Role of Bureaucracy in Development: Bangladesh Perspective

The concept of bureaucracy or civil service is a universal concept in the world. To the general people, bureaucracy is the system of a monarchical system. Despite the speculations about the bureaucracy system, the contribution of the bureaucracy in accelerating development is memorable.

The word bureaucracy is common in administrative sector. The concept of bureaucracy include in the classical organization theory. But it’s still alive successfully in the world. When we said about bureaucracy, the first name that comes to mind is Max Weber. According to many, the term bureaucracy was first used by a French minister. The word bureaucracy is originated from English word Bureau and Kratia. Bureau means Desk or Table and Kratia means Government. So originally, bureaucracy means desk government.

Without Max Weber bureaucracy term is unfinished for the discussion. He is the father of modern “Ideal Types of Bureaucracy.” Professor Garner defines, “Bureaucracy means the civil servants, the administrative functionaries who are professionally trained for the public service and who enjoy permanency of tenure, promotion within service-partly by seniority and partly by merit.” Although sociologist Max Weber theorized about bureaucracy, he did not specify a definition about bureaucracy.

Although there is controversy over Max Weber’s bureaucracy, so no far theories has been published that is better than bureaucracy. Actually Max Weber based his theory of bureaucracy on power and authority. Max Weber mentioned three types of authority, traditional authority, Charismatic authority and legitimate logical authority.

Karl Marx analyzed about bureaucracy differently. Referring to the socialist system, he tacitly supported the bureaucracy. When we hear the word bureaucracy, some negative things come automatic to the fore. So the bureaucracy does not do anything good? Even if, there is much debate about bureaucracy, it’s still an established system in all countries in the world. The presence of bureaucracy is visible in the all types of government and none-government organization.
In Bangladesh perspective, development and bureaucracy are intimately dependent on each other. In general, by the development we mean a positive change in the current situation. In this country, the position of the bureaucracy is constitutionally guaranteed. Articles 59 and 60 of the Constitution of Bangladesh deal with local governance. Several article of the Constitution of Bangladesh deal with the service, one of which are article 137 to 141, article 133, article 21, article 29, article 77, article 55 and so on.

Here local government system divided into two parts. First one is local government and second one is local self government. Union Parishad, Upozila Parishad, Paorashava, and so on is example of local self government and Division, Zila, Upozila, etc are example of local government. The local government is the part of central government in Bangladesh. The position of bureaucracy in visible, not only the local government system but also in the central government system in Bangladesh. Basically, the development activities of Bangladesh are implemented by the local government, local self government, and central government. Bureaucracy works at the core of governance at the local and central levels.

The activities are conducted following the hierarchical principles of the bureaucracy. By following the top to bottom policy here, accountability can be ensured in making any decision. The central administrative structure in Bangladesh, secretary is in the top position. Additional Secretary, Join Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Senior Assistant Secretary, Assistant Secretary, their positions are top to bottom. In Bangladesh, there is dual system of administration. One is policy making centre that we called ministry and second is field administration.

In districts level, Deputy Commissioner is head of districts. All the performance of district is centered on the Districts Commissioner. If we look the activities of District Commissioner, most of its activities related to development such as public health, education, social welfare, welfare of backward classes and communities. Although the work is done by different departments, the District Commissioner is at the root of it. Like Districts Commission, field administration works on development at central and local level in Bangladesh.

After the Second World War development administration one of the branches of public administration that has emerged. Fred W. Riggs said the development administration to identify, “they have been non-ecological in so far as they failed to relate administrative behavior to its environment. They have been static in so far as they took the basic institutional patterns of social structures for granted, failing to examine the condition which brought these patterns into existence which maintained them or which caused them to change.” On the others hand. Development is a multidimensional blueprint that normally connotes metamorphosis from a less to a more bodacious state. It also means maximized economic efficiency and proliferation, of productive capacities, cardinal concern is economic development.

In progressive democracies like Bangladesh there are president, prime ministers and ministers at the head of state administration and their chief responsibility; is to formulate policy. But in routine this task is done by the top bureaucrats. The bureaucracy in Bangladesh works under the penumbra of ministerial responsibility. For every signature of the government, the minister is accountable to the Parliament. Though the bureaucracy administers government policies, they remain in monstrous anonymity. They do not take part in Parliamentary contemplation nor are they component of political parties. The deeds of the civil servants must be shielded by the minister on the floor of the House. This system coerces the minister to keep a close surveillant on the actions of the bureaucracy and the bureaucracy to demean, in such a way that the minister is not put into discomfort. The bureaucracy, through acquaintance knows what policy is or is not feasible. Hence the minister hearkens to the advice of the top civil servant as to the judiciousness, of a policy from administrative point of view. Thus in a healthy footing, the minister and the bureaucracy are harmoniously, complementary – the minister bestowed the policy decisions and the bureaucracy executing the decisions.

In this way, they contribute from policy-making to end development. Indeed development activities are impossible without bureaucracy and bureaucrat. While there is a lot of speculation about bureaucracy, I hope this will solve the problem and create more brilliance in the development sector.

The writer is a student, Department Of Public Administration, Comilla University.
Email: [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *