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November 15, 2017



Vacant positions impeding good governance in KP

PESHAWAR: Hundreds of vacant positions in various departments, attached directorates and commissions pose a formidable challenge to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led coalition government as it strives to improve governance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Filling the vacancies in public sector departments has always been a challenge for the provincial governments, but the incumbent government has been the worst hit as the Establishment Department alone needs to fill 668 vacancies ranging from grade-21 to the junior level scales for the sections under its jurisdiction.

According to the data shared with The News, apart from the Establishment Department five other departments and attached establishments including Public Service Commission, Provincial Inspection Team, Pakhtunkhwa Services Tribunal and Anti-Corruption Establishment are facing with the shortage of 216 personnel.

To overcome this problem, Chief Secretary Muhammad Azam Khan has directed all the 37 departments, 81 directorates and other public sector bodies to provide basic data on the vacancies and cases long due for promotion.

He also directed the Establishment Department to accelerate and efficiently facilitate the process of Provincial Selection Board (PSB) meetings so that the promotion cases pending for years before the PSB could be disposed of immediately.

The Establishment Department has conveyed to the chief secretary that it needed 668 officials for the vacant positions. The vacancies include one in BS-21 of the Provincial Civil Service Executive Group (PCS EG) that has been vacant since April 29, eight positions of Provincial Management Service (PMS) group officers in grade-19, three PMS officers in grade-18 and 312 PMS officers in BPS-17.

One position of senior private secretary in grade-18 is also vacant and this case is pending with the PSB. According to the documents available with The News, the chief minister is the appointing authority in all these cases.

The position of director Information Technology (IT) in grade-19 is also vacant with the department for which the working paper has been submitted to the PSB.

The Establishment Department also needs 11 assistant directors in BS-17 and 10 computer operators in BS-16.

Besides, the Establishment Department needs 192 stenographers in BS-14. About 21 of these positions fell vacant on October 24 due to promotions while 171 recently requisitioned positions are pending with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Public Service Commission.

The department couldn’t fill the vacancies of 22 assistants in BS-16 and 107 junior clerks that have been lying vacant since 2014 and affecting the working of various line departments.

The Anti-Corruption Establishment is another attached department where work is suffering due to 158 vacant positions that were newly created to revamp it to serve as the watchdog for the government departments and officials.

The vacant positions also include two senior legal advisors to be appointed by the chief minister. For the rest of the vacant positions the chief secretary and head of the attached departments are the appointing authority. The authorities concerned could not frame the service rules for these positions and this has delayed filling the posts.