Bangladesh Civil Service Customarily Administrative Reform is Unbidden except Embedding Pay Scale?


Mohammad Azizul Hoque#

Bangladesh is currently confronting a terrible governance crisis especially hooked on the civil service since its independence. This has adversely affected the socio-economic development of the country. It has been begotten commencing the lack of implementation of reform initiatives in this agency. Banally reform is not invoked but payment in this sector. However, subsequent to the re-installation of Democracy in 1991, The Civil service of Bangladesh has approximately unlocked several development dynamics in excess of the last 24 years. But sometimes owing to the lack rule of law, political contentious and reluctance of ruling political parties to retain the development initiatives, undertaken by the previous government, and legacy of colonialism, the growth process are being interrupted. Reform into the civil services is most vital to make it compatible for the healthier service delivery to its citizen  as well as to foster the nationwide growth and the development with human dignity and social justice in association with many others ban1Developed nation in the twenty first century. In fact an organization without change is like a frog in narrow wall. It is more interesting that, since the independence, about 18 reform commissions have been formulated for the Bangladesh civil service in several times that lucratively submitted various compulsory proposals to bring most urgent changes into the service but regrettably none of them has been implemented except each of pay related proposals. Dr. Mohammad Mohabbat Khan, the most distinguished professor of the Department of Public Administration, University of Dhaka, argued in his Book “Bureaucratic self-preservation” that, suddenly the 100% increment of the national pay-scale for civil servants is a wrong omen of the ill motives of any unpopular authoritarian government. Conventionally almost all the illegitimate and the autocratic government of Bangladesh rapidly increase the pay-scale as an euphemism to make the administration absolutely back and call to the government. Generally previous all military government did the same deeds when they had lost their public support. In that political catastrophic moment, the administration is the end reliance to run the public office. The present Government like the earlier unpopular government with autocratic behaviors is facing awful uncertainty, series of anti-government demonstration by the 20 party alliance including Bangladesh Nationalist Party BNP. It is the indisputably consequences that are resulted from the last 05 January, 2014 election of the country, in fact a most unpopular, unaccepted and life-support types of election, mentioned by different political annalist, that is boycotted by the BNP and its alliance due to the failures in reaching a consensus for election system. Elsewhere the existing political epidemic also has resulted from the ruling party’s deception with mass people and the imbalance between their talk and deeds about the next early general election. Now government obtrusiveness is the Public Administration to retain in power though having massive mass worriment against it. So the Public Administration is the only asylum with propping on it tries to remain in power.  Bangladesh has transcended about 44 years of its independence from Pakistan and had been free from British colony in 1947 but still its administrative culture and all others rules and the regulation, way of activities, legislation etc is consisted of British colonial administration. But there are many neighboring countries like Singapore, been free from colony in 1963, has been the model of modern administration that is comparable with many OECD countries. Elsewhere the Indian administration is more extolled for its smart professionalism. Almost all the political parties can keep conviction on Bureaucracy during the election period for its professionalism, neutralism and the commitment to the mass people. It is significant interrogation is that what hatch obstacle the progress of Bangladesh civil service? It is obvious that Bangladesh civil service is the key state apparatus to implement the government policies and the development of a country is exquisitely depends on the efficiency, effectiveness and the competency of the civil service. But it has failed to ensconce the needs and demand of the people. It’s now nearly all criticized county for its inefficiency and ineffectiveness in services. Furthermore it has been a crippled organ of the state for it’s over politicization, extensive range of corruption, legacy of Colonialism and the rigid administrative culture and the conflicts of interest. The widespread corruption, malpractice of power, misconduct and the lack of improved change initiatives is a common feature of the public service that hampers the nationwide progress, accomplishment of citizen’s aspiration and institutionalization of peace and opulence. It needs a planned change, in fact a crying urgency into to improve its efficiency, effectiveness and public satisfaction. A dynamic organization neither can nor live without change itself due to the demand of its environment. Since many days of its initiation, the small Pay-Scale is seen the key De-motivating factors for bureaucrats that is responsible for the Administrative inefficiency that leads to adtapism and different defined and undefined corruption. So the new Pay-scale is quite welcomed by the many administrative analysts. But only implementation of pay-commission but nothing else management reform is a matter of call in question of many analysts for, that could be, a ill motives of the ruling party to make the bureaucracy blindly docile to it that would use for realm a autocratic role in the country. Elsewhere Conventional in Bangladesh, that various data shows, that the bureaucrats seem that the reform initiatives as threats to their amelioration. Especially the senior level bureaucrats deem that the new reform would be causes of losing their control, comfort, leadership, power and cause of retrenchment from job through downsizing etc. As a legacy the last Eighth Pay and Service Commission, that is the 18th reform commission, chaired by Farash Uddin, a former Bangladesh Bank governor,had recommended Tk 75,000 as the highest basic salary and Tk 8,250 lowest for the civil servants including 20 neater layer. Presently, highest basic salary of a civil servant is Tk 40,000 and lowest is Tk 4,100. The commission proposed Tk 84,000 basic salary (special category) for senior secretaries from existing Tk 42,000 and Tk 90,000 for cabinet secretary and the principal secretary including Army, Navy and Air-force chief from Tk 45,000. The report assumed that the pay scale will foster the Efficiency, productivity and transparency of government officials and employees would be enhanced if their salaries and other benefits are increased. It would also help curb dishonesty among them, reported the Daily star on 20 august, 2014. It is obviously appreciated that improve the motivation to foster the performance of the public personnel by line with the Socio-economic conditions. It also contributes in reduction of the public sector verses private sectors in-equilibrium. But there is a certain paradox with the circumstances concerning administrative reform in Bangladesh. But only implementation of Pay related proposal but nothing else is not a good sign of development. There are variant two ban2broad sake for not-implementation of bureaucratic reform where can be divided into internal and the external factors. The internal factors in indicates the problems from the bureaucrats and the external factors arrived from the politicians. The Bureaucratic resistance and the non-cooperative alliance is the common demonstration athwart to reform. Moreover lack of congruence between the aims and deeds and discrepancy between the vision and proposal is cause of infertility of the service. In addition exact employing of the western value driven reform proposal and irrelevance between the aspiration and the feasibility in terms of the national Socio-economic perspective, political and administrative culture and the institutional arrangement hinders its desired progress. Winner takes of all ruling political parties of Bangladesh is typical features in Bangladesh politics in fact an apple of discord. But the participation and dialogue foster the improved communication, commitment, agreement and the ownership of both organizational problems and solution. But the reality is that if that “A poor quality solution with good stakeholder’s participation that can be is more effective than a high-quality solution that lacks such participation”- a citation from N.R.F Maier wrote in the journal, philosophical review-1967. So it is high time to install the Ombudsmen to foster accountability into the Public Administration.
For guardian of good governance, it needs to have a values driven culture that promotes transparency and accountability. Trust in government by citizens is a necessary element of democracy and this is the source of a government’s legitimacy to run the government properly. Hence it is getting more critical to answering that how through only lion-size of pay-scale except a detailed and systematic administrative reform initiatives, a coherent, efficient, responsive and sensitive civil service would be possible?