THE wholesale promotion of 873 senior civil bureaucrats for no apparent reason is a bewildering move of the government. Many of those who have been promoted will be carrying out the same duties as before but with an elevated position. Promotions in any administration are supposed to be merit and performance based. But in this case it seems it was political lobbying and loyalty to the ruling party that were overriding determinants.
According to a Daily Star report this has been a common practice for years. The Superior Selection Board prepares the list of officials for promotion after going through their service records and personal files. Once the selection process begins potential candidates start lobbying with the influential, including ministers and officials at the Prime Minister's Office, so that they get selected.
This cavalier fashion of promoting those who are perceived to serve the ruling party's political purpose or who have good connections with the right people is a disturbing trend. For one thing it will be demoralizing for those conscientious, capable officers if they see less deserving peers getting promoted while their hard work gets totally unrecognized. For another, this arbitrary move will wear away the professionalism required for such crucial posts. The message these promotions give is that one does not need to be meritorious and hardworking to be awarded a better position; instead it will all depend on one's ability to be in favour with government high ups that will get one on the list.
Promotions that ignore performance and merit and are based on political affiliation serve to only weaken the civil administration instead of strengthening it.