Thursday July 25, 2024

CSB’s discriminatory promotion review leaves many officers disgruntled

By Umar Cheema
March 07, 2020

ISLAMABAD: In another controversial first, Central Selection Board has selectively considered officers for promotion into BS-20 and BS-21 apparently to favor some blue-eyed as more than 100 bureaucrats ripe for review have not been examined; the completion of their mandatory training courses notwithstanding. In an earlier controversial move, CSB was empowered by the PTI government doubling its discretionary marks from 15 to 30 allowing board members to lift up favorite candidates which has been challenged.

The CSB’s decision of not examining a chunk of qualified candidates is in contravention of the rules governing promotional procedure. As per those rules, the CSB is bound to consider all the cases whose promotion courses are completed by the time the board sits for the purpose. Among other provisions of eligibility criteria, fulfilment of requisite length of service required for promotion into next grade, possession of qualification as well as experience and other prescribed conditions, fulfilment of mandatory conditions of the rotation policy and of policy for field posting.

None of the officers have been dropped out for want of meeting above-mentioned eligibility criteria. Secretary Establishment Ijaz Muneer has an explanation to offer for violating these rules which is contested by aggrieved officers. Asked why scores of officers have been deprived of their legitimate right to be reviewed for promotion, Ijaz attributed this neglect to inordinate delay in convening of the Board but that was not fault of the left-out officers. According to the practice until last CSB meetings, the officers who would receive training course result even a day before the meeting were considered for promotion, said a bureaucrat who has not been considered.

“The results were received when the Board was being convened. It happened because the convening of the Board was delayed,” according to Ijaz. Consideration of Senior Management Course (mandatory training course for promotion into BS-20) and National Management Course (training for promotion into BS-21) results meant revising of all working papers and further delay of weeks if not months, said the secretary establishment who is ex-officio member of this CSB. An officer who successfully qualified for NMC however claimed that he together with many of his course-mates had received results well in time nevertheless they have not been considered.

Not only the officers are being deprived of their legitimate right through selective considerations of cases, CSB has also empowered itself but cutting the marks given on the basis of competence. According to revised rules, 30 discretionary marks have been allowed to board members apparently to lift the position of favorite candidates. Earlier, there were 15 marks. A petition against this revision policy has been filed by a retired federal secretary in Islamabad High Court.

The new rules titled “Civil Servants Promotion Rules (BS-18-21) 2019” suggest the CSB members would be free to consider marks on the basis of intelligence reports as it specifically mentions that for the promotion, the CSB can take into account the information received against officers. Subsequently, these rules have changed the ratio of 100 marks. Earlier, passing marks for a candidate for Pakistan Administrative Service were 75 whereas 72 for the rest of cadres. These could be obtained through outstanding performance and successful completion of professional courses.

There were 50 marks for Annual Confidential Reports and 35 for professional courses. If a candidate secures 80 percent marks there were chances of his promotion even if the CSB didn’t give him any mark. However, under the recently notified rules, an officer despite getting 90 percent marks of ACRS and courses could not be promoted without the goodwill of CSB as now division of marks is 40 for ACRs, 30 each for courses and CSB.

The petitioner, Sikandar Hayat Maken, has claimed that almost all the gazette officers whose promotions are due in BS-18, BS-19, BS-20 and BS-21 are aggrieved by the impugned rules as through these rules vast unbridled powers are conferred upon the CSB and the Department Selection Board regarding promotion on the basis of a vague and ambiguous evaluation structure.