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Civil service reforms are in the offing, NA told

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Published: May 13, 2016 03:26 pm


ISLAMABAD, May 13, 2016: The government intends to introduce new cadres in the Civil Service of Pakistan, the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms informed the National Assembly on Friday.

The Ministry’s response has come at a time when the Prime Minister has recently rejected a summary to enhance the age limit for candidates aspiring to appear in Civil Service Exam. The summary had been forwarded by the Ministry after a public petition filed in the Senate.

In a written reply submitted to the Lower House on a question asked by Fouzia Hameed of MQM, the ministry said the proposal of creation of new service cadres has been discussed with relevant stakeholders.  “Civil service will be modernized according to the requirements of 21st century”, the reply read. The modernization process includes introduction of cadre development plans, civil service oversight commission and legislative oversight for civil servants.

In order to improve the service delivery of the government departments, the ministry said, it has proposed to conduct third party audits and citizen opinion surveys to track performance of the civil servants and identify areas of poor delivery.

Moreover, the conversion of Establishment Division into FIR and Organizational Development Division has also been proposed while the constitution of the Pay Commission is also under consideration. The minister has reviewed the Rule of Business in consultation with the Cabinet Division to suggest necessary amendments.

The institutional effectiveness index is being launched to objectively assess the performance of public service. The index will cover the key service delivery institutions and their ranking and scorecards and is a means to track performance and improve accountability of public services. The survey on citizen feedback will be conducted on quarterly basis.

The capacity development programs, mandatory trainings and service specific trainings have been reviewed and proposals have been finalized. Pre-and In-service training regime will be reformed and service specific trainings will be introduced.

Moreover, a Digital Government Strategy and an open Government Initiative were also in the pipeline to ensure efficiency, improved access, transparency and accountability of public service provision. The government is also encouraging the innovation by through an incentive structure. Any initiatives undertaken by government organizations to improve public service delivery by introducing innovative methods and approached will be funded through a service delivery and reform innovation fund.

According to the reply, the government is committed to civil service reforms and Ministry of Planning and Development has been given additional portfolio of promoting and coordinating of reforms including civil service reform. A comprehensive reform agenda besides civil service reform has been initiated by Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform which will be finalized with stakeholders buy in and participation. Institutional Reforms Group has been setup to take reforms agenda forward. Reports of Pakistan Governance Forum 2014 and 2015 consisting findings on each of the deliberated thematic area including Civil Service Reforms are under process of finalization and will be shared with the stakeholders as and when approved by the Prime Minister.

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