Taming and Shaming the Bureaucracy-II


Syed Fawad Ali Shah;
The rule 5(a) of these new rules explains another ground for retirement as getting Average Performance Evaluation Reports or adverse remarks have been recorded in 3 or more PERs from three different officers, for a period not less than six months and have attained finality. This is again a self contradictory clause as the minimum period to get a PER has been prescribed as three months by the Estacode. It is very funny how a civil servant can have 3 PERs in six months when the minimum period is fixed at three. It shows the rules were drafted without applying a prudent mind. The same Rule 5 has declared that it will be a ground for retirement If a civil servant is guilty of corruption or entered into plea bargain or voluntary return with NAB or any other investigating agency. Now it speaks volumes of incompetence on the part of drafting mind of these rules that only NAB has the powers of Plea Bargain or Voluntary Return. Neither FIA or provincial Anti corruption Establishment has been granted such powers. So the very term “or any other investigating agency” is totally hilarious. One ground for retirement is explained as if a Civil Servant has not been recommended for promotion by the concerned selection board or committee then he has to face “Directory Retirement”. However, this ground is against the Established principles of law, as if one is not recommended for promotion, then there can be various reasons which can be such circumstances beyond control of that civil servant. For example an officer may on long leave, may be he is on some deputation assignment abroad or simply some sort of shortage of PERS. All these points suggest that this ground for retirement is as Shakey as the entire theme behind these rules. The most vulnerable class of bureaucrats at the receiving end will be of Ex-cadre government officers. The powerful groups of Pakistan Administrative Services and Police will try to grab main role in those committees or Boards established under these rules thereby becoming absolute authoritarian. It’s a million dollar question who will define the very vague term “Public Interest”. The most striking drawback in these rules is lack of affording the right of proper enquiry to a civil servant which is again contrary to the Article 10-A of the Constitution. This will be really interesting to see the final of these new rules once they are challenged before the superior courts which has established principles and precedents regarding such type of draconian legislation. The best way is to turn the system of bureaucracy on the basis of incentives and performance instead of naming and shaming them to tame bureaucracy to the tunes of rulers. -The writer is a senior Journalist He can be reached at [email protected]