Premier gets tough on bureaucracy

ISLAMABAD: The federal government is tightening the screw on bureaucracy as the cabinet division issues an order to the federal and additional secretaries in-charge, according to which, they will not be able to hold meetings on Friday and Monday.

All federal secretaries will have to take permission from the premier before leaving Islamabad, while the additional secretaries would require approval from their ministry or division’s additional secretary in-charge before leaving the federal capital.

Official in the cabinet division said that the government step would save millions of rupees under TADA. The circular is part of the austerity campaign by the prime minister, which would also curtail expenses on government tours.  The cabinet division has ordered strict implementation of its orders.

A couple of days back, Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken notice of ‘critical delay’ in completion of tasks assigned to 28 ministries and divisions, and issued them a ‘red-letter’, conveying that ‘no further extension will be granted in the timeline of the instant tasks’.

The notice issued by the PM Office said various tasks were assigned to relevant ministries and were to be completed in 30 days, with effect from August 2, 2019.

“To bring clarity and do away with any confusion in the matter, two briefing sessions were convened for the focal persons, i.e. one from the main ministry/division on July 25, 2019 which was prior to assignment of the tasks and another on July 30, 2019 for the focal persons of the attached department.

“Keeping in view significance of the tasks, a yellow letter (reminder) was timely issued [on August 17] to intimate that half of the timeline had elapsed… Despite the above stated situation, the tasks got critically delayed and now laying over due at your end,” it added.

The red letter ordered the concerned ministries and division to complete the tasks in all respect by September 9, well before submission of a report on compliance to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The letter warned that it will factor into performance report of the concerned ministry and division. “Therefore, all other tasks whose timelines are not yet expired shall specifically be looked into, please.”

The tasks assigned under the PM’s directive included provision of the list of positions lying vacant at all levels for framing or update of the recruitment rules; provision of the list of positions lying vacant at all levels that could be re-designated, rationalised or deleted and provision of the list of officers/officials (all type of ex-cadres) eligible for the promotion but not being promoted due to various reasons.

The ministries and division had also been asked for timely disposal of disciplinary proceedings – initiated against government employees – pending for more than three months and provision of data on ‘the prescribed format’ regarding record/files to be archived, machinery, vehicles, equipment to be condemned and disposed of as per approved procedure.