The Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission has recently advertised for appointments to "Assistant Chief" posts bypassing the Ministry of Public Administration.
The appointments, flouting the Bangladesh Tariff Commission Employer and Employee Rules (1993), will deprive current officials of promotion.
The commission operates under the Ministry of Commerce. In 2014, public administration ministry asked the commerce ministry to follow the Tariff Commission Employer and Employee Rules while appointing new officials.
According to the rules, assistant chief posts will be filled up by officials with promotion and deputation. Therefore, the commission cannot directly appoint anyone as assistant chief without an amendment to the rules.
Earlier in 2017, the Trade and Tariff Commission sought commerce ministry's permission for direct appointment to the posts. The ministry dismissed the plea.
However, the commission has managed to get commerce ministry's approval this time for direct appointment without any amendment to the employer and employee rules.
On Tuesday, it published vacancy announcement for three "assistant chiefs" on national dailies.
Tariff Commission chairman at the 143rd meeting in January this year said four assistant chief posts are vacant. The commission has managed the commerce ministry's approval for direct recruitment to three of those posts, sources said on condition of anonymity.
However, the 138th meeting of the commission had agreed to make a decision regarding direct appointment in those posts after an amendment of the employer and employee rules.
Until then, the commission had decided to fill up the posts with officials through deputation and promotion.
When contacted, Tariff Commission Secretary Md Abul Islam told The Business Standard, "Both promotion and direct recruitment can be used to fill up the posts. Therefore, the commission advertised the vacancy announcement."
The commission currently has at least seven officials, and a number of them have at least 10 years of research experience. New appointments will deprive them of promotion to assistant chief posts.
"We dismissed them in 2017. Investigation will be initiated regarding how the Tariff Commission got the approval this time," said commerce ministry Additional Secretary (admin) Dr Shah Alam.