf's pick for this exact task 12 years ago.

    I hope all interested can use this thread to suggest their own ideas and post new articles related to the topic.


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  2. #2
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    The promise of civil service reforms

    https://tribune.com.pk/story/1785662...rvice-reforms/

    Pakistan is a country with brightest civil servants and weakest governance. These civil servants live in sprawling houses but draw meagre salaries. They take decisions worth billions of rupees but with a slight nod of political masters can turn from mighty bureaucrats into discarded officers on special duty. Scores of armed policemen guard their secretariats and houses, yet they are vulnerable enough to be handcuffed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) anytime. A weak yet politicised civil service with powerful bureaucrats has long served many vested interests but the result is a country with an abysmal record of service delivery.

    Civil service has long evaded any reform efforts, some of it consciously but much of it owing to inertia of inaction and time horizons that are longer than politicians’ appetites. Most of the younger civil servants in fact are much supportive of reforms and are quite willing to be held accountable for their performance in return for tenure security and better salaries.

    But if there was ever an opportunity to reform bureaucracy in recent history, the time is now. If there was any political party, whose agenda closely resonated with improving governance, it is the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and if there was one man who could be trusted to do this job, he is Dr Ishrat Hussain.

    The Prime Minister in his address to the nation announced a task force to develop blue print for civil service reforms. The 100-day agenda of the PTI mentioned the same, highlighting the need for appointing officers on merit, offering tenure protection and strengthening accountability. The PTI manifesto also promised introducing performance audits, review of compensation package, allowing lateral entry and compulsory retirement after two supersessions.

    Dr Ishrat Hussain has been talking about many of these issues repeatedly, first as the head of the National Commission for Government Reform (NCGR) and then as a thought leader. He has been advocating for the introduction of a National Executive Service, transparent merit-based recruitment, decent compensation, tenure security and performance evaluation based on measurable performance. The NCGR even recommended promotions based on both performance and potential, shifting focus from ‘entitlement’ to ‘eligibility’.

    These promises and recommendations sum it all but there are three issues that the government must consider.

    Firstly, these reforms would take significant time and there could be a risk to lose momentum. The government should, therefore, draw a balance between quick fixes and deeper structural reforms. For instance, the appointment process could be streamlined very quickly by developing a placement portal that should internally advertise all key positions for competitive and transparent appointments. Departmental heads should sign performance contracts with clear targets. The performance audit regime under the Auditor General of Pakistan should be strengthened and the reports should be made public.

    Secondly, it is important not to demoralise the civil service as a whole. Allowing lateral entry and compulsory retirements are good ideas but at the same time civil servants should also be allowed to take sabbaticals and work in the private sector to gain experience. Even more importantly, the issue of decent compensation should take priority.

    Lastly, the task force should be focused more on implementation and less on re-opening debates on which significant clarity exists. Many such committees have failed in the past because of deliberation without action and aiming for a consensus-based approach. Any meaningful change is bound to have adverse consequences for a few.

    Furthermore, a task force can only work well, if supported by a capable secretariat, which can quickly commission research and place findings before the task force for decisions only.

    Recruiting and retaining talent will be critical for the new government. Civil service reform is an important piece of this puzzle and the sooner the new government cracks it the better it will be at delivering on its election promises.


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  3. #3
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    Make career advancement and privileges/bonuses subject to performance and all of these nonperforming officers will fall in line. Those showing consistent slacking should be shown the door.


    A little bit of danda will go a long way in fixing the civil service.

  4. #4
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    Before revamping the Civil Service, they need to reform the CSS exam. I have no issues with how challenging it is, but my main problem is the ridiculously long waiting time before you find out your fate.

    I will inshAllah appear in the 2020 exam, and it takes a good 16-17 months before you know if you are getting into civil service or not. The exam takes place in February, the written result is out in October, and then by the time you are done with the interview, medical test, psychological test etc., it is already June of next year.

    The final result of the 2017 exam was announced in June 2018, which is ridiculous. The final result should be out within 5-6 months after taking the exam so that people know where they are heading. Candidates' careers are put on hold because they don't know their fate.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Before revamping the Civil Service, they need to reform the CSS exam. I have no issues with how challenging it is, but my main problem is the ridiculously long waiting time before you find out your fate.

    I will inshAllah appear in the 2020 exam, and it takes a good 16-17 months before you know if you are getting into civil service or not. The exam takes place in February, the written result is out in October, and then by the time you are done with the interview, medical test, psychological test etc., it is already June of next year.

    The final result of the 2017 exam was announced in June 2018, which is ridiculous. The final result should be out within 5-6 months after taking the exam so that people know where they are heading. Candidates' careers are put on hold because they don't know their fate.
    Sorry for asking a very noob question but what is the benefit of the CSS exam? Can an individual decide to take it and appear for it at any stage in life?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    Sorry for asking a very noob question but what is the benefit of the CSS exam? Can an individual decide to take it and appear for it at any stage in life?
    It is the exam that you have to take if you are interested in joining the civil service, which includes police, FBR, Customs, foreign service, audit and accounts etc.

    To be eligible, you need to have a bachelors degree in any field. You can appear three times and the age limit is 30. Usually candidates don't have a choice to choose their department unless they score very high marks.

    Police, foreign service and district management have the highest merit. If you barely pass the exam, you don't have much hope of get into these departments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Before revamping the Civil Service, they need to reform the CSS exam. I have no issues with how challenging it is, but my main problem is the ridiculously long waiting time before you find out your fate.

    I will inshAllah appear in the 2020 exam, and it takes a good 16-17 months before you know if you are getting into civil service or not. The exam takes place in February, the written result is out in October, and then by the time you are done with the interview, medical test, psychological test etc., it is already June of next year.

    The final result of the 2017 exam was announced in June 2018, which is ridiculous. The final result should be out within 5-6 months after taking the exam so that people know where they are heading. Candidates' careers are put on hold because they don't know their fate.
    The CSS exam needs to be done away with. IMO it is an outdated system.

    A person shouldn't be considered for a job just because of some exam result. You can have the qualifications, be over 30 or under, and still be brilliant...just standardized exams are not everyone's cup of tea.
    Last edited by mmkextreme_1; 21st August 2018 at 20:06.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmkextreme_1 View Post
    The CSS exam needs to be done away with. IMO it is an outdated system.

    A person shouldn't be considered for a job just because of some exam result. You can have the qualifications, be over 30 or under, and still be brilliant...just standardized exams are not everyone's cup of tea.
    I completely agree. One exam should not determine whether you are capable of joining the civl service or not. However, it is not going to go away and we have to live with it, but they can certainly do something about the fact that it should not take 1.5 years for the final result to come out.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Before revamping the Civil Service, they need to reform the CSS exam. I have no issues with how challenging it is, but my main problem is the ridiculously long waiting time before you find out your fate.

    I will inshAllah appear in the 2020 exam, and it takes a good 16-17 months before you know if you are getting into civil service or not. The exam takes place in February, the written result is out in October, and then by the time you are done with the interview, medical test, psychological test etc., it is already June of next year.

    The final result of the 2017 exam was announced in June 2018, which is ridiculous. The final result should be out within 5-6 months after taking the exam so that people know where they are heading. Candidates' careers are put on hold because they don't know their fate.
    This is absolutely right. The absurdly long cycle is a major headache.

  10. #10
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    Yes, the time it takes for results to be out is excruciatingly long.

    If you don't hold a competitive exam, what other method do you suggest for recruiting entry level junior civil servants?

    Please remember, how in our society any lateral appointment of even a qualified person is called corruption. If you do away with a transparent exam that holds respect and trust among the people, the situation will rather get worse than better.

    All civil servants will then be accused of being politicians, generals, judges' kids rather than being the most qualified for the job.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSchultz View Post
    Yes, the time it takes for results to be out is excruciatingly long.

    If you don't hold a competitive exam, what other method do you suggest for recruiting entry level junior civil servants?

    Please remember, how in our society any lateral appointment of even a qualified person is called corruption. If you do away with a transparent exam that holds respect and trust among the people, the situation will rather get worse than better.

    All civil servants will then be accused of being politicians, generals, judges' kids rather than being the most qualified for the job.
    I agree that they cannot get rid of the exam, and in fact they shouldn’t. However, they can definitely revamp the process.

    Instead of one exam that decides your fate, there should be a series of exams and tests, including “role playing” scenarios etc. where you will have to solve a real world problem. It happens in the psychological test but it can be better.

    Right now, hypothetically speaking, if you score perfect marks in current affairs, international relations, economics, gender studies etc., but fail in Pashto or Punjabi for example, you will fail the exam, even though the subjects that you have passed are more relevant to your profile as a civil servant.

    Furthermore, some of the questions are ridiculous. I was going through the U.S. history past papers the other day, and one of the questions was asking for the date on which Coca-Cola was introduced.

    This is not some high school quiz. A civil servant doesn’t need to know when Coca-Cola was introduced and you don’t need to know that to have expertise on American history.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    I agree that they cannot get rid of the exam, and in fact they shouldn’t. However, they can definitely revamp the process.

    Instead of one exam that decides your fate, there should be a series of exams and tests, including “role playing” scenarios etc. where you will have to solve a real world problem. It happens in the psychological test but it can be better.

    Right now, hypothetically speaking, if you score perfect marks in current affairs, international relations, economics, gender studies etc., but fail in Pashto or Punjabi for example, you will fail the exam, even though the subjects that you have passed are more relevant to your profile as a civil servant.

    Furthermore, some of the questions are ridiculous. I was going through the U.S. history past papers the other day, and one of the questions was asking for the date on which Coca-Cola was introduced.

    This is not some high school quiz. A civil servant doesn’t need to know when Coca-Cola was introduced and you don’t need to know that to have expertise on American history.
    Yes, in the fullness of time, the British Civil Service's Fast Stream model can serve as an inspiration. An initial shortlisting followed by interviews and gauging of psychological strength and leadership ability.


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  13. #13
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    Today I finished reading the recent book by Dr. Ishrat Husain, "Governing the Ungovernable" where he charted the history of Pakistani government and how we got to where we are today.

    He heavily stressed on some long term objectives that any civil services reform should entail.

    Key Takeaways:

    1) Reduce Political interference in civil service by bringing back a 2 year constitutional guarantee of tenure which was removed by ZAB. (Big if true)

    2) Implement Local Government System in the spirit of local government ordinance passed by Musharraf. Empower District Nazim to have control over health, education, social welfare, and planning&development + a few other departments of his district. However office of Deputy Commissioner should retain duties of law and order (police), disaster management, land records management as after receiving tenure security he will be an impartial arbitrator.

    2) Improve police morale and operations capability by giving IG tenure security and complete operational independence + powers to appoint SHOs, DPOs of his choice.

    3) He is very impressed by the millitary's constant training and improvement of skills of its officers, claims a similar training track should be implemented for civil servants. "They transformed mediocre individuals into first rate human resource material while the civil services took the creme de la creme and turned the first rate talent either into cynics or self-serving individuals" (highly agree)

    4) Remove civil servants from the 1-22 grades pay scale system. Offer them high salaries and performance bonuses. To reduce overall wage bill, all hiring of junior staff below graduate level should be stopped except in emergency cases.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSchultz View Post
    Today I finished reading the recent book by Dr. Ishrat Husain, "Governing the Ungovernable" where he charted the history of Pakistani government and how we got to where we are today.

    He heavily stressed on some long term objectives that any civil services reform should entail.

    Key Takeaways:

    1) Reduce Political interference in civil service by bringing back a 2 year constitutional guarantee of tenure which was removed by ZAB. (Big if true)

    2) Implement Local Government System in the spirit of local government ordinance passed by Musharraf. Empower District Nazim to have control over health, education, social welfare, and planning&development + a few other departments of his district. However office of Deputy Commissioner should retain duties of law and order (police), disaster management, land records management as after receiving tenure security he will be an impartial arbitrator.

    2) Improve police morale and operations capability by giving IG tenure security and complete operational independence + powers to appoint SHOs, DPOs of his choice.

    3) He is very impressed by the millitary's constant training and improvement of skills of its officers, claims a similar training track should be implemented for civil servants. "They transformed mediocre individuals into first rate human resource material while the civil services took the creme de la creme and turned the first rate talent either into cynics or self-serving individuals" (highly agree)

    4) Remove civil servants from the 1-22 grades pay scale system. Offer them high salaries and performance bonuses. To reduce overall wage bill, all hiring of junior staff below graduate level should be stopped except in emergency cases.
    1) Yes that is true and is one of the most damaging steps taken by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

    2) Yes the police should have operational independence.

    3) Can't comment much.

    4) Seems a good proposal.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSchultz View Post

    1) Reduce Political interference in civil service by bringing back a 2 year constitutional guarantee of tenure which was removed by ZAB. (Big if true)
    Zulfikar Ali Bhutto certainly did away with constitutional guarantees and introduced lateral entry, and this facilitated the political manipulation of the civil service.

    The context is important to note, however. The elite bureaucrats had played a big hand in undermining civilian rule in the first few years after independence. They had gained an upper hand over politicians, due to the legacy of colonial rule and the consequences of partition. In colonial India, in the regions that would come to constitute West Pakistan, the role of the civil servant was elevated to an even greater degree than the rest of India, as the territory had been annexed later than the rest of British India and as a frontier region was regarded as a security state. The Punjab was also a key area for army recruitment. Autocratic traditions, bureaucratic rule and paternalism were therefore deeply engrained. The chaos of partition also cemented the role of the bureaucracy. With its existence in doubt, the emphasis was on bolstering the state rather than building a framework for political participation. This clearly favoured the bureaucracy rather than the politicians in the long run.

    Many of the bureaucrats also looked down on the politicians and constitutional protection had left them in a more secure position than the politicians. In an early work on Pakistan, the academic Keith Callard noted that whilst the civil servant had interfered heavily in politics “the politician has never usurped the role of the civil servant. The politician’s hold on power has often been brief and insecure: the civil servant is there for life.”

    Many consultants advised the Pakistan government that reform to the civil service was imperative. Its methods of operating, with a reliance on generalists rather than specialists and the colonial inheritance which left it geared to seek order rather than oversee economic development, were subject to criticism. Little was however done. In fact with the coming of Ayub Khan and his ‘basic democracies’ system an even heavier reliance was put on the bureaucracy. As Ayub’s regime descended into greater unpopularity during the late 1960s, the bureaucrats came under fire, with slogans such as ‘Naukershahi Murdabad’ being widely heard.

    This is the context for the Bhutto reforms. Bhutto, however, was less concerned with democracy than securing personal control. His reforms of the civil service aimed at creating what his critics suggested was an ‘army of stooges’. (We might also note that Bhutto in fact also came to depend on the bureaucrats as nationalisation increased the size of the public sector and necessitated greater administrative involvement.)

    Since the Bhutto era, we have seen two trends accentuated. Firstly, continued politicisation (refer to https://www.dawn.com/news/649302/a-bureaucracy-trampled). Secondly, a large influx of officers from the armed forces into the civil service (refer to https://www.dawn.com/news/656300/mil...-civil-service).

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    Interesting choice of task force members, especially Nadeem Haque whose twitter feed is dedicated to denigrating civil servants.


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  17. #17
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    Reforms: a history of the future?

    September 11, 2018
    Amidst all the noise surrounding cheese imports and crowd-sourcing for vital national security infrastructure, there was news of two new committees established under the chairpersonship of Dr Ishrat Husain, who is the adviser for institutional reforms and austerity, and effectively the full federal minister for reforms.

    Many have long anticipated the opportunity for Pakistan to undertake real reforms. Among them, the most important group is PTI voters and supporters. The effectiveness with which the word reform is used by Prime Minister Imran Khan, and the seriousness with which the government’s efforts for reform are taken, is above all other considerations, an issue of the credibility of PM Khan’s credentials as a reformist. For this reason, his choice of Dr Husain as the point-person for reforms makes eminent sense.

    Dr Husain has served the government of Pakistan as a CSP civil servant, worked for two decades in the World Bank in senior positions across Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East, and been the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. He was also the chairperson of the National Commission Government Reforms (NCGR) from 2006 to 2008 and has published several books assessing the poor conditions of Pakistanis and the dysfunction of government. Perhaps most importantly, Dr Husain has extensive interface and experience with the international community. He understands not only the imperatives and complexities of Pakistan’s internal governance, but also the intimate dynamic and interplay between those dynamics and the international community.

    In a political environment that seems to increasingly favour calling Pakistan’s lenders and donors names whilst it seeks their support, Dr Husain represents a calm and assured voice that will speak for Pakistani autonomy within the context of the compromises necessary to ensure that ordinary Pakistanis are not punished for the bravado of those with an exceptional disconnect from reality.

    Dr Husain will chair two committees – a committee on civil service reform and another on public expenditure. A lot has already been said about the incredibly rich endowment of retired and serving CSP/DMG/PAS officers on these committees – but this is par for the course. No individual or entity ever hands over beneficial powers without a fight. If ordinary Pakistanis are going to wrest control of public funds from the appropriative control of the elite bureaucracy in this country, it will take a serious and committed engagement with members of this very bureaucracy.

    Since Dr Husain is personally invested in the public administration and civil service reforms conversation since 2006, when he was entrusted with the responsibility for the NCGR, there is little use in detailing how dramatically the world has changed since 2008, when the NCGR recommendations were made. The most important aspect of those changes was in 2010 with the 18th Amendment and the accompanying seventh National Finance Commission. The NCGR’s recommendations are largely not only outdated, but also incongruent with the needs of a post-devolution administrative and political infrastructure. Members of the civil-service committee will be keenly aware of this, and will not fall into the trap of depending on the NCGR recommendations as a baseline for their deliberations.

    Perhaps what will be more useful for the civil service reforms committee will be to soberly examine the responsibility resting on their shoulders in the context of how this responsibility was handled when it was placed on others’ shoulders. It would surprise no one that there is rarely a new government in Pakistani history that does not invest in an exercise to try to gain some control over a runaway culture of administrative inefficiency, ineffectiveness and dysfunction. What may surprise many of us, however, is just how frequently such exercises have been undertaken. Let’s take the one decade prior to the formation of the NCGR and look at similar efforts.

    In January 1995, then PM Benazir Bhutto established the National Commission to Suggest Measures to Improve the Efficiency of the Federal Government of Pakistan, under the chairpersonship of Hamid Nasir Chattha. The Chatta Commission made its final recommendations in October 1996 which included, among others, the elimination of the position of additional secretary, and the establishment of key performance indicators (KPIs) for ministries and divisions. Suffice it to say, two decades later, additional secretaries still do not need to worry about KPIs.

    Less than four weeks after the Chatta Commission offered its final recommendations, in November 1996, the Committee on Reduction of Non-Development Expenditure was established by the caretaker government of PM Malik Meraj Khalid. It submitted its final report in December 1996. The report was a collection of words such as abolition, reduction, liquidation, privatisation, and merger. The sole purpose was to reduce the number of departments, divisions and ministries.

    Less than three months later, in February 1997, then prime minister Nawaz Sharif established the Report of the Committee on Downsizing of the Federal Government. Chaired by Dr Hafiz A Pasha, the committee sought to do exactly what the Malik Meraj committee had sought to do, with the explicit aim of reducing the current expenditure of the government by reducing the number of ministries, divisions, departments, and crucially, employees of the federal government. Its final report in April 1997 helped the government identify which parts of the federal secretariat could be spliced away with the least pain.

    The same government concurrently realised that it could not work with only DMG officers at its disposal and thus established the MP scale through which professional expertise could be introduced into key government functions. This is the sole example of a reform that has survived every attempted manner of undermining and fight-back by the status-quo forces within the system. Tellingly, the MP scale was not the product of a committee or commission. It was established through a notification by the Finance Division, Regulation Wing, on August 18, 1998 vide No F-3(7)-R4/98.

    Having created a firestorm of resistance within the federal government, the Pasha Committee’s recommendations were revisited by another commission, this time established in August 1997, and chaired by Syed Fakhar Imam (at that time of the PML). The Commission on Administrative Restructuring on Re-engineering of the Federal Government Organizations submitted final recommendations in February 1999. The Fakhar Imam Commission determined the degree of downsizing necessary through the establishment of a surplus pool of federal employees.

    The October 1999 coup did not reduce the appetite for administrative and civil service reform, and in August 2000, General Musharraf established the Committee on Restructuring and Rightsizing of the Federal Ministries/Divisions under the chairpersonship of Dr Shahid Amjad Chaudhry. Its final report was submitted in April 2001. It did what the Hamid Nasir Chatta, Malik Meraj Khalid, Hafeez Pasha and Fakhar Imam committees and commissions had done: recommending another variation of downsizing of the federal government.

    From 2000 to 2005 there were several other similar efforts. The tenth pay and pensions committee of 2001 under Mueen Afzal, the 2001 Tanwir Naqvi devolution plan, and the 2002 civil service reform plan proposed by the National Reconstruction Bureau (rejected by the Zafarullah Jamali cabinet in 2003), all sought to fix Pakistan’s system of administrative governance, sometimes calling it reform, other times calling it downsizing, but always focusing on efficiency and effectiveness.

    As the twin committees under Dr Husain’s able leadership take up the mantle of administrative and civil service reforms, the lessons from both Dr Husain’s own leadership of the NCGR as well as the accumulated wisdom from over two decades of similar committees must not be ignored. Pakistan’s most powerful status-quo force is the bureaucracy. If it is not willing to work towards the same goals as reformers, efforts for improvement will fail. But concurrently, if reformers do not have the gumption to take on obstacles and blockers of reform, they should not even attempt to repeat the cycle of our history with institutional reform.

    Whatever happens, the members of these committees must recognise that they are not pioneering such efforts, but really facing the burden of a history of consistent and intergenerational failure. They must be supported in their efforts by all citizens that support reform. One wishes both committees, and Dr Husain, the best of luck!

    The writer is an analyst and commentator.

    www.mosharrafzaidi.com


    https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/366...-of-the-future


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    Imran Khan addressed the bureaucracy today in Islamabad. Vows to fight against NAB's humiliating tactics and also minimizing political interference.



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    Important to give confidence to the Bureaucracy and speak against any excessive tactics from NAB. Ashir Azeem mentioned that in his video titled : "Officer and crown". Accountability must be there but it shouldn't deter the officers from providing relief to the people and taking risks for better functioning.

  20. #20
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    “It is not defeat that destroys you, it is being demoralized by defeat that destroys you.”
    ― Imran Khan

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    Civil service reforms
    https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/201...rvice-reforms/

    Governance constitutes, for ordinary people, a daily struggle for survival and dignity. Ordinary people are mostly humiliated at the hands of public institutions. To the ordinary, lack of good governance means police brutality, corruption in accessing basic public services that includes health and education in terms of ghost schools, teacher absenteeism, missing medicines, high cost and low access to justice, criminalisation of politics and lack of social justice. These are just few manifestations of the crisis of governance.

    If we dwell on the question that why civil service reforms are an urgent need of the time and what is the rationale behind these reforms, the answer is multi-dimensional. Sometimes it is in efficient delivery of services to the public and sometimes it’s the glass ceiling between the federal and provincial officers that calls out for reforms in these services. Glass ceilings have always been demotivating as they cater the talent to breed to its full form. Recently Prime Minister Imran Khan agreed to the constitution of the Task Force on Civil Service Reforms and the Task Force on Austerity and Restructuring of the Government. It’s a great dilemma that the 4,000 PMS officers of Pakistan have been deliberately ousted from participating in this noble and holy task. Since they have been over thrown the definition of civil services need to be revised. Civil service is defined as any government service in which a position is secured through competitive public examination and also all those employed in government administration except in the armed forces, legislature, or judiciary. The crux comes out to be considerably justified that civil services include officers of both federal and provincial governments.

    All Pakistan Provincial Service consists of Provincial Management Service, Provincial Service and Provincial Secretariat Services. They are the main force working at the grass root level or in other words the point of initiation of something important to be implemented. They are working from section officers to the secretary levels and in the fields working from assistant commissioners to commissioners. They are an integral part of district administration and divisional administration and its surveillance. This field is claimant of the one being running the machinery of government. The main issue is federal service dominating provincial services because of the unconstitutional IPCC (Mueen Qureshi) formula of 1993. It was the care taker government of Mueen Qureshi, economist, civil servant and prime minister that time, though in spite of clear rulings from superior judiciary that care taker governments cannot give long term policies, after 25 years the unconstitutional formula lingers on the head of this part of bureaucracy. According to this formula the percentage set for PMS from BPS 17 to 22 is 75pc in BPS17, 60pc in BPS18, 50pc in BPS19, 40pc in BPS 20, 35pc in BPS 21 and zero percent in BPS 22. Whilst for the DMG officers the criteria is entirely different from BPS 17 to 22 according to this formula 25pc for BPS 17, 40pc BPS 18, 50pc BPS 19, 60pc BPS 20, 65pc BPSb21 and 100pc in BPS 22.

    In ** 17 PAS, though they are not all Pakistan service but they are service of federation, have notified 72 seats in Punjab which they should have notified 235 as per 25pc in BPS 17. The purpose behind it was to have minimal officers in least grade and they may reach the highest grade with optimum speed. Whilst the provincial service groups languish, suffer and come up with speed that fate had set for them. Hence, it’s against the constitutional provisions not providing the adequate rights to the provincial officers even to join the posts of assistant, deputy and commissioners though lying vacant resultantly demotivating officers of this cadre. In BPS 19 there are 66 vacancies, In BPS 20 there are 37 vacancies in BPS 21 there are four vacancies.
    middle stories

    Grass is always greener on the other side of the pasture. The terms of reference of the Federal Task Force to the extent of provincial and local governments are derogatory to Article 240 (b) which enunciates “All-Pakistan Service means a service common to the Federation and the Provinces…”

    The initiative taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan on formulating task force on civil service reforms is indeed a welcome step. But the irony is that not a single member from provincial services has been made part of it. Actually they are the ones implementing policies at grass root level of the government’s machinery. Indeed it’s a principle of change that whenever any change is settled, the major stake holders are taken on board otherwise that change is supposed to fail. Until and unless these two parts of bureaucracy are taken together the reforms in civil services is a far cry from real reforms. The government should uphold the provisions of constitution and rule of law for bringing real and just reforms and abridge the distance between these two bureaucracies (federal and provincial).

    Grass is always greener on the other side of the pasture. The terms of reference of the Federal Task Force to the extent of provincial and local governments are derogatory to Article 240 (b) which enunciates “All-Pakistan Service means a service common to the Federation and the Provinces…” and is jurisdiction of provincial assemblies. Provincial assemblies should appoint their task force for the reforms in these services. Otherwise as to the federal task force, there should be representation of provincial services. If it is dominated by only one service group the desired results of the reforms cannot be derived. If we want to bring about change and restore the first three attributes of civil servants – capacity, competency and courage — these reforms must be inculcated while the compassion has to be imbibed through greater exposure, awareness and incentives and bringing everyone on board without any prejudice and discrimination.


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