- BA THAN
……(Continued from 2-2-2017)
Aids were granted to establish a new management library in the Public Administration Training Division, with latest published books on management, public administration and economics as an aid to public administration studies. (The library was later transferred to the Central Institute of Public Services (CIPS) in Phaunggyi. The training programmes were actively pursued around 1959 in Chawdwingone Mass Education Camp where the gazetted officers’ courses were conducted. Additionally in a 3-week special orientation course for senior officials (Selection graders from civil, police and Defence Services) twenty participants sat together to pool their resources on their varied experiences. Lecturers from Defence Ministry, Home Ministry, Law, administration, and finance, talk on their experiences. They were also required to form syndicates and discuss topics of current interest and present a paper to the forum. Such experiments on advanced training were conducted from 1959 to 1963 with far reaching results, to foster harmony among many senior officials from various civil, police and Ministry of Defence. The ad hoc courses came to an end on 1963.
Around 1964 the Home Ministry made preparations to open a Central School of Public Service to train newly recruited and in-service gazetted officers, non-gazetted officers and ministerial staff in in-house nature. In 1965 the Central School of Public Services was opened to deliver central training for public services. Later around 1977 it was upgraded into a Central Institute.
Another essential and no less important sector governing the Public Administration and Civil Services is defining the role of the Civil Services and conditions of services regulating various sectors such as appointment, rules and regulation defining their functions, conditions of service, promotion, punishment and final retirement. Such conditions were laid down in 3 main documentations viz: Civil Service Regulation (CSR), Fundamental Rules (FR), Supplementary Rules (SR), D and AR (Discipline and Appeal Rules) and “G” Circular 15, Departmental Enquires etc. Some say these Rules are the bible for services to be followed to the letter. However the author has other reasons contrary to the above dictum. Rules are essentially meant to be followed. But if certain rules and regulations are contrary to standing conditions it will be amended by proper Rule Administering Authority. By inference Public Administration Department was designated the Rule administering Authority “, and as such wielded competent power concerning interpretation of service rules and regulations.
Many reports and presentation papers were published on Public Administration and Civil Service all these years. If I may record what had been lingering in my aging faded memory are: the Interim and Final Report of the Administration Reorganization Committee; The Public Service Enquiry Commission Report etc. A research documentation Book on the Public Service Commission of South East Asian Region is also a valuable reference, which the author had translated into Myanmar during his tenure of office in public service affairs department of PSSTB. A Report of the high level study tour on public services training to India, Indonesia and Singapore may also prove to be handy. During his study and observation tours to the Training Institutes in India, Indonesia and Singapore, the Delegation had opportunities to visit the IAS (Indian Administrative Service College in Hyderabad; The LAN Administrative Commission in Jakarta, Indonesia; and the Civil Service College in Singapore. During the visits, the curriculum content and subject matter were drawn from contemporary studies in Public Administration, Management, Human Resources, economics, law and service regulations mainly of civil and academic nature. The Central Institute of Public Services however prescribed military training as one of its core subjects which persisted from 1965 to 2016. The author had read from the article by author Oak Hla Nge that the redesigned curriculum content of Civil Service Academy seems to be in line with the contemporary training institutions of the ASEAN the work of which framed during the new government is highly commendable.
The above history of training presented by the author was borne out of personal involvement and study during his active years of government service from 1951 to 1991. It was recalled purely out of memory after years of retirement, awakened by the inauguration of Civil Services Academy in 2017. There may certainly be lapses, slips, errors and omissions which the author humbly tendered his profound apology. The message to convey here is that recruitment and training of civil servants is an ongoing nature complementing each other, to be continued by succeeding generations, with industry, vigour and vision because these functions are integral to governance in the civil society. The opening of the Civil Service Academy (CSA) with its specialized curriculum design, subject matter content and training methodology stand out at par with peer training colleges and academies of ASEAN and beyond. There will grow opportunities for interchange of qualified trainers from the reserve pool of academicians and practitioners from within the country and abroad. In this way it is hoped that the quality, efficiency, integrity, honesty of the entire spectrum of trained civil servants will complement the civil society of the emerging nation.
(U Ba Than. M.A, of Burma Civil Service is a retired Director General, contributing English articles to GNLM, and other magazines. Also recomposed English classical poems into Myanmar.)