The federal secretary (also referred to as the secretary to the Government of Pakistan) is the highest-ranking position in the Government of Pakistan, occupied by the most senior civil servant in a specific ministry or division. The secretary is the administrative head of that ministry or division and oversees and enforces public policy matters.[1][2] The authority for the creation of this post solely rests with the Cabinet of Pakistan. The position holder is a BPS-22 grade officer, usually belonging to the Pakistan Administrative Service.[3][4][5]

The  federal secretaries are the highest-ranking government officials in Pakistan
The federal secretaries are the highest-ranking government officials in Pakistan

All promotions and appointments to this rank and post are directly made by the prime minister of Pakistan.[6][7] The post of federal secretary is equivalent to that of chief secretary of a provincial government (within their respective provinces) and to the rank of Lieutenant General in the Pakistan Army, Air Chief Marshal in the Pakistan Air Force, and Admiral in the Pakistan Navy.[8][9]

Due to the importance of their respective assignments, there are twelve specific federal secretaries which are considered to be the most vital in the Government of Pakistan. These include the establishment secretary (responsible for civil service matters), finance secretary (responsible for the country's treasury), secretary to the prime minister (responsible for Prime Minister's Office), cabinet secretary (responsible for the Cabinet Division), interior secretary (responsible for law and order), commerce secretary (responsible for trade), foreign secretary (responsible for foreign relations), maritime secretary (responsible for ports and shipping), power secretary (responsible for the electricity and power sector), planning and development secretary (responsible for development projects), petroleum secretary (responsible for the petroleum sector), and industry secretary (responsible for industrial development).[10]

Powers and responsibilities

The federal secretary is the administrative head of the ministry or division,[11] and is the principal adviser to the minister on all matters of policy and administration within the ministry or /division.[12]

The role of secretary is as follows:[12]

Perception and image

The federal secretaries are the most senior and experienced officers in the country and are largely considered to be the most powerful individuals in the government.[13][14][15][16] Promotion to the rank of federal secretary is regarded as a very tough task given the high level of scrutiny taken into place when the promotions are done by the High Powered Selection Board (HPSB) which is chaired by the prime minister.[17] As the career service of federal secretaries and other bureaucrats are immune to the transition of political governments, they are seen as the real policy-makers who govern the country and serve as the spinal cord for the establishment.[18]

Federal secretary slots

Notable federal secretaries

References

  1. ^ "First batch of newly promoted grade 22 officers meets PM". Pakistantoday.com.pk. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Promotions: PM appoints 15 federal secretaries - The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  3. ^ "PAKISTAN ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE - CSA". csa.edu.pk. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  4. ^ Asad, Malik (21 February 2017). "Top bureaucrats promoted to grade 22". Dawn.com. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Top 6 bureaucrats promoted to BS-22". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  6. ^ Siddiqui, Naveed (13 February 2017). "Tehmina Janjua becomes first woman to be appointed Pakistan's foreign secretary". Dawn.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  7. ^ Shahzad, Mirza Khurram (2015-06-04). "Analysis: Promotion dilemma of bureaucracy". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
  8. ^ "Shahid Mehmood becomes new finance secretary - The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. 18 June 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  9. ^ "PM approves major reshuffle in federal govt posts - The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Top 6 bureaucrats promoted to BS-22". www.thenews.com.pk. November 19, 2018.
  11. ^ "Cabinet Secretariat". cabinet.gov.pk. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Cabinet Secretariat". cabinet.gov.pk. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Major changes in bureaucracy, secretaries replaced - The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk.
  14. ^ "PM appoints Cabinet, Establishment secretaries". Pakistantoday.com.pk. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  15. ^ "All is not well between country's two top offices". Thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Lobbying on for post of finance secretary - The Express Tribune". Tribune.com.pk. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  17. ^ Asad, Malik (7 October 2017). "Selection board drops top bureaucrats for promotions". Dawn.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Top bureaucratic promotions in limbo over PML-N internal strife". Daily Times. October 1, 2017.