LAHORE - The Punjab chief secretary convened a meeting today (Wednesday) to discuss civil service reforms following Prime Minister Imran Khan constituted a task force to make recommendations for the purpose.

Senior Board of Revenue member, additional chief secretary, Chief Minister’s Inspection Team chairman and administrative secretaries would attend the meeting at Darbar Hall.

The task force terms include devising a better public service structure; looking into policies over human resource, management, recruitment, training, and career planning and legislation.

Dr Ishrat Hussain, an economist and former State Bank of Pakistan governor, is the head of the 19-member taskforce while 13 members from the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) dominate it.

Some of officials have reservations about the task force calling it ‘bias and hegemony of PAS in reforms’.

The provincial management service officers had orgnaised a seminar a couple of days ago and expressed displeasure on the PTI government’s formation of such a committee which even lacked their representation.

The Taskforce on Civil Service Reforms (TCSR) has met on the directions of the premier and initiated discussion. The force discussed different aspects including poor service delivery and political interference in administrative affairs. The open letters of the two deputy commissioners and transfer of a DPO reflecting political interference into official business sparked a debate in power corridors.

The Wednesday’s meeting may also take up issues, an administrative secretary said on anonymity.

The PTI government had expressed its will to reform civil services, the need is to address all other issues relating to good governance, the officer said. He said that the PTI leadership while revamping the local bodies system should also address issues that badly affected service delivery. He said public at large and even political workers expect good service delivery from the field formation officers who themselves happened to be powerless.

A former Punjab CS said that the PTI government alongside the civil service should also review governance after separation of the judiciary and the executive. He said that there were hundreds of thousands instances when the courts granted status quos even in the matters where government lands were encroached. How a court could do that when a private person or party illegally occupied state land, the senior officer questioned. The committee should also consider court’s jurisdiction while issuing stay orders. He said that either the civil officers be given magisterial powers if the government wants it policies be implanted.

The PPP government also constituted a committee to review civil servants act but to no avail. The other major effort was done by the PMLN government but it too failed.