It has been reported in a section of the press that since civil bureaucracy has become extremely inefficient and lethargic due to politicization, the PML-N government is contemplating administrative reforms for better governance and accountability of bureaucrats. There is no doubt that politicians treat the country as their personal fiefdom and bureaucrats behave like servants who are there only to please their masters! No self-respecting civil servant can survive in this servile environment. Most of the senior bureaucrats discard the principle of intellectual integrity in their professional life. As a matter of fact intellectual integrity is not included in the syllabi of any training institutions.

The Federal Public Service Commission and provincial counterparts are responsible for recruitment of civil servants in their respective domains. President of Pakistan and the Provincial Governors have been mandated by the Constitution to appoint Chairman and Members of these statutory bodies on the recommendation of the Chief Executive of the Federal and Provincial government. Politicization of bureaucracy starts at the Public Service Commission. Only senior bureaucrats with proven loyalty to their political masters are appointed as Members of the Federal and Provincial Service Commissions. In the past, a Federal Secretary, who came to the notice of the higher judiciary, was appointed as a member of FPSC and retired after completing his tenure.

In other countries recruitment to civil service is done by Human Resource Management experts and in Pakistan retired bureaucrats are performing this role, can one ask why? Reforms in the civil service should start with reforms in these statutory bodies. There are many models of Public Service Commission in the world to choose from; Singaporean model is closer to our conditions.

Another area begging reform is the ‘Performance Evaluation System’ of the civilian bureaucracy. The present system has created slave mentality in the civil service including the police. Only sycophants get outstanding reports and promotion thus jeopardizing good governance. Pakistan needs comprehensive and meaningful reforms in the civil service on urgent basis.

ASGHAR MAHMOOD,

Islamabad, March 3.