The Relationships between Elected Members & Government Officials of Upazila Parishad Dhamrai Upazila: A Case Study


Mohammad Altaf Hossain*

Manir Uddin Sikder**

Md. Shamsul Alam***

Abstract: The conflict between politicians’ and bureaucrats is a universal phenomenon in the public administration and the governance process. Public administration as an aspect of governmental activity has existed as long as political system have been functioning and trying to achieve program objectives set by political decision makers. In general, policies are chosen and implemented by both elected representatives and non elected bureaucrats. According to the first paradigm of the public administration (Politics and administration dichotomy), there are some implicities about the role of the politicians and bureaucrats. The boundaries between decision and execution are a grey area and in many cases bureaucrats do much more than executing. It is major questions what criteria should lead a society to allocate decision power to politicians or bureaucrats in different policy tasks? As result, conflict occurs regarding policy formulation and implementation process. Politicians are motivated by a reflection goal, whereas bureaucrats are motivated by a “career concern”. So politicians want to be re-elected but bureaucrats instead want to improve their professional prospects in the public or private sector. These types of interest motivate them to perform well whatever tasks them receive. This is the general scenario in regarding the central administration. But this type of scenario is also available in our countries local administration like Upazila Parishad.

Keywords: Elected Representatives, Government Officials, Interrelationship, Upazila Administration.


“Upazila has become the focus of administration following the policy of decentralization. Under the new system the Upazila Parishad is a body of corporate. In a sense, the Upazilas has replaced the old districts as the pivot of administration. Many functions which were formally carried out at the district level are now being carried out at the Upazila level” (Siddiqui, 1991:159). Upazila is the first strong institutional base of local government in our country. After central government main functions of development are operated from the upazila level.[1] Upazila is a mid way between the local and central government. Upazila is also a very important tier of political-administrative nexus. Local elected politicians and bureaucrats are an integral part of the governance and policy process of the upazila administration.[2]So the effective function of upazila depends on the mode of interactions between the sets of actors; elected politicians and bureaucrats.[3] Bureaucrats and politicians are both need to be kept accountable with implicit incentives; but the implicit incentive schemes can be of two kinds; those that define a politicians (striving for re-election), and those that define a bureaucrat (career concern).

Nowadays, local government have restructured their institutions, increased their accessibility to citizen and developed innovative strategies for tackling public problems. In this respect, to understand the process of government, how it may be changing and how strategies for influencing policy are affected, we need to know about the relationship between politicians and bureaucrats. As a significant tier of the local government the co-ordination between politicians and bureaucrats in the upazila is very important, simultaneously identification of the patterns of conflict between the two policy implementing actors is very important.

Theoretical Framework

Bangladesh has inherited the colonial administrative pattern which was mainly created to protect the interest of the colonial masters. So various types of changes have been come to our administration from time to time. As a developed administration, Bangladesh has relatively a long experience and familiarity with local government and administration. But an appropriate structure of local governments is yet to be established in this country. At different times various attempts were made in Bangladesh to restructure the local government bodies entrusted with responsibilities and functions. However, the local Government ordinance, 1982 was the basis of Upazila administration in Bangladesh, by which Thana administration was being upgraded with a new charter of duties. In 1983, upgraded thanas were well thought-out as upazilas, but in 1991the upazila system was abolished. Yet the upazila Parishad act, 1998 which was shaped based on the Rahmat Ali Commission report regenerated the system. Moreover after the upazila Parishad election on 22 July 2009 followed by the Upazila Parishad (Reintroduction of the repealed act and Amendment) Act,2009,the upazila administration has been emerged as central to the field as well development administration. As of April 8, 2009, the total number of upazila in Bangladesh was 482 (Talukdar, 2009:58).One notable endeavor in this regard was upazila administration that was initiated by general Ershad in November 1982, as a part of the decentralization policy. This decentralization journey obviously aim to more participation of local people through local institution building, like developing local leadership and accountable bureaucratic officials. Upazila Parishad administration was made the nerve centre of local government and development. Following decentralization, the Upazila Parishad, in effect became an important political administrative nexus. Moreover, after a long time the immediate past caretaker government and present government of Bangladesh has extensively reformed the administrative system and upgraded the previous Thana to Upazila and restore the Upazila system to serve as the focal point of development administration. A new tier of local government called upazila Parishad (UZP) has been created and a large number of functions have been devolved to this institution along with the placement of central government employees at its disposal. Literature on Politicians and bureaucrats relationship is not available. Prior to that, it was difficult to get data on Politicians and bureaucrats relationship. Ferrel Heady in his book “public administration: A comparative perspective”   has said Public administration as an aspect of governmental activity has existed as long as political system have been functioning and trying to achieve program objectives set by political decision makers and trying to achieve personal interest. Quoted in Ferrel Heady, Public Administration: A comparative perspective, New York, Marcel Dekker Inc, 2001, p.426. Max Weber, ‘Bureaucracy’ in H. H. Gerth and C.W.Mills, Eds, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, New York, Oxford University Press, 1946, p.228. Upazila ordinance of 1982, Upazila Act of 1998 has been reviewed to take the basic information about the Upazila Parishad. Siddique Kamal, Local governance in BD-2000, the university press Limited.

Importance of the Study

This study aims to provide present status of relationship between politicians and bureaucrats in the present upazila administration. As the main logic behind the upazila system is to make decentralization in administration and to ensure peoples participation in the local level functions so upazila Parishad have to put in its rightful place. But in practice Upazila Administration faces various types of problem in providing better services to the people. In some respect, it will provide a normative benchmark to the vast political science literature asking the positive question of why legislative powers are delegated in practice, what the effect of delegation is the “bureaucratic drift” etc. Basically the objectives of the study is to identify the interest of the various rival interest groups involved to the upazila administration and to identify the pattern of relationship among them. The basic objectives of the study are:

1. To identify the pattern of relation among the various rival interest group of the upazila.

2. To indentify the issues of conflict among them.

3. To bring out the solution of the conflict for better functioning in the upazila Parishad.


In the study more priority has been given on the collection of the accurate data from the field level. For the purpose of the data collection, survey method has been taken. Dhamrai has been selected as study area because it is a model upazila of Dhaka district. Participation of all political party in upazila administration is another dynamic side of Dhamrai Upazila. Real functional relationship between politicians and bureaucrats will be easily identified from the study of the upazila. Interview was conducted with UZC[4], UZVC[5], UNO[6] and Officials of various ranks in the Dhamrai Upazila. Opinion has also taken from the members of the various types of civil society of the upazila. This study conducted by the two sources of data: Primary and secondary. Primary data has been collected from Dhamrai Upazila through direct interview by using structure and unstructured questionnaire. The sample included local official’s bureaucrats, local politicians and local civil society. Secondary data and information collected from the published books, journals, newspapers, articles and internet which are related to the study. For analyzing data both qualitative and quantitative approaches have been used. The sample included about 52 respondents. The sample selection process was partly purposive. The selected upazila is partly urban and semi urban in character. Dhamrai is situated nearly 30 kilometers far from (in north-west direction) capital city Dhaka.

Table-01: Distribution of the sample

Category of the Sample

Number of Respondent

UZP Chairman


UZP Vice Chairman




UZP Officials


UP Chairman


UP General Members


General Women


General Men


Civil society (male)


Civil society (female)




Source: Compiled by Author

Variables Identification:

Before analyzing the relationship we have to be clear about the various types of variables of the study. The basis of our analysis about the politicians and bureaucrats relationship will be based on legal, functional and attitudinal aspect of Upazila Parishad. We have identified the two types of variables in the study

  • Dependent Variables

As the main focus of our study is the relationship between elected incumbents and bureaucrats so relationship is dependent variables in the study. We can measure the relationship on the basis of the various dimensions.

  • Independent Variables

The measurement of the relationship is dependent on the number of the variables. So a number of independent variables have been identified in the study. For example Legal, functional and attitudinal aspects are the independent variables in the study.

Operational Definition of the Variables

Before going to the detail study, operational meaning of the various variables is very important. Operational definitions of the various variables are given in such way:

  • Relationship

Long term interaction between elected members and government officials that neither can avoid a part of responsibility as assigned by UZP[7] act.

  • Conflict

A process of seeking to possess a rewards by weakening or eliminating all rivals. Variation in working relation between politicians and bureaucrats and variation in decision making and role performance between the two actors.

  • Legal dimension

Matters that require exchange & interaction between elected incumbents & government officials are guided by law. Established thought and habit which are exercised by politicians and bureaucrats in the shape of uniform rules backed by the law of the state.

  • Functional dimension

Matters that require interaction between elected incumbents and government officials for disposing of Upazila functions but are not guided by law.

  • Attitudinal dimension

Opinion and attitude of a UZP members & officials to one another are likely to influence subsequent behavior.

Politicians and Bureaucrats Relationship Between

The academic discussions of the relationship between politicians and bureaucrats as well as other relate issues are extremely varied and contain competing and contending tendencies or approaches. We observed basically two approaches among the western scholars regarding politicians and bureaucrat’s relationship. One approach or argument is to consider absolute control of bureaucracy and bureaucrats by elected politicians in representative democracy. The advocates of this approach are Max Weber, Woodrow Wilson, Goodnow, Finer, Mosher and many more. According to this approach, the necessity to maintain political control by politicians over the bureaucracy and bureaucrats is indisputable, for the nonelected career bureaucrats, it not controlled, may pose a threat to political authority or democracy. This approach tends to promote a separation of politics from administration, leading to a dichotomous relationship between politicians and bureaucrats, the first being policy maker and the second being policy implementation or bureaucrats. Most of these proponents of this approach are found in ht discipline of political science. The classical literature on bureaucracy does not ignore the problem but gives it attention. Max Weber himself was ambivalent about the role of bureaucracy and expressed concern about the danger of ‘over towering’ bureaucracy in society. Weber desired efficient and developed bureaucracy by controlled by controlled political leadership. He advised politicians to “resist any effort on the part of the bureaucrats to gain control “and warned that a nation “which believes that the conduct of the state affairs is a matter of ‘administration ‘and that ‘politics’ is nothing but the part part-time occupation of amateurs or a secondary tusk of bureaucrats might as well forget about playing a role in world affairs.

Politicians and Bureaucrats Relationship Between in UZP Administration

Theoretical pattern of politics-bureaucrats relation can also be observed in the local government of Bangladesh. The imbalance that characterized conflictual relations between the politicians and bureaucrats at the national level could also be noticeable at the Upazila level administration of the Bangladesh. Sometimes local bureaucrats or officials are found to play more dominant role than elected politicians in the local council in the policy making and governance process. As a result, the ascendency of the bureaucracy in local government policy process is often considered to be one of the important factors leading to conflicts and the marginalization of local politician’s role. Of course there are a lot of valid reasons for bureaucratic dominances in the local government. In considering knowledge and specialization, local politicians are often considered at a serious disadvantage vis-à-vis local bureaucrats. It is generally observed that bureaucrats are better educated than local politicians. They are also assumed to know more about the law, national policies outline, or determined by central government, local administrative capacity and possible solution for problems. As a post colonial structure of local government bureaucracy is an essential and integral part of the local government in Bangladesh. It is tremendous institutional framework for central control over the local government.

Legal Dimension of Relationship

Now Upazila Parishad are operated on the basis of the Upazila Parishad act 2009.In the act all the legal side of the Upazila Parishad are included. Sometimes the legal rules of the Upazila Parishad are violated by the various rival interest groups and conflict occurred about legal jurisdictions.

From the overall legal finding it is more or less clear that the present Upazila Parishad act is no perfect for the proper functioning of the Upazila Parishad. There is no specific guideline in the act for the proper functioning in the Upazila Parishad. According to the opinion of the respondent that it’s totally impossible for them to play their role effectively under the present Upazila act. The role of the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO), UZC, UZVC and MPs are totally implicit in the present upazila act. The MPs illegal interfere in the function of the Upazila Parishad hamper the regular flow of the   Upazila function. Sometimes UNO and other government officials are in confusion to carry out the suggestion of the UZC and MPs. Some finding of the legal dimension has been found through discussion, interview with various types of stakeholders.

  1. Present Upazila act is not effective for sound functioning of the Upazila Parishad.
  2. The power of the Upazila Chairman is less in the present act.
  3.  The advisory role of the MPs creates many problems in the function of the UZP.
  4.  UNO play more power in the Upazila functioning.
  5. There is no legal power of the Upazila Vice Chairman.
  6. Upazila Parishad meeting is not effective.
  7. The agenda of the Upazila Parishad are made by third power of the UZP.
  8. The decision of the UZC is not given priority in the annual budget planning.
  9. Most of the respondent is in favor of the withdrawal of the advisory role of MPs.
  10. UZC should have been given more power.

Functional Dimension of the Relationship

Functionally Upazila Parishad is conducted with the functions of the various rival interest groups that are not guided by law. The interest of the every rival group is totally different from one another. For example the functional pattern and interest of the politicians are different from government officials. There are various types of functional dimension that helps to realize the pattern of relationship.

According to the opinion of the respondent the Upazila is functional but indirectly by speaking with it seemed to us that   the Upazila Parishad is dysfunctional. To identify the functional   dimension of the relationship a number of questions are made to the respondent. From their response some observation has been found out.

  • Main problem of the Upazila Parishad is the imbalance of power. One interferes to the functions of others. Communication gap is another big problem for relation among the various rival interest groups.
  • UNO should play the main role for enforcing rules and regulation in the daily function of the Upazila Parishad.
  • There is no regular flow of communication among UP chairman, UZC chairman and Upazila Nirbahi Officer.
  • UP Chairman Influence the function of the Union Parishad by aligned with MPs.
  • MPs directly or indirectly influence the functions of the Upazila Parishad by aligned with Upazila Nirbahi officer. The Upazila vice chairman acts as permanent representatives of the MPs.
  • UZC should be directly involved to the functions of UNO and other government officials to supervise and coordinate their functions.
  • As the UNO is the most experienced and learned person in the Upazila Parishad so he should play main role for applying rules and regulations.
  • Every respondent are in favor of strictly applying rules and regulation.
  • As UZC higher educated person so it’s very easy for him to realize the rules and regulation and there is no disagreement about rules and regulation between government officials and Upazila chairman.
  • According to the opinion of the each respondent there is no disagreement between elected incumbent and government officials but indirectly we have some disagreement among them that creates conflict among them. These issues of the conflict have been mentioned in the overall finding.
  • According to the most of the respondent UZP meeting is not effective most of the resolution of the Upazila Parishad are passed in the gesture of the third power of the upazila.

Attitudinal Dimension of Relationship

The attitudinal dimension refers to the opinion and attitude of the one rival group to the other rival groups. The personal behavior, norms and values of the each actor in the Upazila Parishad directly or indirectly affects the pattern of relationship in the Upazila Parishad. The every rival group of the Upazila comes from the different social and family background. So their personal life pattern, attitude affects the function of the Upazila Parishad. From attitudinal perspective, a number of questions are made to the respondent to identify the pattern of relationship in the Upazila level.

The attitude and opinion of the each rival group are totally different from one another. According to the opinion of the each rival group, the relationship of elected incumbents with political leader is good. They have given some opinion for maintaining good relationship in the Upazila. If the basic goal of the each rival group is the development of the people there is no chance of conflict in the upazila Parishad. Every respondent are in favor of raising power of the Upazila Parishad. There are some specific findings of the attitudinal dimensions of relationship.

  • Actually the relationship between government officials and political incumbents in the Upazila is not good. But they have given technical answer about the questions.
  • Same goal of the each rival group, Believe to each other’s and realizing to each other’s problem are prerequisite for good relationship in Upazila level.
  • Implicit about functional jurisdictions and Lacking of mutual understanding are responsible for bad relationship in the Upazila level.
  • Upazila Parishad Chairman’s clear idea about his own and UNOs functional jurisdictions and personal experience helps to keep good relation with UNO.
  • Sufficient experience and simple personality of UNO helps him to keep good relation with UZC.
  • Most of the elected incumbents think that identification of the demand people is their main responsibility.
  • The present function of the transferred department is satisfactory.
  • Powerful control of the Upazila Parishad over the transferred department is essential for their better performance.
  • If each member of the Upazila Parishad is cordial to the demand of the people and present the problem of the people to the Upazila Parishad meeting then the asset of the Upazila Parishad will be rightly utilized.
  • Upazila Parishad has to be given more power and the power of the UNO has to be reduced for making Upazila Parishad as an effective unit of local government.
  • Some structural change has to be brought in the Upazila Parishad act and the role of the Upazila vice chairman has to make clear in the Upazila Parishad act.

Overall Findings of the Study

In the many cases all the respondent did not give us accurate data. They have avoided some technical questions and they were unwilling to give opinion in any question paper. By our informal discussion we have tried to find out the practical scenario of relationship between politicians and bureaucrats in the upazila Parishad. The major problem of the system is its inconsistency with the parliamentary model of democracy introduced in the country since 1991 at the national level, which clearly emphasizes collegiate decision making. There are certain conflicts of Upazila system these are mentioned below. The election of the Upazila Parishad Chairman through direct vote by the entire Upazila adult population provides him with disproportionate prestige and powers, and this does not allow him to share decision –making with Upazila Parishad Members. This is, in effect, the problem with every tier of urban and local government in Bangladesh. Under the circumstances, a directly elected Upazila Parishad Chairman would be more interested in recouping his huge election expenses through corruption and cronyism rather than devoting himself to serving the people.

Relationship between Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) and Upazila Chairman (UC)

The elected Chairman of the Upazila Parishad is the main executive of the Parishad. Sometimes he does his functions according to his own wish and self interest. It said that Upazila Chairman would be non-political and would have no political identity. But in actual practice; they are mandated by any political party. They make politicization in many sectors. On the one hand as an employee of the republic, Upazila Nirbahi Officer is bound to hear the advice of the chairman on the other hand he is liable to abide by the rules and regulation of the state. For an example, certain incidents may be mentioned here.

  1. Sometimes upazila Chairman demands to set Air Conditioner in his room illegally to the Upazila Nirbahi Officer but he has no power to allot any AC for the chairman.
  2. In the field of upazila development programme, most of the tender of the development functions are given to the contractor who is in favor of Upazila Chairman.
  3. Often Upazila Chairman goes to the outside area of the upazila with taking the car of the upazila that is totally violation of law.
  4. Beside this Upazila Chairman Make politicized the social security programs such as (TR, KABIKHA, KABITA, VGD, and VGF), if Upazila Nirbahi Officer protest that then conflict arise.
  5. In most of the cases, As Union Parishad Chairmen participate in the Upazila elections so their educational and administrative qualification is lower than Upazila Nirbahi Officer to operate an Upazila Parishad. But in upazila system Upazila Nirbahi Officer is subordinate to Upazila Chairman. As a result Upazila Nirbahi Officer has to abide by many wrong decision of Upazila Chairman.
  6. Every employees of the Upazila do their functions in a chain of command and all are responsible to the Upazila chairman for their functions. But it is a matter of sorrow that most of the employee doesn’t care their senior employee because they think that if they keep good relation with the chairman they will be saved from any issues. So a haphazard situation is created in the functions of the Upazila

Relationship between Upazila Chairman and Parliament Members

Conflict between the MPs and the Upazila Chairmen is now the major obstacle to strengthening the local government systemThe line of arguments both MP and Upazila Chairman would like to pursue is that they had to make some promises to the voters of their constituencies at the time of election regarding development work of their areas. Each side fears that interference from the other side might debar them from fulfilling their commitments. Practically Parliament member try to interfere in every development functions of the Upazila system. In the Upazila Ordinance 1982 the role of parliament member was advisory but in the last Upazila act-2009 was passed in parliament giving the power of interfering in the every function Upazila to parliament member. Without the permission of the Parliament Member any development function is not sanctioned. As a result in the most of the Upazila development function is obstacle by the conflict between Upazila Chairman and Parliament Members.

Relationship between Upazila Nirbahi Officer and Parliament member

The friction between Parliament member and Upazila Nirbahi Officer turn into ugly incidents. Though Parliament member only process right to give advise but indirectly he applies political power for their interest. There was tremendous political interference from above to use the Upazila Parishad in favor of the ruling party. For example, all construction tenders at that level stood to be monopolized by ruling party contractors. Similarly, in matters of bail and criminal prosecution and the curt was heavily pressured in favor of ruling party notables. In a short, the way Upazila Parishad operated, it helped the decentralization of corruption and high-handiness rather than genuine development.

Relationship between Upazila Chairman and Union Parishad Chairman

The Upazila Parishad is formed with the participation of the chairman of the every union Parishad. Union Parishad chairmen have the voting right in the every cases of the decision of the Upazila. But the voting power of the UP Chairmen cannot play any role to withdraw Upazila Chairman from his post. As a result UP Chairmen are powerless in the most of the cases. Their decision is not got priority in the development function of the Union. The decision of the Upazila Chairmen is the main decision in the development function of the Upazila.

Concluding Remarks and Policy Recommendations

In our own observation is that every month Upazila Parishad arranged a general which preside over Upazila Chairman. But in Dhamrai Upazila Parishad was arranged two monthly meeting without Upazila Chairman. The official is Upazila Chairman’s personal illness. We collect some information about this from other sources was that Upazila Chairman normally does not feel comfortable in the meeting cause of MP/MP’s representative & UNO try to play a vital role on the meeting to avoiding his opinion. Upazila Chairman personal view is where my opinion is not important there I am is not important. It is insulting matter me. He thinks that central govt. try to establish strong & effective local govt. but do not provide power to the Upazila Parishad elected representative. Today Upazila Parishad likes a tiger without teeth. With keeping Upazila Parishad in the control central government it is totally impossible. The government recent decision about the possible role of the Member of Parliament (Mp) with regard to running of the Upazila administration has taken the nation by surprise. Murmurs about the people’s disapproval of the decision are getting louder. We hoped that revitalizing of the UZ administration under the public leadership would bring about an atmosphere where enthusiasm and earnestness of local participants in the development would be visible.

The government’s decisions of making it mandatory for the UZ chairmen to seek approval of the local MP may shatter local aspiration, and it is sure to drive a wedge between the MP and UZ chairman. This decision appears to insinuate at power sharing between the MP (low maker) and the chairman, who is supposed to run the administration with developed authority. Who does not know that there is a razor sharp between obtaining approval of a plan (may be politically motivated) and executing the plan (supposed to the non political nature).although the same voters who elect the UZ chairmen elects MPs the motivation of the voters in either case is widely the first case, they chose along the party line, and in the second case they select one who can address local concerns and senilities.

I would not wonder if an MP, who is the trusted man of political party, does thing to promote his people so that his hold in the constituency remains firms, which prevent the possibilities of getting operation of the UZ chairman if he is from anther political party or is a non partisan. it is likely that any chairman of the UZ who does not curry favor with the MP will suffer erroneous conclusion of the MP. At the same time, the mistrusting UZ chairman may even withhold pertinent facts from the MPs, which will be extremely damaging for the government. This will engage the two elected persons of the locality in mutual destruction of each other image, which will impede the planning of development and its execution.

Most MPs that we have seen over the last decades have been arrogant about power or about the source of power, and have been generally obsessed and whimsical. This makes them emotionally empty. Instance of MPs presiding over looting, vandalizing, unleashing of terror, illegal tree felling, extortion etc are rife. If there has to be some legal check, only a legal authority can do so. Who can do it better than a well-meaning chairman of UZ?

MPs are the most often impatient with criticism and often exercise power divorced from morality, which is sure road to disaster. They tend to forget that even great leaders once hailed as infallible had been dumped into the dustbin. We had anchored our hopes on our MPs to plead for development of facilities with the government or in the parliament, but often we have seen that they would pursue only those projects that give them an edge over the opponents, and the UZ chairman could also fail in his line of fire. This clash of Titans with ultimately leads to loss of trust of the voters in the MP and the UZ chairman, and this will effect development. So I strongly feel that the role of MPs should be clearly defined to enable them to frame laws while keeping national development in view. This turnaround will not come immediately, and MPs will not like to be stripped of the sources of fortune. The surest way to ensure that this happens will be to allow intervention of the UZ chairman or stakeholders of the UZ Parishad who enjoy the confidence of the community or neighborhood.

A UZ chairman who can craft with diligence a network to gain the people’s confidence despite negative interference of the MPs will be right person to preside over local development, assisted by the officials of the republic. Investing an MP with the power to give his nod to the UZs proposal will act as an apple of discord. Any UZ chairman who does not kowtow to the pressure of the MP and declines to hitch his cart with the MPs bandwagon is likely to suffer a setback as the MP, in all; probability will not approve the UZ parishad’s proposal on even a flimsy ground. To my mind, the UZ administration is an effective tool takes development to the doorsteps of rural Bangladesh. The government decision to revive the UZ administration as a tier of local self-government is salutary. The government assertion to make it functional may not be rewarded with achievement if the grounds for clash between MP and UZ chainman are not removed. From the overall analysis of our study it is more or less clear that self interest and power conflict is the main cause of bad relationship political incumbent and government officials.

On the basis of the above discussion on conflict and impediments, the following recommendation can be suggested.

  1. Changes have to be brought in the legal system of the Upazila so that a sound functional and legal environment existed between politicians and bureaucrats in the Upazila level.
  2. The status of the elected incumbents should be higher than Upazila level officials. The Upazila Parishad will take the decision about the development of the Upazila Parishad and UNO and other officials only provide the secretarial support to the Upazila Parishad.
  3. All upazila level officers would be given under the control of the Upazila Parishad. Upazila Parishad chairman will coordinate and supervise the functions of the Upazila level officials.
  4. Upazila chairman would be main decision maker of the upazila administration an UNO would only perform the secretarial role.
  5. A balance has to be brought in the power of the every rival interest group. A check and balance relationship has to be created for the every stakeholder of the Upazila Parishad.
  6. Special training has to be arranged for the newly elected representatives so that they can easily know the legal rules and regulation about Upazila administration.
  7. The power and functions of the Upazila Vice Chairman has to be clear. As Upazila Vice Chairman is a people’s representative so he should have special role in the Upazila Parishad decision making.
  8. The advisory role of the MPs has to be cut down for giving institutional structure of the Upazila Parishad as an effective local government unit.

It is very important for the Upazila Parishad functions as freely and independently. It’s true that the members of parliament, as law makers, should focus their attention more on their prime responsibility of framing laws and discussing national policy matters in the parliament than meddling with the day to day functions of the Upazila Parishad but it is also a reality that they cannot remain totally indifferent towards their commitments to the voters of their own constituencies. In this world there is nothing beyond the criticism. Where there is a good side there is also a bad side. The idea of Upazila system was come forward for proper decentralization of government activities and ensuring accountability in every sphere of the Parishad functions. But it has created some critical questions and major problems among the chairman, vice chairman. Personally I think that only laws are not appropriate for better administration. If the all stake holders related to the Upazila Parishad are sincere and honest then this system will see the light of success. As a third world nation government should take necessary steps for better and effective use of local resources of Upazila level by better guideline and reduced corruption.


Ferrel Heady, (2001), Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective, Marcel Dekker, Inc,New York, , p-281.


Khan, M.M, (2009), Bureaucratic Self-preservation, University of Dhaka, p.72.

Local Peoples Instituation-(2004), AH development Publishing House.

Quoted in Ferrel Heady, (2001), Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective, New York, Marcel Dekker Inc, p.426.

See the Act of 1998.

See the ordinance of 1982.

Siddique, Kamal, (2000), Local Governance in BD-2000 the University press Limited.

The Bangladesh Observer, May 15 2009, P. 13.

The Daily Star, On August 23 2008, P. 12 and On November 21, 2009.

Weber, Max, (1946), ‘Bureaucracy’ in H.H.Gerth and C.W.Mills, Eds, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, New York, Oxford University Press, p.228.

*   Ph.D Researcher, Department of Government and Politics Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka.

**  Territory Officer, Akij Corporation limited (ACL).

*** Professor, Department of Government and Politics Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka.




[4] UZC:Upazila Chairman

[5] UZVC:Upazila Vice Chairman

[6] UNO: Upazila Nirbachi Officer

[7] UZP: Upazila Parishad

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