Promotion to appease will bring chaos in the administration 

Promotion typically involves elevating an employee or officer from their current position to a higher-ranking role with increased responsibilities. However, concerns have arisen regarding the promotion of numerous government officials without corresponding vacant positions. 

As reported by Prothom Alo, 221 deputy secretaries and officials of similar rank were promoted to th rank of joint secretary through two notifications last Monday night. Previously, a significant number of officers were promoted to the position of joint secretary, even when there were no available posts.

In May, 114 additional secretaries were similarly promoted. Public administration sources indicate that the 29th batch of BCS administration cadre (who joined in 2011) is expected to be promoted in October. 

The 12th national election is scheduled to be held in the first week of January next year. Why were so many officials promoted without corresponding vacant posts before that? Appointments and promotions in public administration are typically based on the qualifications, merit and experience of officials in line with demand.

When officers are promoted beyond the number of sanctioned posts, they may either continue serving in their previous positions or be designated as Officers on Special Duty (OSD). 

Official sources from the Ministry of Public Administration have stated that the number of approved posts for joint secretary positions in public sdministration is 332. Following the promotion of 175 joint secretaries in November last year, the total number of officers in this role reached 725.

With the recent promotion of 221 individuals to the position of joint secretary, the count now stands at 946. Consequently, the number of joint secretaries is nearly three times the sanctioned posts in the country. 

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Former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder has expressed his opinion on this matter, stating that it is a waste of public funds. Even if the promotions are granted, the ministry will struggle to provide them with the necessary work, leading to chaos in public administration.

This situation can create suspicion among those who were promoted but did not receive posts and those who already hold those positions. 

Appointments and promotions in public administration should adhere to the administrative structure, which typically involves recruiting new officers based on vacancies. There is no justification for promotions made with special considerations when there are no corresponding positions available.

In the public administration of most countries, a pyramid approach is followed, where the number of personnel decreases as one moves upward. However, our policymakers seem to favour an inverted pyramid system.  

Even more concerning is that this culture of promotion without corresponding positions is not restricted to public administration; it extends to law enforcement as well.

At a time when opposition political parties are already questioning the impartiality of the administration in the run-up to the elections, such promotions made to appease individuals are unwarranted. 

We hope that the government will refrain from promoting officials solely for the purpose of appeasement and instead adhere to the administrative structure.

Promotions should be granted based on the number of available vacant posts, with the primary consideration being the benefit that the people receive from the administration in return for the taxes they pay.