Phurpa Lhamo

Around 35 civil servants submitted a petition to Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering worried over the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) plan to remove 228 messenger positions, and merging of positions such as dispatcher, telephone operator and receptionist in the 12th Five-Year Plan.

The petition was filed on November 16 and was copied to the Cabinet Secretary and the Opposition Leader (OL).

In RCSC’s June 2021 annual report, it was stated that following the 12th FYP staffing and organisation structure review, the requirements of messengers (GSP) have become redundant and 228 positions have been removed from the 12th FYP staffing.

It also stated that dispatcher, telephone operator and receptionist positions have been merged as one position since the work of these three positions can be done by one employee with the use of information and communications technology (ICT). This has reduced 260 such positions.

The petition stated that many messengers, dispatchers, telephone operators and receptionists had been working in certain positions for a long time and that they depended on the job for a living.

A messenger who has been working for more than nine years said that the decision has caused stress to the employees in these positions. “We are worried. We are hoping that they would keep the positions.”

Further, they said that due to the pandemic, finding work would be difficult.

A receptionist for the past five years said that recently the human resource official informed her that her contract wouldn’t be extended.

“My contract is extended every two years. But they have informed me that it wouldn’t be extended as there were excess people in the position,” said the widow with two school-going children.

The staffing and organisation structure review (12th FY Plan) for eight ministries, 25 agencies, 20 dzongkhags and four thromdes were completed till 2025 to align staff requirements with organisational mandates and increasing demand for efficient delivery of public service, the RCSC annual report states.

“The staffing and organisation structure review (12th FY Plan) of the civil service agencies are conducted to allow the RCSC to rationalise HR numbers against the SOPs and the Agencies mandates,” the report states.

“The 12th FYP staffing provides the HR requirement and projection on the entire civil service which will facilitate the projections of HR requirements in the years to come, which in turn is critical for our recruitment plans and preparations for succession planning,” the report states.

Edited by Tshering  Palden