Thursday, May 30, 2024

Transfer panic seizes officials

Lobby for promotion, ‘good posting’ on
Mustafizur Rahman
A recent spate of transfers and postings in civil bureaucracy has caused fears and anxiety among many officials, affecting their concentration on office work.
The officials, beginning from upazila nirbahi officers in field administration up to secretaries, the highest rank in bureaucracy, are in fear either of being dumped at the establishment ministry as officers on special duty or being transferred to places to their ‘inconvenience,’ losing concentration on duties, a number of officials at the secretariat told New Age.
Many officials who claimed to be deprived earlier are now lobbying for promotions and posting at ‘good places’ in administration as the Awami League government has started reshuffle along with a move for promotions at various levels, according to establishment ministry officials.
The deputy commissioners and upazila nirbahi officers who were busy conducting both the national and upazila polls for about a month have become concerned at the ongoing reshuffle, the officials said.
‘A number of secretaries and some joint secretaries have already been made officers on special duty… It is evident there is no change in attitude as political consideration still works,’ said a senior secretary, adding posting should be based on merit.
As for reported fear in bureaucracy, the secretary in charge of the establishment ministry, ASM Ali Kabir, said, ‘I do not see any fear in bureaucracy. The people who were deprived earlier will be on priority for promotion and posting.’
He said it was not possible for the government to be hundred per cent fair in promotion and posting as many officials were forced to retire and a large number of them were made officers on special duty by the previous (BNP-led) government.
On Thursday, the superior selection board held a meeting with the cabinet secretary, Mohammad Abdul Aziz, in the chair to discuss promotions at the levels of joint secretary, additional secretary and secretary.
Ali Kabir said the government had wanted to put an end to deprivation in promotion of officials.
‘We want to bring an end to deprivation in bureaucracy,’ said the acting secretary, who was also forced to retire by the BNP-led government in 2006.
Kabir was reinstated in the job by the caretaker government of the president, Iajuddin Ahmed, and was promoted from joint secretary to additional secretary following his appeal with court against the forced retirement.
Another official said it was expected the government of the Awami League would come up to break the tradition without interfering in bureaucracy as the party had assume office with an overwhelming majority in the parliament and had pledged to keep bureaucracy free of political interference in its manifesto for the December 29 general elections.
On January 11, the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, at a meeting with secretaries, ordered civil servants to work neutrally and confidently for the country’s welfare, avoiding life of luxury.
‘You are public servants… All of you should work neutrally and fearlessly in keeping with the rules and regulations and remain non-partisan while discharging responsibilities,’ Hasina said as she addressed her first meeting with the secretaries of various ministries and divisions at the secretariat after assuming office on January 6, 2009.
Around 20 officials, including four secretaries and an additional secretary, have been made officers on special duty while more than 100 officials have so far been transferred since the government of the Awami League assumed office.
Fourteen officials who were deputed to the Bangladesh missions abroad have earlier been attached to the establishment ministry for further posting.
Many mid-level officials from the field have also started lobbying with the top bureaucrats having good link with the Awami League policymakers for promotion and good postings, the sources said.

Courtesy: newagebd.com

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