LAHORE: All Pakistan PMS/PCS Officers Association has written a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan about the acute discrimination against provincial civil services and compromised goals of constitutionalism, federalism, civil service reforms, good governance and provincial autonomy.
The association pointed out the performance of federal task force on civil service reforms, present illegal arrangements covered under CSP rules, unilateral grabbing of provincial posts and administrative federalism.
“Throughout the history of civil service reforms, recommendations never addressed the core issues of federalism, constitutionalism, provincial autonomy and good governance. These reforms have only changed the nomenclature than reformation to the constitutional and structural anomalies of the civil service,” the letter read.
“The federal task force on civil service reforms led by Ishrat Husain is not catering these fundamental core issues of the civil service structures in line with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as conveyed coherently by 4,000 provincial civil servants of all four provinces time and again,” the letter added.
Talking about administrative federalism, the letter stated, “A federal form of governance, in the classical sense, is premised on the doctrine of administrative dualism, that is, each level of government is to be equipped with its own set of administrative instrumentalities and mechanism, and the two levels of government have thus separate and distinct levels of public administration. In administrative federalism, respective governments function on their respective subjects and develop their administrative civil services on the subjects earmarked to them under political contract enunciated in the constitution. This is the fundamental principle of civil service structure.”
“The total number of posts for CSP provincial sub-cadres is 299 and posts earmarked for PAS/DMG are 147. The proposed draft for civil service reforms is showing that their grabbing of posts is being reduced to 1,300 from 1,900. There is invalid calculation even against rule 7(1) of CSP, rules 1954,” the letter added.
On the issue of accountability, the letter stated, “PAS officers are federal officers and their terms and conditions of service are settled in establishment division, Islamabad. Under current arrangement covered under CSP rules, the chief minister of the province cannot evaluate the performance of a PAS officer nor hold him accountable for misconduct or low performance. Not only the chief minister but even the respective provincial cabinet and assembly cannot hold a PAS officer accountable. The government is mandated to make policies and civil servants being implementers of the policies, do not fall under respective political executive. This proposition is a great contradiction to the scheme of federalism, governance and accountability.”
“PAS officers are answerable to federal administrative law therefore their positioning in provincial governments is a contraction on the settled principles of administrative law,” the letter added.
“As many as 3,500 posts are earmarked for PAS/DMG officers across Pakistan against 800 existing officers. This vacuum of 2,700 administrative seats is the real cause of non-performance of the civil service. The purpose of grabbing 2,700 additional posts is to ensure each PAS officer reaches BPS-22 and enjoys posting on important provincial and federal posts at a very junior level. These 2,700 additional posts allow PAS officers an opportunity to be posted at higher grades at junior level. This practice has made the whole system of governance a failed system,” the letter further stated.
The letter stated that “unilateral grabbing of Provincial posts PAS officers have grabbed 1,947 posts of provinces against their earmarked number of 147 without surrendering a single federal post to provinces”. “This is acute discrimination and requires bilateral sharing on the formula of one for one on respective grades,” it added.
“In view of the above, it is humbly prayed that all constitutional and structural anomalies of the civil service may be re-organised in line with the principles of the constitution and the federal task force may be directed to reconsider the negation aspects of constitution. It is pertinent to bring into your kind notice that same questions of law and constitution are sub-judice at the Supreme Court,” it further stated.
“4,000 PMS/PCS officers of all four provinces humbly request your honour to allow the representatives of officers to give a presentation on all the aspects of civil service in order to ensure good governance and service delivery,” the letter concluded.
When contacted, coordinator of the association, Tariq Mehmood Awan, said, “The principal secretaries of the prime minister do not cater to our letter because our letter conflicts with their interests. Now we are trying to send our letter to the premier through other sources.”