KP’s Chief Minister (CM), Mahmood Khan, has given directives to reform and restructure civil service policies to make them more people-centric and to eliminate unnecessary and time-consum­ing procedures. Proposed amendments include frequent transfers of civil officers and state land from one department to another. These are promises that have been made before, and have been left unfulfilled despite tall claims of ‘progress’. Public service is still dominated by of­ficers who have been serving for decades, neglecting the immense po­tential that lies in new talent. The hope is that within the next 15 days a more inclusive, retributive and comprehensive structure will be cre­ated and passed onto the cabinet for approval.

According to the CM, the rules under the KP Civil Administration Act of 2020 must be altered to include the transfer of every civil ser­vant to another department after two years. Furthermore, inter-de­partmental transfers of state land should be made and an automated system of allocation should be established to eliminate delays. These are good and simple steps to take in theory but not much ground has been achieved to actually implement similar ideas introduced in the past as well. The region is in extreme distress not only because of the floods but also because of poor administration in health and educa­tion. This is a reflection of poor policy making as well as a neglectful attitude when it comes to catering to the needs of the people.

Perhaps what is more unfortunate is that such policies already but implementation is severely lacking. With hindsight, it is fairly easy to say that public services will be prepared enough to launch an­ti-encroachment drives, construct embankments or flood protec­tion walls. What matters most is how the civil administration is able to prepare beforehand so that the damage is mitigated. Without a change in appointment and promotion rules and schedules, we are likely to follow the same pattern of laziness that has been embedded into the civil service right now. New rules will enable new people, with new ideas and solutions, to come up and gain valuable experi­ence that may shape national or provincial policies in the future. We must garner and hone this wasted potential.