Advisors for outsourcing, bureaucrats say ‘no’

Two Advisors to the Prime Minister have advocated continuing with

contractual hiring in bureaucratic jobs but the civil servants have

opposed the provision of such ‘outsourcing’ proposed in the draft

Civil Servants Law 2012.

The draft law is expected to be finalised soon.

Bureaucrats at a dissemination seminar on the law said on Thursday

keeping the provision would encourage ‘malpractice’. But the Prime

Minister’s Advisors for Public Administration and International

Affairs said the government would need to outsource people for their

expertise that incumbent bureaucrats might lack.

Prime Minister’s Advisor for Public Administration HT Imam said the

provision should be there so that skilled people can contribute.

“At the same time civil servants should work in the private sector for

at least six months to learn beyond their own jobs,” he said. “It will

help both public and private sectors.”

He also said that as long as Bangladesh receives foreign aid, ‘there

is no way to ignore outsourcing.’

“When the World Bank starts a project, they first appoint consultants

for a pre-feasibility study and then again for feasibility study and

finally during the finalisation of the project.”

International Affairs Advisor Rizvi said, “Whether you keep the

provision or not, government requires certain expertise that might not

be available within the government.”

Though it is mandated by the Constitution that a law should be in

place to regulate the appointment and conditions of public servants,

there has been no such law in Bangladesh since independence.

The incumbent government started formulating the civil servants law

soon after assuming power in 2009 as part of its public administration


The draft says: “If it feels it necessary, Government can outsource

services in certain classes and types of work fully or partially to

the private sector and may dissolve certain grades in phases.”

“We want to abolish the provision,” said Md Firoz Khan, Secretary

General of BCS Somonnoy Committee. “The provision can be misused,” he


Secretary to the Local Government Division Abu Alam Md Shahid Khan

also opposed the outsourcing provision in the law. “Government can

outsource, if they need. But keeping it in the law will pave the way

for its misuse.”

The draft law proposed keeping the provision of classifying government

officials and employees in the existing four categories – class I,

class II, class III and class IV. It stressed the need for considering

merit, skills and innovations for promotion instead of seniority only.

Imam said only seniority should not be considered during promotion.

“We have to consider merit, skills, production and delivery,” he said.

He also stressed on training.

Advisor Rizvi said the law had been ‘long overdue.’

“We started the process nearly four years ago. We heard from all. It

should not be delayed further,” he said.

As opinions have been elicited from all levels of the civil service,

the advisers hoped that it would not take much time to finalise the law.

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