Founded Date January 1, 1926
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The Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) is a provincial agency of government of Sindh in Pakistan that is responsible recruiting civil servants and bureaucrats in Government of Sindh.
In the parliamentary democracy of Pakistan, the ultimate responsibility for running the administration rests with the elected representatives of the people which are the ministers. But the handful of ministers cannot be expected to deal personally with the manifold problems of modern administration. Thus, the ministers lay down the policy and it is for the civil servants to carry out this policy. The Sindh province with 45 million population has over 50,000 public service employees including government.
The Public Service Commission was set up for the first time in British India in 1926. After independence, the commission was established in Pakistan in 1947 under the provision of Act 1935. At present, the commission is functioning under article 242 of the constitution of Pakistan. It has been provided autonomy under the Rules of Business, 1973 and FPSC Regulations, 1978 in its working. The commission has also been given administrative as well as, to some extent, financial autonomy to perform its functions independently.
The commission consists of a chairman and members. The chairman is appointed by the governor of Sindh, in his discretion, under Article 242 (lB) of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973. The members are appointed by the Governor with the advice of Chief Minister. The commission is assisted by the secretary who provides a link among the commission, its secretariat and the government agencies.
Power and responsibilities
The commission has the power to select and appoint, based on performances in the Provincial Service Commission Exams, officers to various posts in various departments across the province of Sindh. They conduct written examinations followed by interviews.
- To establish a competent, efficient, professional and responsive Public Service to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.
- To act without fear or favor ensuring functional independence, political neutrality, accountability and integrity.
- To uphold standards, policies, guidelines and rules governing selection processes.
- To develop and implement rule-based selection criteria and processes to ensure fair and equal-opportunity to all candidates.
- To render advice to the Government, where necessary, on policies, methods of recruitment, selection criteria and processes, to ensure efficient selection process and to attract best possible human resource for various posts.
Reforms and corruption
As of 2014, in a duration of two three years over 213 cases are at different stages of investigation by Sindh Police against civil servants including political corruption.
The SPSC is now a controversial body after the resignation of its chairman, Justice Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan on 14 January 2015 due to immense pressure from the Sindh government to undermine merit . Also there are a number of corruption cases pending with the National Accountability Bureau against former chairmen Muhammad Hasan Bhutto and Syed Irshad Ali Shah .
In 2006, the Chief Minister Sindh, Arbab Ghulam Rahim opened an enquiry on Muhammad Hasan Bhutto and said that he had proof of nepotism, financial and administrative corruption against Bhutto who as chairman colluded with ill-reputed high officials, politicians and touts and tempered with recruitment record of the applicants for the posts of deputy district attorney.
He had also recommended the Sindh Governor under Public Service Commission Act and Constitution of Pakistan Article 105 to appoint a judge of the Sindh High Court to carry out through inquiry into the allegations levelled against Bhutto. He said that Bhutto in connivance with Controller of Examination Umer Zainor changed examination and interview records and thus played dirty with the fate of honest applicants.
It is also said that Irshad Ali Shah was involved in the controversy in which he had given his son extra marks as he had failed in the SPSC competitive examination.
The Hyderabad circuit bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) has declared the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) defunct. The bench — led by Justice Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan and Justice Muhammad Saleem Jessar — also ruled that “all tests, interviews, selection, appointments, tenders or any act doable under SPSC Act, 1989, or the rules are suspended forthwith”.
The highest-ranking official of the organisation is the chairman. He is an independent entity that is the ex-officio chief of the organisation. The individual is a retired civil servant, having at least 10 years experience as a 20th grade officer. The post of Chairman is considered to be one of the most influential positions in the whole province and is usually given to a BPS21/22 grade officer with an immaculate track record and performance reviews. Previously the position has also been given to retired judges of The High Court. The position holder is accountable for ensuring that the Civil Servants selected for serving the province are equipped with the skills and capability to meet the everyday challenges the province faces and that civil servants work in a fair and decent environment. The Chairman is followed by 9 members, at least half of which are retired civil servants.