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    Tuesday, 7 August 2018

    Over 300 senior bureaucrats serving on deputation and drawing hefty salaries

    The Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Division meeting on Tuesday held under the chairmanship of Senator Talha Mahmood in Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Studies criticised the appointment of over 300 civil servants on deputation in federal and provincial department.
    The senators criticised the appointment since the civil servants were appointed with no proper expertise, making them a burden over the departments. They are drawing salaries upto 1.9 million in developing country like Pakistan where 40 percent people are living below poverty line.
    They also took notice of Establishment Division Secretary’s absence from the briefing and sought detailed information of all officers on deputation with reasons for their appointment.
    The two senior joint secretaries from the Establishment Division constantly faced embarrassment when they could not present the required data of officers on deputation, promotions policy for bureaucrats and other details.
    Moreover, the Joint Secretaries told the committee that the information they have is administration has provided them, which invited further ire of the parliamentarians.
    The chairperson stated that certain departments lacked experts of a specific field, which is why some officers posted on deputation.
    “But here instead doctors on deputation are working as police officials in federal investigation agency or engineers are working as doctors in hospitals,” he said adding that the actual purpose of such posting was that the said officer had family in capital or specific area and wanted government residence and duty in that area. “It defeats the whole purpose of deputation, he said”.
    Joint Secretaty Ahmed Khan elaborated that the matter was more complex than it seemed and that the officers in grade 17 to 20 who were posted against different sanctioned positions of officer management group in the federal while about 150 such officers of federal were appointed in the provinces.
    Senator Javed Abbasi said that the division, which was supposed to regulate such matters and implement the policy, was doing nothing to address such a serious problem. Senator Mahmood said that the new government had its slogan of merit then why not begin with this issue and address it once and for all.
    Ahmed Khan added that there were several issues that could be shared but many could not be shared even at this forum. “What do you mean you can’t share with us,” asked Senator Abbasi, to which he replied “You all know better about such things.”
    He further commented that there were several cases of deputation on which different courts have issued stay orders and were pending were for years.
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    He added that there were also issues with seeking lawyers help in such cases as it needed permission of attorney general of Pakistan’s office in that regard. Senator Abbasi commented that if the lawyers had been pursuing such cases in proper way, they would have ended such stay orders.
    Joint Secretary Akhtar Jan Wazir also failed to convince the Senators about the rationale behind such bulk of deputations and the official stance of the Establishment Division.
    Senator Mahmood warned that the officers should take the committee seriously and share all the details in future, which were sought in previous committee. Senator Abbasi stated that next time, they would like to hear about the division and issue from secretary.
    The committee was told that the secretary was absent due to official engagements. Similarly, the committee also ordered to invite Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) chairman in the next meeting to assist the committee in policymaking about deputation.
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