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Central Selection Board likely to get more say in selecting top officers

LAHORE: The federal government has decided to further ‘empower’ the Central Selection Board-I (CSB-I) and enhance its influence in selecting top bureaucrats of the country.

A policy in this regard is being reviewed by the Establishment Division and a meeting has been called on Monday (today) to give it a final shape.

The CSB-I handles promotion cases of government officers of grades 19 and 20 serving in various departments, including the police and inland revenue services.

The board, headed by the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) chairman, receives cases for consideration from all provinces and the federal government. Other board members include chief secretaries of the provinces, inspectors general of police and secretary of the cabinet division.

FPSC chairman Naveed Akram Cheema confirmed that a new policy was being formulated by the Establishment Division in Islamabad regarding the review criteria. He said the idea was to improve the selection process for officers in the highest grades.

The new policy would be made public after it was given a final shape in the coming meetings, he said.

On the other hand, a senior officer privy to the development said the board’s powers were being reviewed and it would be allocated additional discretionary marks to increase its weightage in the process of selecting candidates.

The total marks, 100, accorded in the review process are currently broken down between the Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs), which account for 70 marks; training at the National Institute of Management and under the National Management Course, which account for 15 marks; and the CSB-I, which has 15 marks at its disposal; with overriding five marks for each candidate.

The marks obtained determine which categories (A, B and C) the civil servants are placed in.

The officer said the award of marks had come under discussion in recent meetings and there was talk of increasing the marks the CSB-I awards to candidates. The marks awarded by it could increase to at least 30 or at most 40, making CSB-I the “most powerful” selection board in the country.

Sharing a negative aspect of the development, the officer said he believed that the board’s powers were being reviewed to increase the influence of government functionaries in the process of selecting “candidates of their choice”.

As the board lacked the authority to review scores allocated for the ACRs, the federal government had decided to change the formula and settle the issue, he said.

The pretext floated for this was that the authorities had received several complaints that some officers had been using their influence with certain senior officers to get “favourable, outstanding or excellent ACRs”, the officer said.

The same reason was presented for marks allocated for training, leaving little margin for the country’s high-powered board to select potential government officers from the rest of the 15 discretionary marks.

courtesy: dawn news



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