Public Sector Efficiency Perspectives on Civil Service Reform

Economic research over the last decade has shown that underdevelopment persists where governance is of a poor quality. Un modernised and unreformed structures of governance often increase the cost of doing business and hence reduce the competitiveness of a country. It is no wonder that countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Korea that developed modern and efficient structures of governance progressed much faster than countries in South Asia which lack the belly for reform. The civil service in Pakistan is a key component of governance in the country. It is central to the formulation and implementation of policies, magistracy, public service delivery, and all regulations of market. Yet it retains many of the features of the colonial era. It remains a tightly knit élite club into which professional entry is not allowed. It consists of generalists, who rely on consultants and external donors for technical support. Many analysts, popular leaders, donors, and external advisers have argued that the colonial structure needs to be modernised for a democratic and independent era. A powerful colonial structure is the civil service.