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FPSC

Written by Fiza Bibi Ameen 9:02 pm Articles, Pakistan, Published Content

A Structural Overview of Pakistan’s Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC)

Pakistan, a country laced with natural and human resource potential, is nowhere closer to realizing its vision pertaining to economic sustainability. Quite naturally, uncertainty looms in the background as the graduates search for a secure financial direction. The Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), a beacon of surefire hope for both urban and underprivileged areas, stands as a testament to one of the few transparent, merit-driven systems in Pakistan—a country ranking 133rd on the global corruption index as of 2023 reports. In this article, Fiza Bibi Ameen summarizes FPSC’s constitutional history and the structural hierarchy that makes it regulate a smooth recruitment process in various government departments across the country.
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About the Author(s)
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Fiza Bibi Ameen is a gold medal qualifier in BS Physics from Riphah International University, Islamabad. She also contributed a prize-winning submission to the HEC inter-university essay writing competition held in 2022. She enjoys researching and writing about science, technology, and informative topics in various niches. She is a freelance writer and may be contacted at [email protected].

In February, the breeze blowing across Pakistan thickened with anticipation about the much-awaited Central Superior Services (CSS) examination. It seems young adults cannot wait to see what a new recruitment year brings for them in terms of potential evaluation. Pakistan’s top talent-enlisting backbone, the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), is responsible for recruiting civil servants in Pakistan. Since the institution regulates merit-driven selection procedures for various posts most sought-after by youth, it garners the attention of citizens of all ages and those belonging to all walks of life. 

History of the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC)

Much like the subcontinent’s various central agencies, the Public Service Commission was put forth in 1926 under the Government of India Act 1919. At the time, the commission’s primary responsibility was conducting examinations and interviews for recruiting civil servants and bureaucrats in government departments. In 1947, the Government of India Act 1935 paved the way for Pakistan’s Federal Public Service Commission. Since then, the FPSC has been playing a phenomenal role in selecting candidates for different positions within the government’s bounds.

Article 242 of the constitution of 1956 gave autonomy to this unit and protection to its members. For guidance, the Commission looks up to articles 18, 25, 27, 34, 36, and 38 under Section 7 of Pakistan’s constitution as of 1973. The present constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan gives the utmost security to the FPSC’s members. In other words, there is no federal pressure on the chairman and his facilitating members.

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To remove any of them from their respective positions, Pakistan’s federal government is constrained to the advice of the Supreme Judicial Council of Pakistan—a panel consisting of the chief justice of Pakistan and the next two senior Supreme Court judges—as given by Article 209.

Hierarchy of Authority in FPSC

FPSC consists of the chairman and members. Every member of the institution is obliged to serve the institute only for a fixed term and, thus, is not eligible to be re-appointed at their designation. The tenure for members is three years, starting from the date of holding the office. In the event that he/she reaches the age of sixty-five, the tenure will end even before the three-year term. The government of Pakistan cannot terminate or pressure any member without the Supreme Court’s verdict. However, a member can resign from the office by writing a resignation letter to the president.

Chairman FPSC

The chairman, being the head of the institution, gets appointed on the advice of the prime minister by the president of Pakistan. A current serving member of the commission is appointed as chairman based on the designation hierarchy within the institution. When appointed, the chairman’s term ends when they reach the end of their fixed tenure as a commission member. The last chairman of the FPSC, Captain Shahid Ashraf Tarar, was appointed until January 17, 2024. Hence, the position is currently vacant. 

FPSC Members

To facilitate the head, members are also appointed by the president. The number of members cannot exceed eleven as per the FPSC’s constitutional condition of service. The constitution mandates that at least half of the members of the institution must have held BPS-21 posts in civil services. However, a current civil servant cannot be chosen as a member. 

The serving members of the institution as of now are the following:

  • Mr. Akbar Hussain Durrani (TI)
  • Dr. Tanveer Ahmed Qureshi
  • Ms. Yasmeen Masood
  • Mr. Zaheer Pervaiz Khan
  • Justice (R) Mushtaq Ahmed
  • Mr. Khizar Hayat Khan
  • Mr. Shoaib Dastgir
  • Maj. Gen. (R) Naveed Ahmed HI(M)

Secretary FPSC

The secretary manages and coordinates all activities related to recruitment and beyond, thus, strengthening the chain between government agencies and the commission.

Departmental Hierarchy of FPSC

The departmental hierarchy in the Federal Public Service Commission has three wings, namely:

  1. Information Technology Wing
  2. Psychological Wing
  3. Legal Wing

Information Technology Wing

Referred to as FPSC’s tech backbone, the IT Wing smooths the recruitment processes for various jobs. To elegantly conduct exams, this wing has both candidate- and department-specific systems.

The list of department-centric systems includes:

  • Competitive Examinations System
  • General Recruitment System (GR)
  • Pre-scrutiny Eligibility Determination 
  • VeriSys - NADRA (for CNIC verification)
  • HR Management Information System
  • Library Information System
  • Debarred Candidates Database
  • IT Security Policy
  • Local Area Network (for information exchange)

The list of candidate-centric systems includes:

  • Online Application Submission System (GR/CSS)
  • Online Admission Certificate Generation
  • Online Detailed Marks Sheet Generation
  • SMS-based Information Delivery System
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
  • FPSC’s official website 

One can picture the position of the IT Wing by one simple fact: all general recruitment applications are submitted on the website rather than in hard copies. The admission certificates are also uploaded there. 

Psychological Assessment Wing

Ever since its establishment in 1963, the Psychological Assessment Wing has functioned to facilitate the selection and placement of applicants via psychological tests in various departments. Applicants undergo psychological assessment upon passing the written competitive exams or for induction into the DMG, PSP, or FSP, if they’re from the armed forces.

Owing to the importance and relevance of civil services, a candidate’s psychological assessment aims to evaluate their potential, strengths, weaknesses, aptitude, and the like. Such assessment tests almost include all the basic intellectual techniques such as paper and pencil tests, circumstance-specific observation tests, and interviews. Spanning over two days, this assessment begins with written tests on the first day and group activities, along with an evaluation with a psychologist on the final day.

To guide the nominees, the Psychological Assessment Wing shared straightforward guidance, for example:

  1. The test is for true expression of feelings and values rather than information.
  2. To back the hobbies, research work, and experience, the nominee must bring relevant documents.
  3. Applicants with physical, hearing, speech, or visual impairments need to discuss the nature of the disability and, thus, the nature of support needed, in both written and psychological evaluations.

Legal Wing

As evidenced by the name of this wing, it deals with legal concerns regarding FPSC. Under Section 7(3) (a) and (b) of the FPSC Ordinance, 1977, an aspirant has the right to present and review petitions. The commission is obliged to decide about it within two weeks while giving a justified hearing to the applicant. Even after the decision, the applicant can file a review petition within fifteen days and can even appeal to the High Court. Thus, all the legal issues pertaining to applicants are addressed by this wing.

Responsibilities & Authorities of FPSC

For the posts of BPS-11 to above 20, this commission is responsible for recruiting competent employees for the following sectors:

  • Federal Secretariat
  • Central Board of Revenue
  • Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)
  • Anti-Narcotics Force
  • Pakistan Railways
  • Directorate General of Immigration and Passports
  • Export Promotion Bureau
  • Islamabad Capital Territory Administration
  • Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment
  • Estate Office, and other relevant organizations

FPSC’s responsibility and authority also extends to selecting potential employees for teaching vacancies and jobs in various departments within federal schools and colleges. It also provides advice to the president regarding issues concerning the hiring, advancements, and relocations of serving civil servants within the government. In addition to recruiting civil servants and suggesting psychological assessment measures and training procedures, the FPSC also maintains a database of Pakistan’s civil servants. It also has the authority to hear the accusations against a civil servant.

Pakistan’s history is etched with societal and official malpractices, however, the trust with which the youth look up FPSC’s advertised jobs speaks volumes about the justice it has dispensed ever since 1947.

A Quick Summary of FPSC’s Recruitment Process

Step 1: Announcements of vacancies via website and print media. This serves as an impetus for candidates to submit their applications as per the guidelines.

Step 2: Conduct written exams in all the major cities.

Step 3: Interviewing the qualifying candidates in the FPSC office in Islamabad.

Step 4: Nomination of final qualifiers.

Conclusion

Unlike government bodies such as WAPDA, PEMRA, and OGRA, which garner the attention of particular potential applicants, the Federal Public Service Commission attracts students and graduates from all disciplines. Pakistan’s epitome of transparency, the FPSC, is an independent constitutional body that has security of direction, finance, and its members. Its journey started in Pakistan in 1947, and within each constitution, its autonomy was reinforced. 

The chairman, members, and secretary regulate the recruitment processes for specified tenures. The three wings of the institution oversee information technology, psychological assessment, and legal concerns pertaining to various talent hunt processes. The recruitment process, starting with an advertisement, transforms into a written and interview-based assessment to facilitate the merit-based shortlisting of qualifying candidates for various departments. In a nutshell, the history of the FPSC backs its transparency and serviceability, which it owes to explicit authority via the constitution and its adherence to laws via structural hierarchy.


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