The Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) said on Wednesday it plans to conduct a systematic review of the organizational structure of all government departments and posts involving high-ranking officials.
This comes just days after President Ashraf Ghani issued an order to this effect.
However, Ghani’s instructions have been met with mixed reactions.
“Previously the organizational structure of institutions was reviewed on an annual basis with the help of a committee formed by the ministry of finance, ministry of economy, administrative affairs office of the president and the reforms commission; but this commission has been reviewing the organizational structure of the institutions even before the order – and is still doing so; the processing of other affairs was conducted by two departments in the past, but now this is done by the reforms commission according to its legal responsibility,” said one commission member, Sayed Hashmatullahh Hashimi.
Critics however speculate that members of the reforms commission could face serious challenges – citing incompetency as a reason.
An Integrity Watch Afghanistan researcher, Nasir Taimoori, said the commission, which has been in place for ten years, has failed and has not benefited the people of Afghanistan.
However, as calls for reforms continue, a number of government institutions have said they believe in the commission and feel it could make a difference to ministries in future.
“Changes brought to the civil services commission will not [negatively] affect our work, but it will help us with our efforts to bring about reforms and to appoint qualified and committed people,” said Ajmal Hamid Abdul Rahimzai, a ministry of finance spokesman.
But, critics argue that the commission could face challenges over power sharing issues between political factions within government.
“Whether you accept it or not, it is a type of monopolization of power; it leads to disputes between two people who share power 50-50, so there is a need to focus on the matter,” said senator Jummadin Gianwal.
“The reform commission, besides reviewing organizational and personal affairs of high level government officials in sectors, [including] educational and academic sectors, will also review the appointments in the ministry of foreign affairs, ministry of higher education, academy of science and the appointments in Afghanistan’s diplomatic missions, attaches of the ministry of foreign affairs and civil institutions and then results of the review will be sent to the president for final approval,” the president’s order reads in part.