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February 17, 2020

Govt takes away 600 cadre posts of most influential PAS

Top Story

February 17, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Ending the decades-old dominance of the Pakistan Administrative Service (ex-DMG/CSP), the government has decided to take away 40% cadre posts (600 in number) of this elite civil service group and offer these positions to provincial services and technical specialists at the federal level.

The latest civil service reforms approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan and the cabinet will make the civil services open to all and inclusive based on performance and competence and not on reservations and entitlements, a government expert told The News.

It is said 200 PAS posts had been excluded from the cadre at the federal level and 400 posts taken away from the ex-DMG’s provincial share.

According to the reforms approved, “The PAS cadre strength will be reduced by more than 600 to approximately 1,300 posts from the existing 1900 plus posts.”

At the provincial level, these posts (now deducted from PAS) will be filled by the provinces from amongst provincial civil service officers. At the federal level, the 200 PAS posts in the Federal Secretariat’s selected ministries will be filled by technical experts through a competitive process.

It means technical experts and specialists in the civil service will have adequate prospects of promotion to topmost echelons of bureaucracy. This initiative will help promote a culture of specialization instead of pampering the generalists.

The reforms approved as reflected in The News on Sunday, will also pave way for cleansing the bureaucracy of dead wood.

The reforms will allow the government to retire non-performing and inefficient civil servants prematurely after 20 years of service.

“The option of retirement after twenty years of service has never been exercised by the government, resulting in an assured career path till sixty years, discouraging initiative and competition,” the approved reform document said, adding that regular reviews will be done after 20 years of service and the government will have the option to retire civil servants after 20-year service.

“It will encourage efficiency and competition and weed out incompetent officers,” the document said, adding that it was being done for the first time.

The approved reforms cover different areas including evaluation, promotion, training aspects etc but more importantly it envisages a plan to implement rotation policy in letter and spirit, which is expected to be resisted by the officers of PAS and PSP (Police service of Pakistan).

The reforms paper admits, “There is a tendency of PAS/PSP officers to stick to one province for years at length, virtually becoming provincial service, resulting in lack of variety of experience and loss of impartiality and neutrality. It also compromises the concept of All Pakistan Services.

Therefore, new Rotation Policy has also been introduced under which first allocation of all PAS and PSP officers will be made outside the province of domicile, mandatory stay outside the home province in BS 17 & 18 for male 5 years and for female 3 years.

Two years’ service in hard areas is essential for promotion to BS–20. It will not be applicable to female officers. Presently, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan are notified hard areas.

No PAS/PSP officer will be allowed to serve for more than 10 years continuously in a province/Islamabad. Transfer to other provinces or Islamabad on completion of 10 years will be mandatory condition for promotion to BS – 21.

Acknowledging that disciplinary proceedings and accountability processes within the bureaucracy are ineffective, the government has also approved new Efficiency and Discipline Rules under which the tier of Authorised Officer has been eliminated and it has been made mandatory for the Inquiry Officer to complete inquiry within 60 days.

The competent authority will have to decide the case in 30 days. New penalties added through these reforms include fines, forfeiture of past service and recovery of embezzled money.