Vol. 5 Num 558 Wed. December 21, 2005  
Front Page

Political promotions hamstring admin

Promotion of public servants on political considerations ignoring merit and seniority has bred frustration and resentment in the civil administration, resulting in inertia at different levels of the administration.

During 2001-05, more than 1,000 officials were promoted on various occasions while around 1,000 deserving ones were deprived of promotion on political grounds, sources said.

A recently retired secretary said the mess created due to biased promotions is hampering administration. A transparent promotion policy on the basis of merit and seniority is a must to ensure efficient and effective administration, he said preferring anonymity.

A number of senior ministers however said politicisation of the administration by the previous Awami League (AL) government led to the 'promotion jam'. They cited 'Janatar Mancha' as a classic example of the extent of such politicisation.

One minister claimed that no government in the past gave such a huge number of promotions in the civil administration as the present government has given. " The present government also upgraded a large number of posts to clear the promotion jam. It is also going to give many more promotions during its tenure on the basis of the existing policy," he said.

After the present government assumed office in October 2001, 170 deputy secretaries were first promoted to the posts of joint secretary in June 2002. The promotees were from 1973, '74, '77 and '79 BCS batches.

Then 493 senior assistant secretaries were promoted as deputy secretaries in February 2003. The officials were from 1982 and '84 BCS batches.

In 2004, 61 deputy secretaries were made joint secretaries. This year 39 additional secretaries and 327 senior assistant secretaries were promoted to the posts of secretary, joint secretary and deputy secretary.

Besides, 48 joint secretaries were recently promoted as additional secretaries. About 90 others met the requirements but were not promoted.

On all these occasions, many officials deserving promotion were ignored on political grounds, sources alleged.

Meanwhile, the present government scrapped the promotion policy adopted in 1988 and introduced a mark-based new policy, creating scope for ignoring seniority.

Public servants joining the Janatar Mancha in 1996 in favour of the AL's oust government movement prompted this government to adopt the new policy, sources said.

SSB Meeting

A preliminary list of more than 200 senior assistant secretaries has been prepared for promotion to the posts of deputy secretary. The list is going to be placed before the Superior Selection Board (SSB) that is due to meet on Wednesday.

The SSB is also likely to consider promotion of some additional secretaries to the posts of secretaries.