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Old Sunday, January 10, 2021
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Default CSS Reforms - Tribune 09 January

What is the significance of these decisions and how quickly will these decisions get implemented?

Following is the text of the article in above mentioned link.

The Cabinet Committee on Institutional Reforms has approved a set of proposals, including the proposal for renaming the existing Central Superior Services (CSS) as the Central Services of Pakistan (CSP).

The cabinet committee has also approved several recommendations of the Task Force on Institutional Reforms, including a separate cadre of professionals such as engineers, doctors and foreign postings, and criteria for placement and promotions of officers in the future.

The ministerial panel also formed a subcommittee headed by the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission (PC) and comprising secretaries of establishment, law and finance divisions to suggest an implementation plan for formulation of separate cadres and framing service rules.

The committee considered all points of a summary submitted by the establishment division and took point-wise decisions in a meeting held last month. The cabinet committee agreed to the recommendations of the Institutional Reforms Cell (IRC).

The committee directed the establishment division to complete formulation of four career streams – administrative, economic, social and technical. The establishment division will report monthly progress to the cabinet committee, while the whole exercise will be completed in three months.

According to the approved proposals, future placement and postings would be based on the criteria which include nature of experience gained, expertise acquired, appraisal reports of the training institutes and dossier of performance evaluation reports.

The committee agreed on a pattern for selection of commercial attaches/counsellors, foreign postings – except those in foreign missions where officers belonging to the Foreign Service of Pakistan are posted -- and the foreign training facilities.

The process in this regard will be an open and competitive one, in which any officer meeting the eligibility criteria can apply. Upon completion of the foreign assignment the officers may be appointed in the ministry/ministries that require their skills for a period of 3 to 5 years.

In this context, the committee tasked the establishment division to prepare guidelines for selection for all foreign postings, except those at foreign missions where officers belong to the foreign service are posted.

The committee decided that foreign training committee of the economic affairs division may be headed by the establishment division secretary instead economic affairs division secretary for deciding bout the foreign trainings under foreign-funded technical assistance programme.

It has also been decided that in addition to the foreign-funded training, the government of Pakistan should allow foreign training of the civil servants through scholarship available to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and, if possible, through allocation of additional budget resources in the ministries/divisions.

The establishment division informed the cabinet committee that the Task Force on Institutional Reforms, headed by Dr Ishrat Hussain, tasked different stakeholders to review the career progression—postings, placements, promotion system of the government officers.

Accordingly, the establishment division proposed some improvements in the career progression with the purpose of enabling it to become more responsive to the demands of the public policy formulation, public service delivery and human resource management.

These were shared with the chairman of the IRC. The Task Force on Institutional Reforms firmed up its recommendations and the IRC chairman presented these recommendations to the prime minister for approval on September 24, 2019.

Later, the prime minister who sent the recommendations to the secretaries committee for its input. After getting the input/recommendations of the secretaries committee, the prime minister referred to the cabinet committee on Institutional Reforms for further consideration and recommendations.

The chairman of the cabinet committee observed that the nomenclature ‘Central Superior Services’ did not seem appropriate, therefore, he supported the recommendation of the IRC for changing it with the ‘Central Services of Pakistan’.

It was pointed out that unlike occupational groups, other professions such as doctors, engineers etc have very limited carrier progression in their cadres, therefore, there was need for grouping them in a separate cadre for their carrier progression.

It was suggested that the federal government should make the foreign training purposeful and in this context, funds may be made available in the regular budget in addition to foreign-funded trainings under the technical assistance programmes.
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