Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday approved new rules for civil servants in the country in order to ensure transparent and effective internal accountability.
The Civil Servants, (E&D) Rules, 2020 will help in increasing efficiency and discipline.
To speed up the process, the tier of the authorized officer has been eliminated, leaving two tiers, the authority and inquiry officer or Committee. The new two-tier process is expected to resolve the issue of decisions regarding disciplinary proceedings at a lower level by having the authorized officer handing out minor penalties, without seeking approval of the ‘Authority’.
Timelines have also been introduced at every step of the proceedings, with maximum 14 days given to submit response to charges levelled. The time for completion of inquiry has been set at 60 days, with 30 days given to the ‘Authority’ to decide on the case. Previously, no fixed timeframe to conclude the proceedings was available, and hence, cases lingered on for extended periods of time.
The opportunity for a personal hearing will also now be provided by the ‘Authority’ and as a first, the option for a plea bargain and voluntary return has been included in the definition of misconduct.
“Procedural issues relating to the provision of record, slackness on part of Departmental Representatives, suspension, proceedings against officers on deputation/ leave/ scholarship, etc. have been clearly provided.”
The Establishment Division has now been authorised to issue subsidiary instructions or clarifications to avoid delays.
“In case of multiple suspected officers in a single case, restriction of appointing a single Inquiry Officer has been imposed to ensure transparency and avoid different decisions in a single case.”
The new rules also state that in case a PAS or a PSP officer is posted in a province, two months will be given to the provincial chief secretary for submitting a fact-finding report, failing which the Establishment Division can proceed on its own.