Divisional commissioners, DCs want post upgrade


The divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners (DCs) have requested the government to upgrade their posts and status to speed up development works in the field administration. While divisional commissioners have sought promotion from Grade 3 to Grade 1 status like the Army’s General Officer Commanding (GOC) and district judge, the DCs want to be bracketed as Grade 3 officials instead of the present Grade 4 status, sources in the public administration ministry and the Cabinet Division said.
The divisional commissioners of Chittagong, Khulna and Rangpur divisions recently sent the proposal to the Cabinet Division on behalf of all nine divisional commissioners and DCs, the sources said.
The post and status of the secretaries of different ministries and divisions are Grade 1.
In a letter, Rangpur divisional commissioner Kazi Hassan Ahmed said the post of the divisional commissioners was not recognised properly as yet, though they were involved in different policy matters in their capacity as the government representative.
“The government has upgraded the post of district judge to Grade 1. The posts of the GOC of a division of the Bangladesh Army and the vice-chancellor (VC) of a public university at the district level are that of Grade 1 officers. So we are facing different problems during discharge of our duties at the field level as the post of the divisional commissioner is equivalent to that of joint secretary/additional secretary,” the letter said.
“As the main coordinator and chief of field administration, we face embarrassing situations while attending state protocol duties in the field. So, the posts of divisional commissioners and DCs should be upgraded, in the light of reality,” it added.
The letter also disclosed that the post of the divisional commissioner was created in 1829, and since then, the divisional commissioners have been working in the field as the main coordinators.
Talking to The Independent, Kazi Hassan Ahmed said: “Earlier, the status of the district judge and the DC was the same. The post of the district judge was
upgraded to Grade 1, but the posts of the divisional commissioner and DC were not upgraded,” he said. “The divisional commissioner is the highest officer in the field. Such an official is involved in different policy-level works as the government’s main representative, and that’s why the authorities concerned should upgrade their post,” he added.
Cox’s Bazar DC Md Ali Hossain said DCs were facing various problems, especially in coordination in the field, as their posts were yet to be upgraded. “We (DCs) are the head of the district law and order committee and the main coordinator of field administration. As a representative of the government, we are also responsible for both local and central governments,” he said.
The Cox’s Bazar DC added: “The other district level officials like the civil surgeon, executive engineer, deputy director in the agriculture department and the superintendent of police claim the same status as that of the DC. Therefore, the post of the DC should be upgraded.”
A Cabinet Division official told The Independent that the divisional commissioners and DCs were facing various problems in protocol while discharging their duties at the field level.
“Even though they are the government’s main coordinators, they cannot force the other officials in the field to implement the government’s order properly. Now, some district-level officials ignore the DC’s orders because they think that they are of the same status in the field,” he said on condition of anonymity. The government had recently upgraded the posts of the chiefs of different departments from Grade 2 to Grade 1. At least 50 posts in different departments were upgraded to Grade 1.