Prime Minister Imran Khan has ‘classified’ the personal and service information of civil bureaucrats, effectively excluding them from the purview of the Right of Access to Information Act, after rumblings of unfair promotions began circulating among the federal government’s ranks.
The premier has classified all Performance Evaluation Reports (PERs), Training Evaluation Reports (TERs), working papers and minutes of meetings of Departmental Promotion Committee, Departmental Selection Board, CSB, high-powered selection board, directory retirement committees and Directory Retirement Board.
The decision came after a meeting of the Central Selection Board months prior which had stoked resentment amongst various aggrieved officers over several awarded promotions, including those from the Pakistan Customs, as reported in the Tribune.
Last month, the prime minister appointed Azam Khan as Pakistan’s Executive Director in the World Bank, a posting some say did not follow the proper civil servant promotion rules. In other cases, reports of nepotism, political connections and ‘incomplete service records’ had allegedly unduly favoured certain officers for promotion.
In a statement, the Establishment Division said that personal information about the conduct, strengths, and weaknesses of civil servants’ performance did not need to be released for the public interest.
“Public disclosure of the documents is against public interest,” said the Establishment Division, which is responsible for maintaining service records for federal bureaucrats.