PPP (Gilani) Govt Violates Estacode on Re-Employment

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PPP (Gilani) Govt Violates Esta code  (Establishment Code) on Re-Employment
Islamabad (Thursday, March 10, 2011): PPP (Gillani) regime is trying to protect the re-employed lot, whose number is said to be in hundreds, despite admissions within the Establishment Division that in view of the existing legal position, it would be difficult to satisfy the apex court with such appointments.

Sources in the Establishment Division said that the Civil Establishment Code, generally known as Estacode, contains innumerable references on re-employment, which, if placed before the apex court, would lead to dismissals of hundreds of such appointees.
The sources said that the government would still try to defend such appointments under the cover of prime minister’s discretionary powers, but it is feared, such a defence has rarely been accepted by the courts in the past. Instead, a source said that the courts have been ruling that discretionary powers could not be used in violation of the laws, rules and policies.

Esta Code Violations by PPP Govt - Jang 10-3-2011
Esta Code Violations by PPP Govt - Jang 10-3-2011

Sources in the Establishment Division said that the Civil Establishment Code, generally known as Estacode, contains innumerable references on re-employment, which, if placed before the apex court, would lead to dismissals of hundreds of such appointees.
The sources said that the government would still try to defend such appointments under the cover of prime minister’s discretionary powers, but it is feared, such a defence has rarely been accepted by the courts in the past. Instead, a source said that the courts have been ruling that discretionary powers could not be used in violation of the laws, rules and policies.
Following the direction of the apex court, the Establishment Division, which is the division of the Prime Minister, is presently busy gathering the total number of re-employed officers. The sources said that the division is still waiting for the information from different government agencies and departments.
Interestingly, the vast majority of the serving civil servants want the apex court to remove all the re-employed and contractual appointees, who are considered to be depriving the young and serving officers of their promotion rights, besides capturing key positions meant for young and serving officers.
It is said that if the apex court orders the scrutiny of each and every case of re-employment in the federal and provincial ministries/departments, attached departments, corporations, and autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies, hundreds of re-employed would lose their jobs as the Estacode is too strict to allow such a re-employment.
Referring the Civil Servants Act 1973, the sources said that Section 14 of the Act deals with the subject and reads: Employment after retirement.—(1) A retired civil servant shall not be re-employed under the Federal Government, unless such re-employment is necessary in the public interest and is made with the prior approval of the authority, next above the appointing authority: Provided that where the appointing authority is the President, such re-employment may be ordered with the approval of the President.
It is said that under ED’s OM No 4/1/96-RI dated Nov 11, 1996, “As per existing policy of the Government, re-employment of retired civil servants beyond superannuation is not encouraged except in cases when a civil servant possesses such expertise that his services are irreplaceable.”
2. The Prime Minister has been pleased to decide that requests for re-employment of ex-civil servants who have voluntarily retired from service shall be summarily rejected. Ministries/divisions are advised not to initiate any such proposal in future.
The Estacode also noted: “It has been noticed that Ministries/Divisions initiate proposals for re-employment of Government servants after superannuation as a routine measure. It is emphasized that re-employment beyond superannuation should be an exception and not the rule. It may be recommended only in cases where the Government considers that the experience gained by the retiring person is of vital importance and can be gainfully utilized, particularly in fields where suitably qualified and experienced persons are not available.”
For achievement of the objective mentioned above, the present Government has framed a policy for re-employment of Government servants and cases for re-employment would, in future, be considered in accordance with the following criteria: (i) Non availability of suitably qualified or experienced officers to replace the retiring officer; (ii) the officer is a highly competent person with distinction in his profession/field; (iii) the re-employment does not cause a promotion block; and (iv) retention of the retiring officer, for a specified period, is in the public interest.
This policy would also apply to government controlled corporations and other autonomous bodies.
The Estacode also contains the following direction which is grossly violated: “Proposals for re-employment are required to be accompanied with the following documents/information:- (a) The proposal duly signed by Secretary or Additional Secretary In charge of the Ministry concerned is received in the Establishment Division, 6 months before the officer is due to attain the age of superannuation and has the approval of the Minister in charge; (b) the steps taken to train the substitute, if any; (c) ACRs with photograph, ICP chart and bio-data on prescribed pro forma; and (d) certificate that the officer is medically fit.”
While the choice officers are re-employed anytime, but the generally ignored Estacode says, “If it is intended to get the retiring person re-employment on contract in public interest to get his contract extended, a proposal in the form of a summary for the Prime Minister should be submitted to this (Establishment) Division about six months in advance from the date of his retirement from service/expiry of the contract so that Establishment Division could have sufficient time to process it properly.”
It adds, “The proposal for re-employment on contract/extension in contract should invariably contain the following information:- (a) A brief report on the performance of the officer during the period of his contract re-employment (only for the cases for extension in contract). (b) Certificate that the proposed re-employment/ extension in contract will not create promotion blockade for the departmental officers. (c) Steps taken to train a substitute of the officer and a statement of circumstances in which no officer could be groomed to take up the assignment. 5. No request for grant of ex-post-facto approval to the contract re-employment/extension in contract, in any circumstances, will be entertained.”
Another ED’s OM of Dec 24, 1978 says, “It has time and again been stressed that the approval of the President would be necessary in all cases of re-employment after the age of superannuation in Government as well as in the autonomous bodies… The age of superannuation of all Government servants should be 60 years, and this should apply equally to Government controlled corporations/ autonomous bodies etc.”
In yet another ED’s MO dated Dec 5, 1990, it is said, “The Cabinet, in its meeting held on 12-11-1990, has decided that no re-employment beyond the age of superannuation should be allowed except in very exceptional cases for which approval of the Prime Minister would need to be obtained.
“This decision is also applicable to autonomous bodies/semiautonomous bodies and may please be brought to their notice for strict compliance.”
While many re-employed officers are getting salary package much attractive than what they were getting while in service, the Estacode says, “(a) A retired civil servant and a retired officer of the Armed Forces, re-employed on a civil post equivalent to the post from which he retired, may be allowed the pay, allowances and perquisites sanctioned for the post. His pay may be fixed at that stage of the time scale of the post at which he was drawing his pay before retirement. (b) A retired Judge of the superior courts may be allowed pay, allowances and perquisites sanctioned for the post, and his pay may be fixed at the maximum of the pay scale of the post. (c) Retired civil servants or retired officers of the Armed Forces, re-employed against a higher post, may be allowed the last pay drawn plus allowances and perquisites sanctioned for the post.”
Regarding the re-employment of ex-servicemen, the Estacode says that demand for re-employment of ex-servicemen are to be placed on the Pakistan Armed Services Board, Ministry of Defence, GHQ, Rawalpindi. It will be appreciated that to meet the demand for re-employment of ex-servicemen at least one month’s time is needed to enable the Board to call up candidates from their villages, conduct their interviews, select suitable personnel and forward their names to the requisitioning departments. However, practically most of the ex-servicemen are re-employed on contract against civil posts without the knowledge of the GHQ.

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