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PM Imran Khan approves civil service reforms

Atta Ur Rehman KhanWeb Editor & Columnist

15th Feb, 2020. 10:46 pm
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Imran Khan approves reforms on civil service

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has fulfilled another promise by approving the recommendations regarding training and promotion criteria of servants of civil services.

According to details, PM Imran Khan on Saturday approved reforms for civil servants of Pakistan. As for now, the civil servants will be promoted to upper grade on the base of performance.

The PTI, during its elections campaigns, had pledged bring about wide ranging reforms in the system. It had promised to introduce a system of internal accountability to encourage the competent officials and weed out inefficient people.

According to the sources of APP, The Civil service in Pakistan had seen many reforms and the efforts by this incumbent government would be another step to transform the service, ensuring that the best officers reach the top slots who were dedicated to service.

A notification in this regard might be issued next week, an official source in the Establishment Division told APP on Saturday.

According to the documents, the source disclosed that for the first time, the reforms were being made in the promotion rules of the Civil Servants Promotion (BS-18 to BS-21) Rules, 2020, because, earlier, no promotion rules were framed in this regard and there existed few policy memorandums in the scattered forms.

Now, such rules will deal with the promotion of civil servants in a comprehensive manner as the bar of ‘Promotion Threshold’ had been raised.

Other conditions for promotion included for the first time, submission of declaration of assets made mandatory, ensuring promotions to be objective, transparent & merit based, collective judgment of the promotion board has become more relevant (more marks for the board; from 15% to 30%).

Besides, the Civil Service (Retirement from Service) Rules, 2020, to review the performance of civil servants had also been finalized which entailed mandatory performance review of all civil servants after twenty years of service.

In addition, regular reviews will be done even after 20 years of service. The government will have the option to retire civil servants after 20 year service after following the prescribed procedure.

In the retirement rules, it said ‘Section 13 of the Civil Servants Act envisages that civil servants shall retire after twenty years of service, as may be directed by the competent authority and where no such direction is given, on reaching sixty years of service.’ The option of retirement after twenty years of service had never been exercised by the government, resulting in assured career path till sixty years, discouraging initiative and competition.

Moreover, there was a tendency of PAS/PSP officers to stick to one province for years at length, virtually becoming provincial service which resulted in lack of variety of experience and loss of impartiality & neutrality.

This concept of All Pakistan Services has been seriously compromised and to overcome this issue, new rotation policy was being introduced.

Under these reforms, first allocation of all officers would be made outside the province of domicile and there would be no transfer from the province of first allocation on any ground. It was made mandatory to stay outside the home province in BS 17 & 18 (males 5 years, females 3 years) For the promotion to BS 19, the conditions are:- Two years’ service in hard areas essential for promotion to BS 20 which would not be applicable to female officers and these hard areas would be notified by the Establishment Division. Presently Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan were notified as the hard areas.

Under these reforms, no PAS/PSP officer would be allowed to serve for more than ten years continuously in a province/Islamabad. Transfers to other provinces or Islamabad would be made on completion of ten years.

It was mandatory condition for the promotion to BS 21 under which the serving officers would be rotated in phases.

Furthermore, the career progression policy for PAS/PSP/OMG officers had been finalized ensuring merit based placements to have ‘the right officer for the right job’, structured career progression by placing the specialist generalist balance in effect.

The skill enhancement would be considered to have a core group of sector specific professionals. For BS-17/18, it envisaged gaining adequate command over the regional / provincial language of the province of posting.

Other conditions would be to initiate self-sustaining public welfare initiative(s) in the area of their responsibility aimed at better service delivery, development of a case study based on the field experiences of the area, to be taught at Civil Services academy or National school of Public Policy.

The OMG officers must complete two tenures of three years each in Federal Government in two main Ministries of diverse sectors.

Under this initiative, BS-19 officers should have the opportunities for obtaining foreign qualifications and trainings in selected areas of specialization.

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