Civil Servcie reforms are important in many ways such as ppublic service delivery, mitigating rent seeking opportunities, eradicating corruption, ease the process of working whether it private sector issue or public sector issue. Below are the causes first taken from the report "Rational for Civil Service Reforms" and then reccommendations which are taken from Crisis Group Asia (2010)
- Absence of a long term human resource development and management policy has resulted in a neglect in harnessing the potential of Civil Servants, and providing a transparent, predictable, level playing field for all civil servants.
- Civil servants are risk averse and avoid taking timely decisions.
- Pressure from the political parties leads to inability to become neutral
- Exclusion of a large majority of civil servants particularly professionals and technical experts
- Decision making has become highly over centralized
- Rapid turnover and political transfers of key Civil Servants
- Less than adequate compensation packages have encouraged widespread rent-seeking activities by the civil servants, particularly at lower levels where most of the interactions take place between citizens and the government functionaries,
- Creation of isolated parallel project units and organizations for meeting donors conditionalities has fragmented and weakened the existing capacity of civil service,
- Reliance on antiquated and outdated rules, procedures and regulations has led to failure in adapting to the changed circumstances and in adopting a problem solving attitude,
- Turf fighting and self preservation between the Federal and the Provincial Governments and between the Provincial and District Governments
- Redressal grievance and complaint resolution mechanisms by the citizens against civil servants remain un-satisfactory and time consuming despite existence of the Federal and Provincial Ombudsman’s offices.
- Absence of internal accountability for the results and outcomes and convoluted and formalistic accountability before the public have taken away the incentives for improving performance and behavior.
To the Government of Pakistan:
1. Enhance civil service performance and revive a spirit of public service by:
a) increasing salaries and pensions, particularly for those at the bottom of the hierarchy, providing better housing, transport and health insurance for all government employees, and subsidised schooling for their children;b) conducting regular training, including refresher courses, at all levels of the bureaucracy;c) improving standards of instruction at training institutions to inculcate professional skills as well as norms and practices that reward integrity and professional commitment;d) providing competitive compensation and benefits to attract qualified and motivated instructors;e) linking an officer’s performance during training programs with promotions, thus no longer using successful completion as the only yardstick;f) establishing and strictly abiding by new criteria for secretariat appointments to include professional expertise, diversity of experience, demonstrable leadership in public institutions, and ability to tackle challenging assignments;g) modifying Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) to include tangible, performance-oriented criteria instead of subjective evaluations of officers’ characters;h) instituting a transparent and competitive selection process to encourage representation of all occupational groups, and reserving positions in each basic pay scale for officers from each of those groups; andi) ensuring that specialists have the same access to training facilities as generalist officers in occupational groups.
2. Eliminate military interference by:
a) ending the practice of hiring serving or retired military officers in the civil service and abolishing the annual 10 per cent quota reserved for military officers;b) refraining from renewing contracts of retired military officers presently occupying civil service positions;c) enacting laws barring serving or retired military personnel from heading any institution dealing with civil service training, recruitment or promotions; andd) immediately ending the practice of having senior appointments subject to evaluation and clearance by the military’s intelligence agencies.
3. Enhance the functioning of federal and provincial secretariats by:
a) reducing excessive centralisation of functions and devolving administrative and financial authority to lower tiers, with effective oversight;b) revising and simplifying existing rules and procedures to ensure that civil servants are informed of their rights and responsibilities;c) ending the systemic bias in favour of generalists by allowing the same opportunities for postings, promotions and career advancement to specialists; andd) reversing the quota for District Management Group (federal) appointees to provincial posts at the level of Basic Pay Scale (BPS) 21 so that 75 per cent of these posts are reserved for provincial civil servants, and the remainder for federal appointees.
4. Institute effective accountability over the civil bureaucracy by:
a) implementing the recommendations of the Charter of Democracy, signed between the PPP and PML-N, to set up an independent accountability commission, answerable to the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC); this committee would investigate – in tandem with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) – alleged malpractice and financial and other corruption by government officials and take disciplinary actions against those found guilty;b) empowering federal and provincial ombudsmen to redress public grievances against bureaucratic malpractice; andc) holding federal and provincial secretaries accountable to parliament and provincial assemblies by mandating national and provincial parliamentary committees to hold regular hearings requiring these civil servants to account for efficient use of resources as well as the organisation, management and staffing of their respective departments.
5. Promote fairness and eliminate opportunities for political manipulation at all levels of the civil administration by:
a) expanding the role of the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) from a recruiting agency to one that professionally oversees all aspects of the bureaucracy’s functioning;b) mandating parliamentary committees to vet and approve senior civil service appointments, proposed by the FPSC, to ensure that they are made on merit rather than personal or political affiliation, followed by a vote in parliament;c) withdrawing the discretionary power of the prime minister to promote officers to the highest grade in the bureaucracy and transferring it to the FPSC;d) guaranteeing security of tenure and providing civil servants legal protection against postings, transfers and promotions that do not conform to due process;e) empowering the Federal Services Tribunal to monitor postings and transfers, and review civil servants’ complaints about arbitrary transfers; andf) replicating these measures in the provinces.
6. Settle the status of the report by the National Commission on Government Reforms (NCGR) by:
a) constituting a bipartisan parliamentary committee on civil service reform, with half the members nominated by the government and half by the opposition, co-chaired by the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, to assess the report, placing recommendations before the national and provincial assemblies for detailed debate and review;b) once approved, present a final bill on the floor of the National Assembly for a vote; andc) encourage the provincial assemblies to follow suit on reform of the provincial services.
7. Improve land administration and local governance by:
a) computerising land records;b) making certificates of possession and other land ownership-related documents available at information kiosks in tehsils (towns) for a small fixed fee;c) establishing call centres in districts to report requests for bribes, illegal commissions and other abuses, including by the patwari (village revenue officer); andd) devolving authority to tehsil officials to issue certificates of domicile and related documents, rather than through district headquarters.
8. Modernise civil service systems and processes and enhance inter-agency coordination through e-governance technology by:
a) making compliance with standards set by the E-Government Directorate (EGD) mandatory for major federal government projects;b) instituting compulsory training in basic information technology processes for all government employees in BPS-5 and above; andc) giving the EGD greater financial and organisational autonomy by converting it from a cell to an attached department of the ministry of information technology.
9. Improve police functioning by having the parliament review the Police Order (2002); setting up a parliamentary subcommittee to deal exclusively with policing; and empowering accountability and managerial bodies such as the public safety commissions and the National Police Management Board.
10. Mainstream FATA’s bureaucracy by abolishing the FATA secretariat and the office of the political agent, and transferring their authority to the NWFP secretariat, relevant provincial line ministries and district departments.
To the U.S. and the International Community:
11. Condition FATA aid under the U.S. Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Act 2009 on reform of the region’s corrupt and dysfunctional bureaucracy, including the abolition of the FATA secretariat and the office of the political agent, with their powers transferred to the NWFP secretariat, relevant provincial line ministries and district departments.
12. Include technocrats, as well as cadre civil servants, in all public sector capacity building projects, in addition to training schemes at leading international universities and institutes.
13. Build the capacity of civil service training institutions by providing instructors and teaching materials on best international practices of public policy, fiscal policy, financial management, infrastructure development, human resource management, energy and agriculture.
14. Provide technical support for the expansion of E-government technologies, particularly in areas such as land revenue administration, taxation and policing, and leverage aid to press line ministries, departments and agencies to incorporate E-governance processes within their domains.