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JS secretariat run by officers on deputation

Siddiqur Rahman Khan

The Jatiya Sangsad Secretariat has become dependent on officers on deputation as 65 of the 117 first-class officials are on deputation from administration, education and information cadres and the rest 52 are its permanent officials.
Such dependence has made the parliament secretariat activities sluggish as the deputed officials concentrate less on their tasks as they are not permanent officials of the secretariat, officials said.
Most of the deputed officials pass most of their time in trainings, workshops and foreign tours, while the expertise they achieve from those programmes as they get new postings somewhere else where such knowledge has hardly any utility, the officials said.
In the ninth parliament, a total of 136 officers had 56 tours in 29 countries and the total expenditure was Tk 20 crore. Only 12 of the 136 officers were permanent staff of the parliament secretariat, the officials said.
Parliament officials demanded that the government should take immediate steps to recruit permanent staff to make the parliament secretariat free of the dependence on temporary officials on deputation.
They said that after about a 12-year pause, only six permanent officers were recruited through the Bangladesh Public Service Commission.
According to the officials, there are 208 posts of Class I officials in the parliament secretariat and 91 of them are now vacant.
The secretary of the secretariat, four additional secretaries, two joint-secretaries and 12 deputy secretaries are on deputation. Only two directors, equivalent to deputy secretary, are permanent staff of the parliament secretariat.
Besides, there are 248 more posts of different type of officers in various sections.
‘The trend to fill up the posts of officers through deputation began at the end of 1996 during tenure of the Awami League-led seventh parliament,’ an aggrieved officer told New Age.
‘I have been working with the secretariat since 1999, but still I have got no promotion,’ he said.
Chief whip ASM Feroz told New Age that officers were appointed on deputation as there was no recruitment of the permanent officials. ‘Such deputation is not illegal, but the secretariat is facing experienced manpower. I hope that steps would be taken soon to recruit officers,’ said Feroz, who was a whip in the last five years of the ninth parliament.
The speaker, Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, told New Age in the past week that she would look into the matter soon.
 ‘I cannot say about the exact situation right now as I have just assumed the office,’ said Shirin, who assumed the office of the speaker in the ninth parliament on April 30, 2013 and in the present parliament on January 29, 2014.

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