Change in bureaucracy... By Asghar
08 October, 2012
It has been reported in a section of the print media that, with the change of the chairman of the National Highways Authority (NHA), a process of cleansing the higher bureaucracy of Gilani-picked favourites has started. In this connection, another important change being cited is the posting of an officer of repute as chairman of the Capital Development Authority. Many high profile changes in the bureaucracy have been reported over the weeks by the media. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has brought in a full-time establishment secretary and has posted a professional as the information secretary.
After the departure of Mr Gilani, the bosses of the Intelligence Bureau and Federal Investigation Authority have also been changed. These two positions are always reserved for the most senior police officers. There is no doubt that during the dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf, the principle of seniority was not observed strictly in the posting of bureaucrats. This practice continued during the tenure of Mr Yousaf Raza Gilani, who posted junior officers to senior positions, compromising the principles of seniority and merit. The Federal Secretariat but also federal government departments, autonomous bodies and semi-autonomous organisations had been packed with favourites at the altar of good governance. Section 10 of the Civil Servants Act is being misused to post compliant junior officers as joint secretaries in the Federal Secretariat. Unfortunately, the senior bureaucracy has become an accomplice in the violation of service laws, rules and traditions. As a reward, they get promotions, expensive plots, civil awards and extensions in service.
Since there is no oversight mechanism in place, politicians and senior bureaucrats are playing havoc with the time-honoured principles of merit, seniority, integrity and good governance. Their attitude is contributing to the mismanagement of resources, corruption and inefficiency. The media has been highlighting the misdeeds of corrupt elements in the government and the higher judiciary is also active in this regard, but the politicians are adept in circumventing such moves. Mr Waseem Ahmed, who was removed last year from the position of DG FIA on the orders of the SC, has, reportedly, come back as the home secretary of Sindh. The SC cannot keep track of all such cases but a vigilant media can. Let us approach the general elections with a clean and depoliticised bureaucracy.