Friday, November 29, 2013
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Monday, November 11, 2013
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.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
Review of and Recommendations for Norwegian Support to Good Governance in Pakistan
|Published:||May 2011 by Norad|
|Carried out by:||Petter Bauck (Norad, team leader), Arne Strand (CMI) and Shirin Gul (independent consultant)|
|Series:||Norad report: Discussion 12/2011|
|Tags:||Pakistan, Governance and democracy|
Only available electronically
The report introduces a theoretical framework for analysis, and then discusses how Pakistan and Norway define governance and good governance before moving on to a political economy analysis of Pakistan, complemented by an overview of governance history and structures.
A particular challenge the report identify is the weak social contract that exists between the state and the population of Pakistan. Rather than the state being a foundation for division of power between the state and the citizens many regard it as a playground for the different power elites, i.e. the political elite closely associated with the feudal landowning class, the military and the bureaucracy, as a means to secure their personal wealth and control.
Pakistan is facing a grave situation on a number of fronts. In addition to an increasingly difficult economic situation there are large geographical differences, demands for greater independence in some areas, and a recurring struggle for power between the three centres of power, all draining the country’s resources. Population growth is estimated to have been 24 % over the past ten years. At the same time, 51 % of the population is living under the poverty line. Almost 60 % of the population is below the age of 30, and there are rising rates of unemployment and underemployment. Moreover, shortages in energy have become acute, where the public and industry both lack electricity and gas supplies. Additional problems are brought about by a series of natural disasters.
Government of Pakistan holds the main responsibility for securing a more positive developmental outcome for the country’s citizens. The 18th Constitutional Amendment that was introduced in 2010 devolves authority from the federal to the provincial governments. With more responsibility shifted to the provinces, more attention has to be given to the ability to govern at the provincial level. Little is known about how the gains for local democracy should be followed up.
The security situation has worsened. Sectarian violence is on the rise and Karachi is on the verge of a civil war. Regional tensions remain high. The conflict with India continues to dominate the security discourse while the engagement towards Afghanistan is of international concern. The blasphemy case against a Christian woman is just one of many examples that illustrate the vulnerability of minorities, and how the present religious and political discourses promote violence. Women in Pakistan are generally discriminated against when it comes to rights to development and their ability to affect their own rights.
The media sector has gained increasing influence. There are diverging views as to what extent the media sector today represents a corrective to the power structures or function as cover ups for established policies. Civil society is an important agent for change, both in protecting and advocating for basic human rights and, not least, the rights of women and minorities, and in furthering pro-poor development. A distinction is noted between single organisations and social movements, but a common question is their ability to generate networks and mobilise around issues of common concern in ways that motivate for social movements for change. An important voice is women and women organisations, including female parliamentarians and lawyers. The youth are mentioned by many as potential agents for change, though developing job opportunities for youth will remain a key challenge. The religious civil society has a large influence in Pakistan on both domestic affairs - including the rights of women - and international affairs. Continued dialogue is required in order to learn and to challenge the positions and the ways in which positions are articulated and acted upon.
The Norwegian engagement in Pakistan has long historical roots and the governance portfolio in Pakistan includes a wide range of sectors, activities and partners.
According to the report there are three important implications for how the Norwegian Embassy should plan and follow up their governance support to Pakistan to help strengthen the country’s potential to develop and secure good governance structures and practices. The starting point is that good governance should be regarded as a cross–cutting concern in both political relations and development support.
1) Given the rapid changes that are now taking place, the Embassy needs to be continuously updated from a range of sources, including the many diverging views and positions that exist within the state, the military and the political parties. Given the recent constitutional change, establishing and maintaining contacts with the provincial governments will be increasingly important.
2) Based on a developed governance policy towards Pakistan and preferences provided in the Norwegian policy framework, the Embassy needs to play an active role in donor coordination mechanisms as a venue for helping to set the agenda and secure a dialogue with, in particular, the Federal government and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) provincial government.
3) In light of developments in Pakistan and in the KPK, the Embassy needs to constantly review its governance support in order to ensure that it is a coherent programme that can contribute towards improved governance in Pakistan. In the reviews, there must be an understanding that the network of governance partners can constitute a more active entity in promoting positive governance changes than each single organisation might achieve on its own. Partners can also provide the Embassy with an arena for contact, dialogue and sounding boards for further developments.
This review is commissioned by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Islamabad and conducted by Petter Bauck (Norad, team leader), Arne Strand (CMI, senior researcher) and Shirin Gul (independent consultant).