Classes and Relationship Between Classes | Control of the Civil Service
Structure of the Civil Service:
The Civil Service is organized into different classes:
(1) Administrative Class: They advise the minister on policy matters. They formulate policies and prepare the ministry’s or department’s budget. They provide leadership to the ministry, plan activities and programmes of the government, and coordinate activities of the civil servants. It is the highest class in the civil service. The administrative class includes the Permanent Secretary, Directors General, Directs, Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors, and other Principal officers.
(2) Professional Class: They offer Professional/Technical advice to the management on technical matters. It is the highest-ranked specialist class in the Civil Service. They are employed based on their professional knowledge and technical skills. It includes Doctors, Lawyers, Educationists, etc.
(3) Executive Class: They are responsible for the implementation of government policies. It includes The Senior Executive Officers.
(4) Clerical Class: They carry out clerical duties in the Ministry which include keeping official records in prescribed patterns such as files, and letters. They include Typists, Clerks, Messengers, Stenographers, etc.
Stenographer: a person whose job is to transcribe speech in shorthand.
(5) Auxiliary or Manipulative Class: Auxiliary class includes cleaners, drivers, labourers, security officers, etc. They perform diverse menial jobs e.g. cleaning, driving, delivering messages, carpentry etc.
Relationship Among Classes in the Civil Service:
The Administrative Class is the highest class in the Civil Service. It offers leadership to the other classes in the Civil Service. It directs and coordinates the activities in the ministries. In doing this, it relates to other classes. It gives directives to professional, executive, and clerical staff.
On the other hand, the professional, executive, and clerical staff can relate with the administrative class but the laid down procedure must be adhered to. The relationship must be properly routed. To do this Civil Service has been structured from grade level 03 to grade level 17 and Permanent Secretary. Each officer has his/her grade level. Authority and power flow from the top and public service rules, procedures, and decorum guide interactions.
Control of the Civil Service:
The Civil Service wields enormous powers. These powers need to be kept in check to ensure the effective and efficient discharge of their duties. Among the control are:
(i) Legislative Control: The legislature monitors the civil service in implementing the approved policies and programmes. It does this through the legislature’s oversight function of the various departments. Secondly, the legislature approves their estimates for the year. It can also appoint a parliamentary committee to investigate the activities of a particular ministry or department. Any ministry or department can be invited to the legislature for questioning.
(ii) Executive Control: The executive controls the Civil Service through different avenues. Firstly, each ministry is under the control and supervision of a Minister/Commissioner. Secondly, it gives them guidelines under which they operate.
(iii) Civil Service Commission’s Control: The Civil Service Commission is responsible for the appointment, promotion, and discipline of Civil Servants.
(iv) Judicial Control: The Judiciary through judicial review can control the power of the Civil Service by declaring any of their actions that contravene the law ultra verse or unconstitutional. It can also control the Judiciary through a writ of mandamus.
A (writ of) mandamus is an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfil their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion.
(v) Press Control: The press can expose the wrongful acts of Civil Servants. It can also through constructive criticism check the excesses of the Civil Service.
(vi) Public Complaints Commission (Ombudsman): It investigates complaints laid against Civil Servants and recommends solutions to the Ministries and Departments.