Introduction, Background and Terms of Reference
The Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on 12 July 2003 issued decree number 33 on implementing Priority Reform and Restructuring (PRR) in ministries and civil service institutions. Its main objectives were to implement extensive Public Administration Reforms, to restructure ministries and independent government agencies at national and sub-national levels, and to recruit, retain and encourage civil servants.
Afterwards, the cabinet ratified the Civil Service Law on 16 July 2005 in resolution number 21. Subsequently it was enacted through Presidential Decree number 72 issued on 5 September 2005.
According to this law, which remains a decree, the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission is comprised of 7 commissioners appointed by the president for a 3-year term and the Chairman of the IARCSC assigns 5 commissioners to the Civil Service Appointments Board and 3 commissioners to the Civil Service Appeals Board.
The main duties and responsibilities of the Civil Service Appointments Board as stipulated in article 14 and 15 of the Civil Service Law are:
- To identify and recommend the recruitment, appointment, promotion, transfer, retirements, pension payment and other personal matters of high-ranking civil servants for the approval of the President.
- To lead and chair the work of the recruitment committees, approval of TORs, announcements, shortlisting and final selection of candidates;
- To recommend selected candidates for approval of the president, monitoring the recruitment process of the lower grade civil servants in ministries and government agencies.
There are 91 positions in the Civil Service Appointments Board structure among them 5 commissioners (above grade level), 2 positions in grade 2, 48 positions in grade 3, 22 positions in grade 4, 7 positions in grade 5, 2 positions in grade 6 and 5 positions in grade 7.
- The members of the Civil Service Appointments Board can elect one of their members as Chairman for a period of one year.
- Civil Service Appointments Board’s contains a Secretariat which is comprised of an Administration Department, General Manager for Question Bank, Coordination Department, Statistics and Planning Department, Personnel Department, Candidates’ Documents Verification Department, Recruitment Committees Department, Lower Level Recruitment Monitoring Department.
After the inauguration of the National Unity Government, based on Presidential Decree Number 82 on 6 September 2015 and Cabinet Resolution Number 21 on 5 September 2015 there was an amendment to the Civil Servants Law which transferred the authority to recruit higher level (grades 1 and 2) civil servants from the IARCSC to ministries and independent government agencies and based on the mentioned decree, the IARCSC was given a monitoring and observatory role in the recruitment process.
Subsequent to enactment of the Decree Number 82, a proposal by the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) to the President resulted in Presidential Order number 1629 issued on 9 November 2015 which tasked the IARCSC to carry out the recruitment process of deputy governors and district chiefs through its Civil Service Appointments Board.
Following are some of the major achievements of the Civil Service Appointments Board:
- 7,553 high level appointments and monitoring of and additional 24,452 civil servants in lower levels through PRR process;
- 2,641 high level appointments and monitoring of 21,4754 lower level civil servants’ recruitment (from which 55061 were national and 159,693 sub-national) through Pay and Grading (P&G) process;
- Appointment of 32 deputy governors and 262 district chiefs;
- Completion and evaluation of 15,726 personnel cases (retirement, promotion, retirement postponement, and service extension of senior officials);
This all covers a total of 249,496 civil servants in senior level as well as lower levels in national and sub-national levels.
Subsequent to the Presidential Decree Number 81 which transferred the recruitment(s) to the ministries, the Appointments Board have overseen and monitored the following number of recruitment(s):
- 110 senior level positions under the P&G system;
- 264 CBR positions;
- 70 district chiefs and 3 deputy governors;
- 32,826 lower level positions (8851 national, 23,960 sub-national);
- 15,826 teachers;
Future Plans and Programs
Based on the Presidential Order number 1,160 on 20 July 2017, the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) has taken the lead and monitoring role of the individual and collective competitive recruitment processes with cooperation from other ministries and independent government agencies and this responsibility is carried out by the Civil Service Appointments Board.
Recruitment of youth into the government agencies, ensuring transparency in recruitment processes; attracting experienced cadre of individuals; making the Afghan government agencies more professional; encouraging and recruiting women in civil service agencies; establishing procedures that would facilitate and bring more transparency; preventing interference and influence of individuals in recruitment processes and improving the structures of ministries and independent government agencies are the main objectives of the Civil Service Appointments Board.
According to the mentioned Presidential Decree, the Civil Service Appointments Board has planned to oversee the appointment and monitoring of collective recruitment of 800 procurement positions, 5,000 civil servants, and 8,000 teachers in 2017.
Some of the initiatives under consideration by the leadership of the Civil Service Appointments Board are:
- Electronic Recruitment (e-Recruitment);
- Establishment of a Call Center;
- Establishment of examination centers in center and regions;
- Creating a standardized database for questions.