Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is in the office for long enough, probably more than one year, if we exclude the brief tenure of Dost Muhammad Khosa, yet he has not been able to raise an efficient administrative team, with a potential to move its greater audience with its performance and policies. This is one big reason why Shahbaz Sharif has nothing much to celebrate despite being at the helm of affairs for quite long. Sometime, it is even felt that he has not yet taken off. His reputation as great administrator and resultant glory he grabbed last time when he was Chief Minister seems to be at stake this time around. Most recently, the Punjab Civil Secretariat was again jolted with a few tremors when the Chief Minister served marching orders on two officers who were part of his original team. The Chief Minister must have good reasons to part with them. But their unceremonious exit, as it is being characterized in the official circles, added to the woes and insecurity that the officers have been going through since the advent of the coalition set up in the country. First time, the bureaucrats who loved to stay in Lahore found Islamabad the safest abode for them. With the result of latest reshuffle now office of Secretary C&W is vacant for sometime. The department does not have a regular minister either. There are several administrative departments that should have been in otherwise action, fully geared to meet public needs, lacked either secretary or minister and in some cases both. And still we have departments which never found a breathing space as secretaries come and go at the drop of hat. Imagine, in one year's time, Education Department got six secretaries. Ironically, now the same department is led by a grade 18 officer as an additional charge. The department never got a full time minister, thanks to the tussle between the two coalition partners. This belies all the educational friendly credentials of the provincial government. Another glaring example is that of Secretary Local Government, the officer supposed to manage local government in the district and towns in the province. The post is vacant for the last six month. But no fresh appointment is made. This happens at time when the provincial government is in the process of evolving a new local government system replacing it with the present district government with Secretary local government supposed to be a major stakeholder in the entire process. There are departments like education, food, housing, C&W, LDA, PHA that witnessed changes at the top thrice or more. An average stint of a secretary or officers of his rank has reduced to three or four months in the present PML (N) government. Normally, a secretary or departmental head requires at least a year to prove his/her abilities. These are all departments which have an important role to play if the Chief Minister's welfare agenda or vision is to be realised. Any Chief Minister takes special pride in the administrative team he knits together at the start of his office. In his two appointments, the Chief Secretary, Chairman P&D, if we exclude for the time being the Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, the boss takes even greater pride. On both counts, the government came under fire from all corners. First time we watch the Chief Secretary and senior officers like Chairman P&D appointed by the government missing the very aura that goes with these offices. Hence, they command little respect from their fellow colleagues and junior officers they are supposed to motivate to deliver. Recently, Chief Secretary has been found dishing out favours to his family members. He has been instrumental in initiating development schemes worth millions of rupees in his village that raised many eyebrows in bureaucratic and political circles. He is a bully for the officers and has a very hostile working style which has virtually become a reign of terror for them. Other officers who interact with Chief Minister quite often under pressure from the Chief Secretary prefer to stay mum even when Chief Minister demands suggestion from them. The provincial government came under fire for ignoring the Southern Punjab in the recent budget. Interestingly, in the P&D there is no shortage of officers who suggested to the Chairman to earmark more funds for the Southern Punjab in the budget, but he never had the time or courage to speak to the Chief Minister. Any provincial government has a few important responsibilities on which its performance can be judged. For example, maintenance of law and order is one such plank. We all know the state of law and order in the province. The only way to address this issue is the placement of right man for the right job. But we do not see that happening even until now. Again, resource generation to finance the welfare projects is another duty of the government and its civil servants. Last year resource generation was more than 50 per cent behind the target. It seems that government also suffers from financial indiscipline as evident from increasing overdraft from the State Bank of Pakistan. All these aberrations could have been corrected provided Shahbaz Sharif knit together a good administrative team and stick to it for sometime. Last time when he got power he had all the talent at his disposal, be it the bureaucrat or minister. It was his team that made the difference then and brought him all the laurels. E-mail: nadeemsyed@nation.com.pk