POST TIME: 22 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Ministers recommend promotion for officials
Deepak Acharjee, Dhaka

Ministers recommend promotion for officials

Authorities concerned are taking cognisance of demi-official (DO) letters of some ministers to help select officials for promotion to higher posts in the civil administration. Some ministers have already sent DO letters to public administration ministry, requesting that officials be promoted by taking into consideration their political identity and performance.

State minister for public administration, Farhad Hossain, and secretary of the ministry, Faiz Ahmed said promotion of bureaucrats will be made on the basis of recommendations by the Superior Selection Board (SSB) and not on the basis of DO letters.

Such letters from some ministers and MPs are received. Sometimes information about officials contained in the DO letters are compared with that in agency reports, they said. Sources in the public administration ministry said a section of the bureaucrats, working in different ministries and divisions, are getting certificates on patriotism, integrity and efficiency from ministers by taking DO letters to change their fortune through promotion.

The officials were getting DO letters from ministers by pursuing their private secretaries (PSs) for being promoted to higher posts. Talking to The Independent, people in the know said the "DO letter culture" does not bode well for the civil bureaucracy and it cannot be an acceptable way for promotions.

If the authorities take such DO letters into cognisance and promote officials to higher posts on their basis, it will hamper good governance by creating inefficient and biased officials, they said. Some ministers told this correspondent that they have issued DO letters for promotions to keep the officials happy.

It is a matter for the ministry concerned whether it will consider the DO letters for promoting the official, they said. Issuing of DO letters is nothing new, they added. A senior cabinet member has issued a DO letter in favour of a joint secretary and it was forwarded to the secretary of the public administration ministry, recommending promotion of the official.

In the letter, the copy of which is obtained by The Independent, the minister says: “He is an administration cadre official of the BCS 1985 batch, working in a government agency as its director. He has been discharging his duty with honesty, efficiency and sincerity. But he was deprived of promotion in the past, though his juniors, two batches behind him, had been promoted to the post of additional secretary.”

A similar letter has been issued by another minister. The letter was forwarded to the secretary of the public administration ministry, asking that the official be promoted to the post of joint secretary. Some members of Parliament (MPs) too issue DO letters for promotion of bureaucrats.

At present, the public administration ministry is going to promote at least 500 officials from the rank of joint secretary, deputy secretary and senior assistant secretary to the post of additional secretary, joint secretary and deputy secretary, respectively, within the shortest possible time.