Administrative Secretariat has 215 senior posts in excess of the sanctioned level
The newly formed Left Democratic Front (LDF) government appears to have a real task on hand at the Administrative Secretariat, the real seat of power in the State, if it is serious about bringing down the flab of the State civil service.
The Administrative Secretariat, one of the four wings of the top bureaucracy – the others being the Finance Secretariat, the Law Secretariat and the Legislature Secretariat – has 215 senior posts in excess of the sanctioned level.
The basic pay in these posts range from Rs. 48,000 to Rs. 97,000 which collectively places an additional annual salary burden of Rs. 21.44 crore on the exchequer. The actual burden owing to these posts could be much higher if pension benefits payable to each person retiring from these excess posts are also taken into account.
The excess posts at the senior level of the Administrative Secretariat, which carry heavy basic pay and emoluments, are those of Special Secretaries, Additional Secretaries, Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries, Under Secretaries.
The Tenth Pay Revision Commission had, in its report submitted in July 2015, identified the number of top posts in the Administrative Secretariat as follows: Special Secretaries 5, Additional Secretaries 45, Joint Secretaries 36, Deputy Secretaries 45, Under Secretaries 121, a total of 252 posts.
However, according to the seniority list of officers of and above the rank of Under Secretary (higher grade), published by the government through its order G.O. (P) No. 275/2015/GAD on November 5, 2015, the actual number of such posts is a whopping 467. There seniority list shows that there are eight Special Secretaries, 108 Additional Secretaries, 82 Joint Secretaries, 94 Deputy Secretaries, and 175 Under Secretaries (higher grade).
These posts, according to sources, have been created to facilitate promotions and enable the retirees to get higher pension benefits. The questions that the government would have to address are how, when and why these many posts were created and whether it should persist with them or go in for some rationalisation quickly because the season of promotions and postings is very much on.