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Promotion in Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS)

Promotion is the advanced of an employee’s rank or position in an organizational hierarchy system. The primary purpose of promotion is to fill a post through the selection of the most suitable person for the selection of the position or grade that is vacant.

Historical basis:

Initially during the time of colonial days the principles followed, was seniority for promotion. In 1833, the charter Act relating to the administration of India introduced some new principles which gave more weight to competence and performance than to merit.

On January 28, 183, the Governor-General in council passed an order that laid down principle of promotion. The order emphasized merit and made room for junior to supersede the seniors.

The method thus introduced became firmly embedded in the system of civil service management with some changes time to time. In course of time seniority and merit combined the two principle promotion projects.

Bangladesh has inherited this method of promotion for civil service management with some changes from time to time.

In the civil service system, three elements are given consideration that are-

Adherence to rules of conduct or good conduct

In this context, it is necessary to explain how the three elements operate in the determination of the suitability of a civil servant for promotion to higher position.
First, is the element of seniority? Seniority is an immutable element in the sense that it cannot be changed by any authority except through due process of low. Seniority has a close relationship with the year of entry. However, other considerations such as the relative position in the competitive examinations held for entry into civil service plus the marks obtained in the training institutions during period of probation are also important elements that determine seniority. The year of entry is popularly known as ‘batch’ of so and so year. The general principle is that cases of promotions are considered batch by batch. The senior batches are considered first.

Second, merit is determined on the basis of the ACR. ACR provides the overall assessment of a civil servant. It gives specific opinion on the suitability or otherwise of a civil servant for promotion to higher positions. ACR further provides assessment with regard to a civil servants moral and intellectual integrity. If the assessment is adverse, possibilities for promotion are badly affected. The operation of the ACR system will be elaborated later.

The third elements relate to good conduct or adherence to rules of conduct. As explained earlier, breach of rules of conduct leads to disciplinary proceedings. The initiation of such proceedings or proceedings of criminal nature acts as road block to promotion of a civil servant.

Different Committee on promotion

  1. Council committee on senior appointment (joint sec. and above)
  2. Superior selection board (deputy secretary and upward position)
  3. Special promotion committee
  4. Departmental promotion committee
  5. Divisional selection board (non gazette post)
  6. Senior scale examination

Role of Departmental Promotion Committee:

In each ministry, there is an inter-ministerial committee commonly known as DPC led by the Secretary of the relevant ministry or division. This committee is responsible for the promotion to the senior position within the cadre from grade 6 to 4. This committee is consist of chairman who is relevant secretary. Members are the joint secretary of finance ministry, joint secretary of MOPA and head of the department.

Role of SSB:

SSB initially consisted of the Cabinet Secretary as chairman; Secretary, MOPA; Secretary, Finance; Secretary, Law; and Secretary, Home as members. the composition and functions of SSB has undergone changes time to time. The main role of SSB is to recommend the promotion from the level of Deputy Secretary to Secretary. It would recommend cases for promotion to grade 111 and above. The recommendation has to be finally approved by the prime minister.

Council Committee:

The council Committee is responsible for promotion to the rank of Deputy Secretary constituted with the State minister for MOPA as Chairman. The decision relating to the structure and functions of the board also included that SSB would henceforth submit its recommendations to the Council Committee. The committee would finals its recommendations and submits the same to Head of Government for approval.

Nature of promotion of the class-1 officers based on Merit and Seniority:
There are about 28 cadres. Promotion to senior positions can be categorized into;
Promotion to senior position within the cadres
Promotion to various Secretarial positions from the level of deputy secretary to secretary
Promotion to the senior scale

Promotion to senior scale:

Promotion to senior scale constitutes the primary stage for movement upwards. Promotion to senior scale is contingent on a qualifying examination called “Bangladesh civil service cadre officer’s senior scale promotion Examination.” The BPSC conducts this examination every year.