Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Good Governance Forum plans to hold Mega Youth Festival 2011, first of its kind in Pakistan, at Karachi in Oct 2011. It is planned to include everything that can be of interest and benefit to the growing youth of the country, both girls and boys of the age of 18 and above. It will be informative, educative and entertaining.Role of Youth in fostering Unity, Faith and Discipline as the cardinal guideposts to meet the Challenge of Change will be focused for the future leaders of Pakistan. Read details at http://megayouthfestival2011.blogspot.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Presently, the Civil Services of Pakistan are divided into 14 groups and services, namely, Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service, Commerce & Trade Group, Customs & Excise Group, District Management Group, Foreign Service of Pakistan, Income Tax Group, Information Group, Military Lands & Cantonment Group, Office Management Group, Police Service of Pakistan, Postal Group, Railways Group, Secretariat Group, Ex-Cadre Officers.
Out of the 14 groups and services, 11 are called groups, 03 are called services i.e. Foreign Service of Pakistan, Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service, and Police Service of Pakistan, and one is neither called a group nor a service i.e. ex-cadre officers.
The induction to all these groups and services is done primarily through the Central Superior Services (CSS) examination conducted by the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC). As such, the common sense demands that all central superior services are called ‘services’ to maintain uniformity. The nomenclature of the entry examination itself is 'central superior services' examination and not 'central superior groups and services' examination. So, it is in the fitness of things to call all groups as services such as District Management Service, Commerce & Trade Service, Customs & Excise Service and so on.
Under the administrative reforms of 1973, all the services and cadres were “merged into a single unified graded structure with equality of opportunity for all who enter the service at any stage based on the required professional and specialized competence necessary for each job”.
"All `classes’ among government servants were abolished and replaced by a single unified graded structure to open the road upwards to the very top to all on merit and required educational and professional qualifications. The use of `service’ labels such as FSP, PSP, etc. were discontinued forthwith."
While the service labels of the Foreign Service of Pakistan, the Pakistan Audit & Accounts Service and the Police Service of Pakistan remained untouched, the service label of the Civil Service of Pakistan was changed to that of the District Management Group. Not only this, but also the very Civil Service of Pakistan was disbanded.
Although the service label was changed in the case of the Civil Service of Pakistan, the designations of the commissioner, deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner remained intact and so were their responsibilities, authority and accountability.
With the introduction of the Local Government (LG) System under the devolution of power in 2001, the very designations of the commissioner, deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner were changed to district coordination officer (DCO) and deputy district officer (DDO).
Not only the designations were changed, but also the responsibilities, authority and accountability of these officers were changed.
Under the LG system, the position of the commissioner and deputy commissioner who were previously administrative heads of a division and a district respectively, was reduced to that of a district coordination officer reporting to the city nazim or district nazim. The commissioner was replaced as administrative head of the division by the city nazim and the deputy commissioner by the district nazim.
As far as the LG system is concerned, there is nothing wrong with it as such. It is primarily based on the prevailing mayoral systems of the U.K. and the USA. The problem lies with the implementation of the system. If the commissioner and the deputy commissioner retained their designations, responsibilities and authority and were made accountable to the city nazim or district nazim, there would have been no change in the administrative set up. City Nazim or District Nazim would have remained the head of the division or district. Even under the mayoral systems of the UK and the USA, the administrative setup below the Mayor comprises knowledgeable, experienced and seasoned bureaucrats who run the administration independently and without political pressure.
Presently, the city nazims and district nazims, by and large, do not have the required knowledge, experience and expertize to replace the commissioners and the deputy commissioners. As the situation stands today, it is expected that the DCO will perform the functions of the commissioner or deputy commissioner but remain a coordination officer and not an administrative head.
On the contrary, the capital city police officer (CCPO) and the district police officer (DPO) are accountable to the city nazim and district nazim respectively, for law and order ONLY. All other police functions remain within the jurisdiction of the respective police officers. They are not designated as coordination officers like their counterparts in DMG. It is also unclear as to what law and order entails and what is meant by being responsible to the city nazim or district nazim for law and order.
As reported on the website http://www.csspk.com , “the President of Pakistan himself assured the DMG officers about their role in the affairs of the country saying that he expects the DMG officers to be the standard bearers of devolution."
In his letter addressed to each DMG officer he categorically stated that he visualizes the future role of DMG in civil society as of a public service, motivated by the highest ideals of dedication, capability and responsiveness to public needs.”
What the President of Pakistan desires and expects is absolutely right. It is only the Civil Service of Pakistan, by whatever name it is called, that is knowledgeable, experienced and capable of managing districts, divisions, sub-divisions, provinces and the federal government departments. However, these officers can not be expected, in all fairness, to deliver with incapacitated limbs. The responsibilities, authority and accountability of the DMG officers and their present designations need to be reviewed and remade to make them effective administrators.
INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP - NEW REPORT
Reforming Pakistan’s Civil Service
Islamabad/Brussels, 16 February 2010: If Pakistan’s deteriorating civil service is not urgently repaired, public disillusionment and resentment could be used by the military to justify another spell of authoritarian rule.
Reforming Pakistan’s Civil Service,* the latest report from the International Crisis Group, analyses the structure and functioning of Pakistan’s civil bureaucracy. It identifies critical flaws as well as measures to make it more accountable and able to provide essential public services. Military rule has left behind a demoralised and inefficient bureaucracy that was used to ensure regime survival. Low salaries, insecure tenure, obsolete accountability mechanisms and political interference have spawned widespread corruption and impunity. If the flaws of an unreformed bureaucracy are not urgently addressed, the government risks losing public support.
“Public perception is that the country’s 2.4 million civil servants are widely unresponsive and corrupt, while bureaucratic procedures are cumbersome and exploitative”, says Samina Ahmed, Crisis Group’s South Asia Project Director. “Bureaucratic dysfunction and low capacity undermine governance, providing opportunities to the military to subvert the democratic transition and to extremists to destabilise the state”.
The civil service’s falling standards impact mostly Pakistan’s poor, widening social and economic divisions between the privileged and underprivileged. With citizens increasingly affected by conflict and militancy, the government’s ability to ensure law and order, as well as to provide services such as education and health care, will be as vital to containing the spread of radicalism countrywide as the use of force against militant groups.
Accountability of officials must be effective, impartial and transparent. Incentives for corruption could be reduced significantly with higher salaries and benefits, and better conditions of employment. The civilian government should also focus on transforming the civil service into an effective, more flexible and responsive institution. Reform should therefore include drastic changes to a rigid and over-centralised structure that has been unable to address local fiscal needs and underdevelopment, by delegating important administrative and financial functions to lower tiers.
Bureaucratic rules, procedures and structures should be modernised. Training programs need to be geared towards not just producing a class of capable civil servants, but to restoring a spirit of public service. The international community too can help to improve governance by supporting civil service reform, expanding training programs and providing technological support and expertise to modernise methods of administration.
“The future of the current democratic transition will not only depend on political reconciliation between the ruling party and its opposition, and constitutional amendments to restore parliamentary rule”, says Robert Templer, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director. “It will also depend on restoring links between the citizens and the state”.
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*Read the full Crisis Group briefing on our website: http://www.crisisgroup.org
Contacts: Andrew Stroehlein (Brussels) +32 (0) 2 541 1635
Kimberly Abbott (Washington) +1 202 785 1602
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Monday, November 2, 2009
The civil services of Pakistan has been historically part of the pyramid of power in the country. At the top sat the president or the prime minister with bureaucracy in one hand and the parliament in the other. The bureaucracy has been subjected to unnatural demands of the rulers, military or civilian, for decades now. As of today, the bureaucracy has almost completely lost its integrity, discipline and dedication to its functions. Its loyalty rests with the politicians in power who are out there to patronize their favourites in promotion, transfers and postings.
The politicians in and out of government are often critical of the way the civil servants work and their failure to meet the people's expectations, nothwithstanding the fact that it is the politicians who are soley responsible for corrupting the bureaucracy in every way possible.
Military rulers are usually less critical of the civil services for they depend heavily on the advice, guidance and counselling of the civil bureaucracy to enact and enforce their show of power, strength and survival.
Why does a civil servant feel so insecure that he craves for the patronage of powers that matter?
Is the performance or merits become irrelevant for posting, promotions and patronage now?
Why are civil servants transferred, sidelined or suspended with the stroke of a pen, just like ordinary peon?
Are the civil servants losing their worth, value and vigour?
Do we have to bring back the era of the British Raj when the civil servants enjoyed immense power, perks and privileges side by side enormous responsibilities and tight accountability?
Read on http://civil-services-pakistan.blogspot.com
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