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Five Rules of Civil Service Reforms (Rule 5) Concluded

The federal and provincial civil servants conduct rules are illegal and unconstitutional. They must be reformed per 1973 constitution.
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By Tariq Mahmood Awan

The fifth rule of civil service reforms is the comprehensive model of the terms and conditions of the civil services.

The terms and conditions of Rule five of the civil service reforms: Reforming the terms and conditions of the civil services

Civil service reforms are directly proportional to the objectives of the civil service as the latter is implementing machinery for the law regimes, so the terms and conditions of civil service must identify with the objectives of the civil service. A state performs several functions through lawful governance models; it is a prerequisite to establishing all the institutions accordingly. All institutions implement the objectives, and the implementing machinery is the civil service. Therefore, each institution requires inherent civil service, and its terms and conditions must reflect its objectives. These institutions contrast in the objectives of science, defense, culture, foreign relations, agriculture, industry, human resource and many more. Thus, the specialized cadres must reflect the substantive objectives of the institutions.

Pakistan is a federation. Thus, federal, provincial and local institutions have assorted and manifold functions. How can a combined competitive examination feed the intricacies of all these institutions? A generalized competitive examination mode can not reminisce the ability and capacity of the professionals who may be the best human resource for recruitment in civil service. Hence, the general method of competitive Examination of civil services is extraneous to the objectives of the institutions. As institutions are the implementing structures of subjects per schedule IV of the constitution, legal and structural alignment is paramount for constructing and reforming a civil service.

It is crucial to restructure the competition examination of the federation and provinces. It mandates the transformation of a specialized assessment into a generalist examination. How can the civil servants of foreign service, audit and accounts and police be selected through the same mode of Examination? Even if the whole method can not transform to the specialized objectives of the services, at least reform it to the core requirements of the administrative compulsions. The core administration tasks are almost the same in all organizations; therefore, the Examination’s essence shall meet the administration’s challenges rather than cramming the English essays and grammar. Hence, restructuring the whole competitive examination system may be the prerequisite for civil service reforms.

A Civil Service is a permanent part of the executive in a sovereign state. It is the permanent professional branch of a state’s administration, excluding military and judicial branches and elected politicians. Civil servants or administrators are the implementers of the policies of a government. Hence, the civil service is the implementing machine of a government. Consequently, specialized and skilled civil services are vital to the cause of good governance and service delivery.
Recruitment of competent, enterprising, professional civil servants is central to the functional recruitment apparatus. Quality of recruitment is directly proportionate to the standards of the recruitment process. Consequently, It is essential to dissect the prerequisite demands of civil services before recruiting civil servants.

Civil services require administrative, executive, technical and managerial skills; therefore, the mode of Examination should necessarily translate these critical skills. Then, civil servants are administrators duly needed to implement the government policies according to administrative structures, requiring an apposite recruitment mode.
To begin with, Pakistan is a coded society. Coded law, either substantive or procedural, is applied to the administrative regimes of the governance system. A civil servant must develop professional skills in coded law, such as articulating legislation and regulation, using rules and policy and implementing the coded law regimes across administrative structures. Against this discerning organizational capacity, the existing recruitment mode is general, not specialized. The syllabus is directly in conflict with the demands of the civil service. It is inapt to recruit civil servants on the competency of essay, general knowledge and writing skills. How can English grammarians be recruited as compact civil servants?
Civil services examinations are in denial mode to the ever-changing dimensions of civil services. How can an essayist, and that too in the English language, make a better civil servant? How can a crammer of facts make a better civil servant? How can narrative expression be more vital for a civil servant when he is required to implement law and governance modules? How can a civil servant be recruited without knowledge of coded law and administrative skills?

The existing recruitment mechanism needs to reflect the dexterous capacity of the civil service. Even the much-hyped central superior service (CSS) or Provincial Management Service (PMS) examinations do not relate to the necessities of civil services. Consequently, the recruited civil servants need help to grasp the administrative acquaintance of governance and administration. Then, the technical or specialized expertise needs also to be incorporated.
Competitive civil service examinations require instantaneous revamping and restructuring of the syllabus. There is a dire need to assimilate the civil service-coded attributes into the syllabus and mode of recruitment processes. Redundant compulsory and optional subjects should be replaced with focused, specialized governance and service delivery subjects. Arguably, civil service reformers may incorporate the mandatory following subject modules into the syllabus of competitive examinations in place of existing generalist subjects. Analytical analysis of the constitution of Pakistan may be introduced as a primary compulsory subject for competitive examinations. Topics relating to legislation, law and policy-making, alongside deriving delegated legislation, may be incorporated into the syllabus. Then, subjects like administrative law, financial law, implementation law, contract law, civil and criminal law, and administrative and procedural law are also instrumental in the syllabus. Competitive Examination must incorporate the coded law of the governance system. A civil servant shall only be competent with skills in applying coded law.
Besides, public financial management, project management and planning management are required to be incorporated as fundamental subjects of competitive Examination. A dynamic civil servant always develops innovative skills for administrative structures essential for good governance and service delivery. Public administration, Human Resource Management, and infotech management may be a compulsory part of the syllabus of competitive examinations. Civil service reformers should incorporate subjects like local government, devolution, federalism and political management in the syllabus of competitive examinations. Incorporating these civil service subjects shall make the examinations focused and enhance the capacity of the civil servants.

Unfortunately, existing competitive examinations are euphemistic expressions of the English language. They represent class patronage of fashionable English-speaking cults. It is structural discrimination that Urdu is not allowed as a medium of Examination. Candidates should be allowed to appear both in English and Urdu. Let English paraphrasers not dictate the terms of the competitive examinations!
Civil services are directly linked to the people, and the best mode of communication is either local languages or Urdu. Civil service is all about communicating with people to settle their issues in implementation. The practice of English is limited to summaries, presentations or official communication; hence, the usage is limited to the administrative demands of civil services in Pakistan.
Civil services epitomize more assertive conduct, attitude and posture. A comprehensive psychological analysis of civil servants is critical to the recruitment process. The current mode of crossing the candidates’ emotional intelligence needs to be more instinctive and substantive. The psychological analysis of the candidates has been surreptitious because candidates securing better-written marks are winning the competitive processes. Administrative and emotional inclinations are not translated for the choice of relevant civil services. Psychosocial analysis should lead to the will to allocate various service groups. Is it not bizarre that only securing more marks results in administering a group of choice despite having different emotional or administrative inclinations?

Civil service is less about writing skills and more about communicating abilities. Barely communication skills are translated into the recruitment process. A casual sitting of half an hour in an interview shall not demonstrate the communicational skills of a candidate. Efficient recruitment entails demonstrative interviews rather than descriptive or narrative interviews. A civil servant accomplished in communication is an influential civil servant. Henceforth, there is a dire need to reconcile the civil service necessities with recruitment processes and examination modes.
The primary reason behind the low quality of civil servants is the existing general mode of Examination. Civil service is a specialized faculty, and it is a prerequisite to revamp the civil service examinations according to civil service obligations involving written Examination, psychological analysis and interview. The specialized mode of administration and technical skills may be an integral part of the Examination. Whether it is specialized, semi-specialized, or even generalist recruitment, the Examination must contain the objectives of the civil services.

Moreover, the existing CSS examination is the product of administrative reforms by Mr Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1973. These reforms specifically inserted Articles 240 and 242 in the constitution of Pakistan. Article 240 (a) provides that an organic act of the Parliament shall regulate the services and posts of the Federation and All-Pakistan Services. Article 242 provides that the Federal Public Service Commission FPSC will be established for the federation’s affairs regarding recruitment and examination conduct. Hence, the Federal Public Service Commission FPSC is the constitutional body to recruit the various groups of so-called central superior services. Competently, FPSC shall recruit for posts connected with the federation’s affairs. Oppositely, Provincial Public Service Commission ordinances shall constitutionally recruit for the posts connected with the affairs of a province. Then, the compilation of various groups by the Establishment Division and subsequent recruitment by the FPSC must substantiate the domains of FPSC and PPSC. But this constitutional position is being violated by recruiting Pakistan Administrative Service PAS, Pakistan Police Service PSP, and Pakistan Accounts Service to the extent of provincial posts. Even the recruitment of Pakistan Railways under the banner of Federal groups is invalid as Railways is a CCI subject according to FLL part II read with articles 153 and 154 of the constitution. Hence, CSS should be reorganized according to the federal structures of the constitution of Pakistan. Hence, competitive examinations of the FPSC and PPSCs must incorporate the constitutional, legal and structural obligations.

After recruiting the best human resource, their training is essential to the growth and development of civil service. There exist common and special training programs for civil servants. Like recruitment, training must also reciprocate the objectives of the civil service. Therefore, more than common training programmes are needed. The training of civil servants must identify the objectives of the civil service. Then, academies must impart training at all levels of growth according to modern requirements. The processes of probation, confirmation and validation must include competition and merit. Generally, all civil servants pass the training and confirmation processes. Hence, it is required that training academies must ensure the merit and fail all those who are not able to pass the training programs.

Appointments through transfer, promotion, posting, deputation, absorption and placement must uphold the canons of merit and coded law. Erratic and ex-cadre appointments ruin the fabric of civil service. It is the fundamental requirement that civil service reforms must ensure the coded guarantees for the appointment process. The condition of promotion is critical for the development of civil service. The principle of seniority cum fitness for the promotion process must replace an open competition with the lateral entry of professionals. The growth within a civil service cadre must ensure a competitive process. This only reforming method shall enhance the quality and capacity of the civil service.

Conduct rules and performance evaluation reports do regulate civil servants. Existing conduct rules are illegal as these take lifeforce from the 1962 constitution. The constitution of 1973 provides fundamental rights to all citizens, including civil servants. Therefore, civil service conduct rules must incorporate the constitution’s fundamental rights. Presently, the governance system denies civil servants all fundamental rights, especially freedom of expression and association. Civil servants can play a significant role in society if they can contribute to society’s realms of social and cultural dispensations. Significantly, they may be held accountable for their administrative work, yet they may have the liberty to pursue other pursuits. For example, it is one of the compulsions that civil servants can not do business. How can the government deny this right to a civil servant? Yes, he is accountable for his public administrative work, but he is also at liberty to perform his other pursuits. Hence, the government can not snatch his fundamental freedom and personal employment rights. Thus, it is essential for civil service reforms to incorporate fundamental rights into the conduct rules of civil service.

Then, there is a need to enhance the assessment standards of the performance of civil servants. The existing assessment criteria are defective and subjective. Article 212 provides for the establishment of administrative tribunals. It has never been talked about reforming the administrative tribunals. Impartial and specialized administrative judges are essential for the cause of civil service. Administrative tribunals can lead to ensuring transparency, performance and merit. The PER system should have better standards of objective assessments. There is also a need to enhance the capacity of the federal Establishment Division and provincial services and general administration departments. Civil service reforms do not mean recruiting the able human resource but reforming all the relevant laws, organizations and dispensations. Then, civil services are dependent upon other supporting and technical services. Supporting services in secretariats are not required as civil servants must enhance their capacity to perform administrative tasks. Hence, reforming supportive and technical services is equally significant for civil service performance. Therefore, abolishing the class system in civil services is essential. These feeding cadres obstruct the performance; therefore, civil service cadres must now incorporate the official tasks of clerks, stenographers and superintendents.

The last term and condition of civil service is the incentive. Civil services enjoy more perks and privileges than salary packages. The culture of perks and privileges obstructs the performance of the civil service. Hence, civil service reformers must ensure to end the culture with market-based salaries. The existing system is unjust for many honest and dedicated civil servants. There is a need to reform the governance system so that honest and talented civil servants can play a better role. Monetizing facilities with market-based salaries shall propel motivation for honest civil servants to perform effectively. The culture of perks and privileges must end for merit and transparency in the civil service. Hence, all terms and conditions of the civil services must incorporate the objectives of the civil service. These must also correlate with the civil service’s constitutional, structural, coded and legal structures.

Hence, five principle rules for civil service reforms are concluded.

The writer is a civil servant and leading a research society of administrative federalism and governance.

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