Parliament Panel Recommends Adding a Screening Test Before CSS Exams

A parliamentary panel on Wednesday recommended a screening test to be held before the actual competitive examination, besides making Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) an autonomous body to make it a more impartial, independent and self-sustaining body.

Senate Special Committee to examine the Annual Report of FPSC in its meeting has made a number of recommendations to FPSC regarding the changes in its functions and reforms in civil service and has asked the Commission to send a draft proposal incorporating the recommendations by first week of March.

The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah and was attended among others by Senators Taj Haider, Nauman Wazir Khattak, Daud Achakzai, Secretary FPSC and other senior officers from Establishment Division and FPSC.

The Committee has recommended a screening test to be held before the actual competitive examination so as to shortlist the candidates. This will save the commission the arduous task of examining thousands of applicants. The Committee has also asked the Commission to work on rules for appointing private and women members in the Commission’s board in light of the Committee’s recommendations after the draft which was earlier sent to the PM Office was recalled.

The Committee also supported having specialized groups and specialized exams for different kinds of jobs and also supported the possibility of ex-cadre and professional cadres to have a chance to compete to the highest scale posts.


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The Committee has also recommended making FPSC an autonomous body that would make it a more impartial, independent and self-sustaining body. This would require an amendment in Article 242 of the Constitution, the Committee observed.

The FPSC officials in its last meeting informed the committee that the current optional subjects and the 12 service groups are updated and they fulfill current requirements.

The committee also instructed the FPSC to prepare a methodology of screening test for the candidates as well as the percentage required for qualifying to the CSS examination.

The committee members were of the opinion the candidates appearing in the competition exams should be recruited on the basis of their relevant professional background so that they can be posted in the relevant departments instead of giving an open choice to the selected candidates.

Committee member Saud Majeed stated that officers of the DMG groups are being posted in various departments on favoritism irrespective of their professional backgrounds.

Senator Taj Haider objected on the composition of the Commission, saying that instead of a retired military officer and one retired judge, more representation should be given to the civilian bureaucracy of the DMG group.

The chairman of the committee also endorsed the opinion, saying that there should be specialized subjects in the competition exams for the candidates and a criterion should be set so that a candidate can only serve in a relevant department.

Earlier, the FPSC officials told the committee that as per the set procedure, there is a generalized competition exam and the candidates after qualifying the exam are given open choices.