The study is a pioneering attempt on civil service management in Bangladesh. It is a unique blend of practitioner's knowledge and academic insight of the operation of the administrative machinery of Bangladesh. As many as ten key aspects of management have been identified, analysed and evaluated in depth with suggested actions for the future. These areas are both conventional and new. The conventional areas include recruitment, training, pay, pension, promotion, etc. The new areas are need assessment to determine size of civil service, disposal of business and openness versus secrecy in government. The strengths and weaknesses of the prevailing management framework are analysed and evaluated to drive home the point that there is need to strengthen the existing salutary aspects before debunking the prevailing system as outmoded and leaping into new areas of reform. An important point that emerges is the institutional failure of the political machinery to strengthen civil service management. The issue requires further investigation and research in light of bureaucratic resistance to reform measures. The author has suggested some important areas of reform in light of constitutional provisions on civil service, which demand attention of the policymakers and others having an interest in the subject.
A. M. M. Shawkat Ali joined the former Civil Service of Pakistan in 1966 and served in many important positions in the government of Pakistan and Bangladesh. He retired from service as Secretary 2001. He is now engaged in private sector research and consultancy and contributing columns to major English and Bangla dailies, besides working as Adjunct Professor in East West University, and Civil Service College, Dhaka.