ESTA CODE OF PAKISTAN AND HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT CHALANGES
Pak civil services has been asked to take on increasing responsibilities in a variety of areas over the years but its formal structure and management have not changed greatly since colonial times.
It remains a closed hierarchical, ostensibly rules based and compartmentalized system, held together by the glue of centralized management and personal relationship with in elite generalist and
subordinate specialist cadres. Civil services has been a powerful force in Pakistan especially during the frequent interval when there was no democratic Govt in country but it has also proven
vulnerable to frequent political intervention in micro-level public sector decision making. This combination of power over the public and weaknesses in the face of politician has been
damaging. Overall, the gap between the responsibilities of the civil service and its capacity, organization, management, incentive and orientation has progressively in creased over time.
Esta Code is an extremely important document in the government system no attention has been paid to reform this document by the government and the academic community also could not give proper
attention to modify it. There was a need to analyze this document which is called as the backbone of personnel management system from the human resource management (HRM) point of view and to
explore its linkage with governance. Esta Code consists of 1292 pages and its latest version was published in 2004 in which no concept of human resource management was incorporated. The Esta Code
dictate the laws aboutRecruitment, Appointments, Seniority & promotion, Transfers, postings and deputations, Termination of Service, Reversion of Lower Grade, post, Resignation and
Desertion from duty, Performance Evaluation and Gratuity, Retirement and Re-employment, Appeals petitions and Representations, Merger of Service, Cadres into a Unified Graded Structure, Rules and
Procedures applicable to occupational Groups, Federal Public Service Commission and Service Tribunals. The missing links in Esta Codes with regards to Human Resource Management (HRM) are Training
and Development, Career Development, HR Budget, Linkage of Performance and Compensation, Leadership Development, Employee Retention and Performance Evaluation. In fact the Prevailing system was as
such under which any assign task could never be completed and it remained pending /piled up in the cupboard. The system was such as would penalize in one way or the other any officer who would take
on challenges. Any body in the government who was proactive, breaking the harmony and disturbing the whole system would emerge as powerful bureaucrat.
The potential factors that impinge upon national culture of Pakistan may include indigenous traditions, religious injunctions, amongst others British colonial pasta and current American influences
are the central to the development of new HRM practices in the country. The following figure conceptualities the trickle down effects of factors on national culture and subsequently on the
functioning of HRM in the country. Because, the British Empire formally ruled the Indian subcontinent for over a hundred years with resultant unresolved political issues in many third world
countries. This undermined the peace and stability of many postcolonial societies, including Pakistan, subsequently given birth to nationalist and religious movements. Colonial masters chose
hand-picked courtiers and subservient civil, military and landed elites to control the general public which was already divided on the basis of religion, ethnicity and language. Since then
religious and ethno-national intolerance continue to plague the national culture of many post colonial societies, including Pakistan. For example, the discriminatory colonial doctrines of 'Quota
System' and Martial Race' promote single-ethnic supremacy for those from the Punjab in civil-military service. Since then, a civil-military oligarchy controls many of the strategic
management positions in public institutions that maintain colonial legal-administrative frameworks and promote a single-ethnic group which ultimately results in occupational segregation an
unethical dilemma in the 'Fair Play' of HRM.
Inherited Legacy of Laws
There are a number of colonial laws which have exerted an influence on Pakistani organizational practices, values and culture. The evidence is gathered from following colonial laws. The Government
of India Act, 1858, the Colonization of Land Act, 1912, the Government of India Act, 1915, Indian Civil Service Bill 1915, the Government of India act, 1919, the Government of India (Civil
Services) Act 1925, the Factories Act 1934 and the Government of India Act, 1935. The British rulers introduced the open competitive examination and recruitment on the basis of merit of Indian
Civil Service (ICS) by the Charter Act of 1853, In order to redress grievances of Muslims against the Hindu majority, the "Muddiman pledge" reserved 'some places' for Muslims in the ICS. Most of
the Muslim civil servants of British India migrated to Pakistan and managed key positions of state administration in the initial years. The Indian Council Act of 1909 made provisions for
reservations in legislatures and civil services on a communal basis. The Government of India Act, 1919 and the Government of India Act, 1935 reaffirmed this principle. The quota for minorities was
formally introduced on July 14, 1934 on the basis of an executive order.
Civil Establishment Code.
The postcolonial Pakistan inheritance of discriminatory employment laws comprise, the Constitution of Pakistan 1956, the Constitution of Pakistan 1962, the Constitution of Islamic Republic of
Pakistan 1973, Civil Servants Act 1973, Civil Establishment Code (ESTACODE), the Federal Public Service Commission Regulations 1978 (FPSCR-1978) and the federal Public Service Commission Rules 1978
(FPSC-1978) Rules for competitive Examination 2009. The quota system in Pakistan was introduced on the basis of the Government of India Act 1935. The Article 17 of the first Constitution of
Pakistan 1956 ensure that the quota system remain effective for 15 years, later similar constitutional provision was made in the 1962 constitution. In September 1948, long before a constitutional
was adopted in Pakistan, a regional quota system was introduced. The 1948 quota system went through an unsympathetic criticism which forced government to revise the quota system principles, thus
the Government of Pakistan in November 1949 introduced new quota system. The minor provinces and regions of West Pakistan had no significant representation. The region-based quota system in
Pakistan has failed to protect the minor ethnic groups in particular, especially underprivileged local candidates.
The Framework of ESTACODE.
The Civil Establishment Code (ESTACODE) a vast compendium of laws operating procedures, rules and regulations, governs every aspect of the civil service. There are several ways of recruiting to
Pakistan's federal bureaucracy however, focus remains on two sources of induction that offer structural advantages to the Punjab. Candidates can enter the bureaucracy through the Central Superior
Service (CSS) Examination by the FPSE. Successful candidates are assigned to their respective occupational groups based on a combination of their overall position and regional /provincial quotas
calculated on the basis of population. While 7.5 per cent of the positions in each examination are decided on merit regardless of regional or provincial affiliations where as 50% of the remainder
are allocated to Punjab. 19% to Sindh, 11.5% to Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Since 2007 a 10% quota has been allocated to women from the share of each the provinces and regions. Since the Zia regime in
the 1980s, there has been an annual 10% induction of military officers, generally at the rank of captain and equivalent ranks from the navy and air force. It is identified that the presence of
civil-military, feudal lords and dominated by single-ethnic Punjabis at the top level management controlling decision making affects HRM practices in public and private sector organization. The
sifarish culture, sycophancy, cronyism and corruption affects 'federal quota system', HRM practices including affirmative action policies, merit and organizational justice. The current spate of
violence and terrorist attacks in Punjab are attributed to long social injustice and social alienation of tribal agencies in Pakistan.
HRM and Establishment
The growing interest of academia in international human resource management (IHRM) and cross-culture research with Asian perspective on people-management has created new debates in the field. A
considerable number of studies appeared in recent past by emphasizing the need to examine historical, religious, cultural and ethnic perspectives on people-management in national contest of
developing countries for greater understanding of IHRM. The literature on the current state of HRM in Pakistan is limited cross-cultural management research has also largely ignored the development
of HRM in similar postcolonial economies.
HRM has not been put in place to play central role in administration department of government organizations. Pakistani managers in terms of decision making seem centralized and HRM is playing role
of post office and power distance and paternalism exist in government private organizations. Weak HRM or personnel departments in government and practices at workplace make employees helpless to
challenge authority thereby creating highly bureaucratic and hierarchical organization and a vicious circle, consequently encourages sifarish culture. In the presence of ineffective people
management, absence of employee involvement and participation, a very strong and in some cases violent employee union activism existed in the past.
Challenges of Globalization and Role of Human Resources
Globalization can be defined as the ongoing economic, technological, social and political integration of the world that began after the Second World War. There are several dimensions to this
dynamic process, including the increased internationalization of economic markets as reflected in trade and financial capital flows. A vital aspect of globalization is the way diverse challenges
are being faced by nations in an increasingly inter dependent world. No country can meaningfully progress today without efficiently responding to demands and pressures generated by international
organizations and processes. Word Trade Organization (WTO) for instance is bound to lead in a whole new system of trading relations. The human factor is the key in the new era of globalization. The
rapid integration of the world economy through increased trade and investment which has been fueled by new technologies, the spread of information and the growing importance of knowledge-based
industries, provide the potential for opening up new avenues for human development. The future challenges expected to be faced in the days to come are discussed as under one by one.
HRM Issues and Challenges in Global Market
· To achieve success in global marketplace, the challenge of all businesses regardless of their size is to understand
global corporate cultural differences and invest in human resources. There are certain human resource management issues that are particular for the global enterprise. The key issues involve
staffing policies, selecting and retaining talented employee, training and development whilst encouraging employees to be innovative and creative, culture barriers, and legal frame work. Others
issues include understanding the challenges of living and working overseas, performance appraisals from a distance, training and management development, compensation packages, and labour relations
and organized laboure laws.
· The world has undergone a dramatic change over the last few decades, the forces of globalization technological changes
have greatly changed the business environment. Organization were required to respond in a strategic manner to the changes taking place in order to survive and progress. Strategic Human
Resource Management (SHRM) involves a set of internally consistent policies and practices designed and implemented to ensure that a firm's human capital contribute to the achievement of its
business objectives. Strategic human resources management is largely about integration and adaptation. Its concern is to ensure the following:-
· Human Resources (HR) Management is fully integrated with the strategy and the strategic needs of the firm.
· HR policies cohere both across policy areas and across hierarchies.
· HR practices are adjusted accepted and used by line manager and employees as part of their everyday work.
Implications for HRM Practices
· In this scenario the question is how can organizations effectively adopt, implement and maximize HRM practices to enhance
the level of firm's out come. The firm can increase the probability by adopting and effectively implementing appropriate HRM practices. The future HR professional will need four basic
competencies to be come partner in the strategic management process. These includes business competence, professional and technical knowledge, integration competence and ability to change.
Frame Work and Propositions
· The human resource function faces many challenges during the globalization process, including creating global mind set
within HR group, creating practices that will be consistently applied in different location/offices vide maintaining the various global culture /practices and communicating and consistent corporate
culture across the entire organization. To meet these challenges organization need to consider the HR functions not as just an administrative service but as strategic business. The following
propositions are derived from the frame work:-
o Human resource managers may have achieved higher levels of HR professional competencies and lower levels of business related competencies.
o The incidence of implementing strategic HR practices is lower in organizations.
o Both HR professional competence and knowledge of the business significantly contribute to the extent of implementing SHRM Practices.
o Managerial competencies are significantly related to organization performance.
o The extent of implementing SHRM practices contribute significantly to firm level outcomes.
o The relationship between SHRM and organizational performance is affected by organizational contest variables (firm size, level of technology and union
· For the developing countries in present global arena eGovernance is increasingly being emphasized s a way for government
to strengthen good governance. If implemented strategically eGovernance can not only improve efficiency, accountability and transparency of government processes, but it can also be a tool to
empower citizens by enabling them to participate in the decision making process of governments. Few governments have implemented e-government strategically directly targeting poor people. This is
despite the fact that more than 60% of the population of Pakistan lives in rural areas and the majority of them are poor. If implemented strategically, e-government services for the poor are a way
for governments to reach striving/ deprived people with government services and contribution to poverty reduction in rural and remote areas. This means not only enabling governments to reach out to
marginalized groups and communities and meet citizens' expectations through providing e-government services but also being able to involve and empower these groups through their participation in
the political process.
Civil Service Structure And Organization
Under Article 240 of the constitution, civil service appointments and their terms and conditions are determined by an act of parliament under Civil Servants Act of 1973. A number of other legal
instruments also regulate the functioning of the civil bureaucracy within these federal and provincial acts. The Civil Establishment Code (ESTACODE) is a vast compendium of laws, operating
procedures, and rules and regulations, governs every aspect of the civil service. It determines the followings standards:-
· Terms and conditions of service: Articles 240 and 241
· of the constitution and the Civil Servants Act of 1973.
· Appointment/recruitment, seniority and promotions of Civil Servants.
· Lay down disciplinary standard for Government Servants.
· Postings and transfers Section 10 of the Civil Servants Act of 1973.
· Appeals, petitions and representations Section 22 of
· the Civil Servants Act of 1973
The FPSC a constitutionally mandated body headed by a chairman and eleven members appointed by President of Pakistan is responsible for direct recruitment to officer cadre. Another important
regulatory body is the office of the Wafaqi Mohtasib or federal ombudsman, authorized under the Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) Order 1983 to investigate, redress, rectify any injustice
done to any person through maladministration by any governmental agency.
Federal And Provincial Secretariats
Every ministry is divided into one or more administrative divisions and an elected parliamentarian heads each ministry, a senior civil servant with the rank of secretary heads each of the
ministry’s divisions. Immediately below the secretary in order of seniority are additional secretaries, joint secretaries and deputy secretaries. In the provinces the highest ranking member of the
civil administration is the chief secretary who supervises the administrative functioning of all provincial ministries and acts as the primary link between the provincial political executive, the
chief minister and the provincial civil administration.
The recruitment functions of the federal and provincial public service commissions are limited to officer-level positions in BPS-16 and above, leaving lower level recruitment to departmental
selection committees headed by the department’s secretary. Recruitment to Pakistan’s civil services is rarely based on detailed job descriptions and qualifications for particular posts. The annual
CSS exam involves written tests in compulsory and elective subjects, followed by a psychological aptitude test and an interview. There are four channels of recruitment to Pakistan’s federal
· Direct Recruitment Candidates join the bureaucracy through the Central Superior Services (CSS) examination
conducted by the FPSC. Successful candidates are assigned to their respective occupational groups based on a combination of their overall position and regional/Provincial quotas calculated on the
basis of population. While 7.5 % of the positions in each examination are decided on merit regardless of regional or provincial affiliations, 50% of the remainder are allocated to Punjab, 19% to
Sindh 11.5% to Khyber Pukhun kah (KPK) , 6% to Balochistan, 4% to FATA and Gilgit- Baltistan and 2% to AJK. Since 2007 a 10% quota has been allocated for women from the share of each of the
provinces and regions. Since the Zia regime in the 1980s, there has been an annual 10% induction of military officers generally at the rank of captain and equivalent ranks from the navy and air
· Through Advertisements. The vacant posts are filled by the concerned ministries and departments by adopting the
procedure of advertisement
· Ad hoc recruitment. It is carried out by the concern departments or ministries for temporary vacancies.
The first step for civil servants recruited through the CSS examination is a common pre-service training program followed by specialized training conducted by each of the central superior services.
During in-service training federal and provincial officials at the level of deputy secretary take courses in administration and development at the National Management Institute, the National
Management College conducts training of senior officers in BPS-20, successful completion again a prerequisite for promotion to BPS-21. There are no such extensive training opportunities for
specialists, although roughly 700 are recruited annually by the FPSC compared to 150 to 200 CSS-qualified officers.
The shortage of qualified and motivated instructors in government training programs should also be addressed. Most of the instructors are serving officers who regard these postings as punishments.
To attract the best possible instructors, all should receive the same compensation, facilities and other incentives as employees of constituent units of the National School of Public Policy (NSPP),
Moreover, the standards of instruction, testing and certification at all training institutions should be brought in line with those prescribed by the NSPP.
Postings, Promotions And Performance Evaluation
Postings and transfers have become increasingly capricious, devoid of transparency in career planning by the establishment division and other departments. An officer’s progress remains uncertain,
thus weakening his or her professional commitment. Officers in All-Pakistan services like the police and the DMG are also often reluctant to serve outside their home province for extended periods
particularly in remote or under-developed areas since there are few career advancement, incentives associated with such hard area postings.
The existing promotion policy is seldom transparent or consistent, leading civil servants to periodically file petitions in the courts. Under the Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion and
Transfer) Rules of 1973 promotions in the bureaucracy are based on a combination of seniority and merit. The Central Selection Board makes promotions to Selection Posts – BPS-19 and above on the
criteria of excellence and merit determined by the board’s members. Promotions to BPS-22 the highest grade are decided by the prime minister. Departmental promotion committees headed by the
secretary are responsible for promotions in BPS-17-18. These promotions are generally based on four criteria:
· Minimum length of active service
· An unblemished disciplinary record
· The required threshold in performance evaluation reports (PERs)
· Successful completion of the mandatory training course.
Promotions policy should be reframed to include measures such as objective, performance-related criteria, linking promotions to management, leadership potential demonstrated during training
programs and integrating diversity of experience into career advancement frameworks. To preclude allegations of favoritism, the prime minister’s sole authority over promotions to BPS-22 should be
transferred to an independent body like the FPSC. The political executive has often misused its power to designate civil servants Officers on Special Duty (OSD). The Concerned parliamentary
committees could be given the authority to check key civil service appointments.
Pakistan’s deteriorating civil service is in urgent need of repair. Decades of mismanagement have left it ill-equipped to meet formidable governance needs including security and basic provisions at
a time when the elected government is facing major political, security and economic challenges. The future of the current democratic transition will depend not just on political reconciliation
between the ruling party and its opposition and constitutional amendments to restore parliamentary rule, but also on restoring links between citizen and state including at the grassroots level. The
state’s ability to deliver good governance and services to all citizens will be as vital to containing the spread of radicalism countrywide as the use of force against militant groups.
Reforming a bloated, corrupt, and heavily politicized bureaucracy will not be easy. While the bureaucracy must accept its share of responsibility for historically siding with the military to stunt
democratic development. While the accountability of officials must be effective impartial and transparent, higher salaries and benefits and better conditions of employment, could significantly
reduce incentives for corruption. The civilian government should also focus on transforming the civil service into a more flexible and responsive institution. Reform should therefore include
drastic changes to a rigid and over centralized authority structure that has been unable to address local fiscal needs and underdevelopment by delegating important administrative and financial
functions to lower tiers.
- Increasing salaries and pensions, particularly for those at the bottom of the hierarchy providing better housing, transport and health insurance for all government employees and subsidized
schooling for their children.
- Conducting regular training including refresher courses at all levels of the bureaucracy.
- Improving standards of instruction at training institutions to inculcate professional skills as well as norms and practices that reward integrity and professional commitment.
- Establishing and strictly abiding by new criteria for secretariat appointments to include professional expertise, diversity of experience, demonstrable leadership in public institutions and
ability to tackle challenging assignments.
- Modifying Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) to include tangible performance-oriented criteria instead of subjective evaluations of officer’s Characters.
- Instituting a transparent and competitive selection process to encourage representation of all occupational groups and reserving positions in each basic pay scales for officers from each group.
- Revising and simplifying existing rules and procedures to ensure that civil servants are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
- Modernize civil service systems and processes an enhance interagency coordination through e-governance technology by:
- Making compliance with standards set by the E-Government Directorate (EGD) mandatory for major federal government projects.
- Instituting compulsory training in basic information technology processes for all government employees in BPS-5 and above.
- Giving the EGD greater financial and organizational autonomy by converting it from a cell to an attached department of the ministry of information technology.
- Provide technical support for the expansion of E-government technologies particularly in areas such as land revenue administration, taxation and policing, leverage aid to press line ministries,
departments and agencies to incorporate E-governance processes within their domains.
2. Gary Dessler Ninth Edition Human Resource Management
3. Schuler, R. S. 1992. Strategic Human Resource Management Linking people with the needs of the business.
5. Institute of Social and Police Sciences Pakistan (I-SAPS)
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