Admin officials fear deprivation for contractual appointment

Bangladesh governemnt logo. File Photo
Bangladesh governemnt logo. File Photo

Admin cadre officials fear that their due promotion would be halted due to the contractual appointment of a section of top officials including secretaries scheduled to be retired soon, officials have said.

A senior secretary has expressed his discontent in a Facebook group post.

A section of officials have discussed the matter in the meeting of admin cadre officials’ association Bangladesh Administrative Service Association.

Sources at the public administration ministry said nine secretaries will retire in December and another nine secretaries will retire over the next two months.

The would-be retired officers have started lobbying for contractual appointments.

Meanwhile, cabinet secretary Anwarul Islam has been given contractual appointment for one year starting 16 December. He is to retire on 15 December.

Officials including additional secretaries said there are more officials against the existing posts of deputy secretaries, joint secretaries and additional secretaries.

Regular officers will be deprived if contractual appointments were given at a secretary level, the aspirants fear.

However, many aggrieved officers declined to comment.

Food secretary Shahabuddin Ahmed, prime minister’s principal secretary Nojibur Rahman, secondary and higher secondary division secretary Sohrab Hossain, social welfare secretary Juena Aziz, public administration secretary Foyez Ahmad, fisheries and livestock secretary Raisul Alam Mandol will retire between 20 and 31 December.

Energy and mineral resources ministry senior secretary Abu Hena Rahmatul Munim, civil aviation and tourism secretary Mahibul Haque, prime minister’s office secretary Sajjadul Hasan and land appeallate board chairman Abdul Hannan will retire between 5 and 10 January.

National Skill Development Authority (NSDA) executive chairman Faruk Hossain, liberation affairs ministry secretary SM Arifur Rahman, shipping secretary Abdus Samad and economic relations division secretary Monowar Ahmed will retire between 9 and 22 February.

Over 150 officials are on contractual appointments in different capacities including ministries and embassies.

Public administration ministry state minister Farhad Hossain told Prothom Alo, “None other than competent and skilled officers are given contractual appointments.”

The issue of contractual appointments was criticised at the 8th meeting of executive committee of Bangladesh Administrative Service Association in 2017.

BASA president and local government secretary Helaluddin Ahmed said contractual appointments are the jurisdiction of the prime minister.

The association cannot make any recommendation in this regard, he said adding the association looks after the welfare of the officers.

However, association vice president and water resources secretary Kabir Bin Anwar in the association’s Facebook page writes competent and skilled officers are being deprived due to the contractual appointments.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Kabir Bin Anwar said, “I have commented in our association’s group. How did you get to know that?”

Admin cadre officials said earlier some officials were given contractual appointments for one year in special cases. But currently, contractual appointments were given even for three years and the tenure extended further.

There is no guideline about the contractual appointment in the public administration ministry.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, professor at public administration department of Dhaka University, Salahuddin M Aminuzzaman said the contractual appointments disappoint aspirants for secretary posts. Aminuzzaman said the government can utilise the skilled officers but the contractual appointments were given on political consideration which is disappointing.

• This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.