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21 August, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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The Act, draft of which was prepared during the previous tenure of the AL-led Grand Alliance govt, gets approval 3-yr after initial nod

No arrest of govt staff sans permission

Public Service Act finally gets cabinet nod
DEEPAK ACHARJEE
No arrest of govt staff
sans permission

Three years after okaying the Public Service Act in principle, the cabinet yesterday (Monday) finally approved the Act, incorporating a provision that law enforcement agencies would not arrest any government employee accused in a criminal case without prior permission from the authorities concerned before submission of a charge-sheet. The cabinet meeting was held at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair yesterday (Monday).

Cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told reporters after the cabinet meeting that the law saw the light of day at last though its draft was prepared during the last tenure of the Awami League-led Grand Alliance government. A senior official of the public administration ministry told The Independent that the draft Public Service Act, 2018, would be placed as a bill before the next session of parliament (Jatiya Sangsad).

“Once the law is enacted, it would help protect bureaucrats’ rights,” the official said.

“On July 13, 2015, the cabinet approved the draft law in principle, and asked the ministries concerned to scrutinise the draft law properly before taking the final approval of the cabinet,” he added. “It’s an umbrella law that includes all related matters concerning the code of conduct of civil servants,” he explained.

“Under the draft law, career planning would be implemented to achieve professional efficiency and professionalism in the civil service,” he asserted. “We have included a provision for rewarding good work and conduct to encourage public servants.”

“After the new law is passed by parliament, the necessary rules would be framed on appointment, promotion, seniority, leave, posting, deputation and lien, conduct and discipline, retirement benefits, resignation and retirement in order to make the law functional,” the official added.

State minister for public administration, Ismat Ara Sadique, had earlier told The Independent that the government would

enact a new law to ensure protection for civil bureaucrats.

“The administration should be brought under a system that will protect the civil bureaucracy and also bring back its dynamism,” she said.

As per the draft law, the authorities cannot take action against government employees without giving them a chance to defend themselves and without them undergoing any departmental action.

The proposed law says, “The government employees should not be biased towards any political party. They will always try to ensure service towards the citizens by discharging their duties impartially. The government shall uphold high morality, abide by the strict code of discipline, and maintain cordial relations with colleagues and a high degree of professionalism.”

“All employees desirous of qualifying for higher posts would have to clear a written examination,” it stipulates.

The draft act has been prepared on the lines of similar acts in the US, India and Nepal. There are many countries in the world, including India and the US, where civil officers’ protection acts were introduced long ago to ensure the rights of civil bureaucrats. Way back in 1955, the Indian government enacted a law titled ‘Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955’, to ensure the rights of its officials.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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