Fixing government organisations... By Shahryar
11 February, 2013
Pakistan is afflicted with a disease. The disease has already made most of the government's machinery useless such as NAB, PIA, and the police and health departments. The disease has actually managed to change the behaviour of all government workers. The same qualified workers, who have managed to create a powerful country with their hard work and dedication, are now playing possum to the new high and powerful ministers.
After the 2008 elections, the PPP went on a crusade to punish all the government servants who had opposed them in the past, kicking them out of jobs, taking away their privileges, getting them arrested and even putting them in jail. This was a clear message to all government employees in Pakistan, showing them that their jobs, reputations and lives were vulnerable to the wishes of ministers. However, 2008 was only the beginning and in the last four years we have all been witness to the victimisation of elite government workers, most replaced with unqualified political appointees. We have seen how many government employees, known for their honesty and integrity, have been replaced, retired, dishonoured. This is all because too many of the wrong kind of ministers have gained immense power in the current government, creating an atmosphere where laziness, duplicity and corruption are considered more important than honesty and hard work. They have ruled the government employees for the past four years, threatening them into submission to take part in illegal practices, creating behaviour change in the entire organisation, forcing government organisations to go into loss and disrepute.
The damage is so intense from this disease that it will take many years of behaviour change related activities and the removal of inefficient employees from the afflicted organisations before they come back to normal profitability. I just wish that the new government, which will come after the 2013 elections, has the farsightedness to create a law that ensures no minister has the authority to make any changes in the employees of their respective organisations, and all such and other similar requests are dealt with in a five to six member board meeting, having one member as the minister, and the remaining five as government employees from the same or other departments or organisations.
To ensure quick decisions to help organisations be competitive, the board meetings should be held every week or within a specified (short) period of time of putting in a request. Any appeals against the decisions made can only be reviewed by another board committee of a different government organisation to ensure impartiality and also to avoid overburdening the already slow paced judiciary of Pakistan. Also, the law should ensure that all government employees are born and raised in Pakistan. Maybe then we can have some normalcy in our lives. This law would also ensure that the government's machinery remains patriotic and honest in all its dealings. We the citizens of Pakistan would only benefit from the services of these esteemed institutions if they start functioning properly.
SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER