LAHORE - Rules for officers’ postings are not being followed and in some cases senior officers are working on junior posts.

Also, there are instances where junior officers are occupying positions meant for senior officers. The practice is affecting morale of those whose rights are being usurped.

Some grade 22 officers have been posted department heads. On the other side, grade 19 officers are also serving as department heads.

There are only two sanctioned posts of grade 22 in Punjab: one for the chief secretary and the other for the Punjab Police inspector general, but at least four officers of grade 22 have been accommodated here instead of sending them to the federal government.

Three grade 22 officers -- ACS (Home) Major (Retd) Azam Suleman, ACS (C&W) Mushtaq Ahmad and P&D Chairman Jehanzeb Khan -- have been posted against posts where grade 20 officers also worked. Two of these officers are working on their current posts even after completion of their three-year tenure.  An additional IG is also serving here in grade 22. Officials say it is an anomaly in the posting policy.

Moreover, Secretary for Specialised Healthcare Department Najam Shah and Secretary for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Ali Jan Khan are grade 19 officers and they are working on grade 21 slots.

Earlier, Ahad Cheema, a grade 18 officer, served as secretary of the Higher Education Department, a grade 20 post.

Recently, Additional Chief Secretary Shumail Khwaja was allowed to continue to work on his post despite his promotion to grade 22. After his repatriation to Islamabad, a grade 21 officer, Umar Rasool, is now serving as ACS Punjab, but strangely enough, at least three officers in grade 22 are working as additional chief secretaries.  This is the first time that ACS of the S&GAD is a grade 21 officer, while ACS (Home), ACS (C&W) and chairman of the P&D, who also holds additional charge of the office of ACS (Energy), are grade 22 officers.

Services Secretary at S&GAD Farhan Aziz Khwaja did not respond to The Nation queries on the subject. However, a former secretary (services) said on condition of anonymity that grade 22 officers should be posted federal secretaries and they should reject posting in the province. He said that experienced and senior officers might perform better on policy level rather than on administrative level where junior grade 20 officers can also deliver. He said that grade 21 officers were holding additional charge of federal ministries, divisions and IG offices, while grade 22 officers were being adjusted in the province. He said this practice in the long run would ruin the administrative hierarchy of the province. If an officer holds the ACS office in grade 22, why is not a grade 21 or grade 20 officer posted secretary of his department? he questioned.

Now, after upgrade and creation of new slots, at least seven officers of grade 22 can be posted in Punjab to posts of chief secretary, ACS (S&GAD), ACS (Home), ACS (C&W), chairman of P&D, senior member of the Board of Revenue and IG. Moreover, the Punjab government may upgrade the post of the ACS (Energy) to adjust another officer of grade 22.

It is also learnt that a grade 22 officer was posted additional IG in Punjab. The practice of the civil administration to accommodate officers was replicated in the police department too. He said there was no such precedent to retain officers of grade 22 in the province because they are repatriated to the federal government as federal secretaries.

Earlier, DG of Civil Services Academy Punjab Maroof Afzal, CMIT Chairman Irfan Ali and Forest Secretary Jehanzeb Khan were relieved from Punjab after they were elevated to grade 22.