Dechen Dolkar 

The economic affairs ministry’s human resource committee demoted a chief in the ministry for criticising the government’s policies and actions on social media.

It was learnt that the decision was made at the beginning of April and the chief was demoted with a grade.

Although it was not clear what the official wrote as both the concerned official and ministry officials refused to talk much about the matter, sources said the posts were made on Twitter and Facebook during the lockdown.

A press release from the ministry stated that they took administrative action against the civil servant for breaching the code of conduct.

It stated that the ministry, in cognizance of the violation of the civil service values and conduct as enshrined in Chapter 3 of BCSR 2018 and lockdown protocol, had demoted the civil servant.

It also stated that civil servants are required to refrain from making any statement that may have adverse effects on the policies or actions of the government.

“The feedback including any grievances should be provided in-house or to relevant authorities implementing the policies,” the press release stated. “Further, civil servants should strive to provide exemplary leadership to the common citizens and not engage in baseless allegations against the government.”    

An official from the ministry stated that although an individual has the right to post in social media, there are certain things that they cannot post as civil servants.

He said the ministry took action to ensure that civil servants uphold the highest standard of integrity, honesty, fortitude, selflessness, loyalty, the right attitude, right aptitude, patriotism and professionalism in the service of the Tsa-Wa-Sum.

According to the official, the ministry has asked the civil servant to appeal if he is not happy with their decision.

“The individual accepted the decision and did not appeal anywhere,” he said. “He realised the mistake.”

However, officials from Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) said they were not aware of the case and ministries and agencies are empowered to make decisions.

The civil servant refused to comment, saying the case is resolved.