Civil service system to be overhauled

Among others, the commission plans to hire retired civil servants as mentors 

RCSC: The Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) is committed to overhauling the civil service system with changes that will reduce corruption and reward performing civil servants with promotions.

One such reform will be the hiring of retired civil servants as mentors to young civil servants. This will be implemented with the launch of a mentoring framework.

RCSC Chairperson Dasho Karma Tshiteem said the commission feels that mentoring of civil servants up to the age of 30 years is required. “But if you need mentoring after 30 years, probably, you are not the best and brightest civil servant the RCSC is looking for,” he said.

Dasho Karma Tshiteem shared the commission’s plans during the national conference on good governance at the Royal Institute of Management (RIM) on December 21.

He said 37 percent of the Post Graduate Diploma in Administration (PGDPA) toppers from 1990 to date have left the civil service due to indifference of the system. “The loss of the best and brightest means deterioration in the quality of the stock of the civil servants,” he said.

With the help of mentors, he said the commission hopes to retain and improve the quality and efficiency of civil servants because the civil service would see hoards of exceptionally qualified and experienced civil servants retire.

“Just because they turn 60 years does not mean they have lost their value,” he said, adding that the commission should continue to use their expertise to mentor young civil servants. “I am excited about it and I hope our PGDPA friends would be too.”

The Commission also wants to ensure there is a better performance management system in place to motivate and reward performing civil servants. The Commission is working on linking rewards to hard work.

Dasho Karma Tshiteem said the fact that almost every civil servant obtains “extraordinary” in his or her performance rating reveals that the system is indifferent.

The commission has also worked out the separation of responsibilities between the working agencies and the parent agencies as part of the RCSC’s organizational development (OD) exercise. For instance, he said the working agency should have the main say on who should get a training opportunity.

The main responsibility of a parent agency, he said, should be that of human resource (HR) development.

Another problem the commission is grappling with is short-term trainings, which according to the Chairperson has become, a “source of great friction” in the civil service.

To address this problem, he said the commission is planning to make short-term trainings more purposeful rather than just for “making friends” from abroad.

“We are looking at the whole philosophy of short-term trainings,” he said, adding that short-term trainings should be specifically linked with the job responsibility of the trainee.

The Chairperson also said that civil servants from every category of occupational group, including telephone operators should get training opportunities. “When you call some offices, people are so polite and some so rough; but you cannot blame them because they have never had a training on what is their role,” he said.

He also pointed out that HR officers do not have adequate trainings to fulfill their roles and responsibilities. “Until now, HR officers are mostly involved in administrative works such as processing trainings and fast track promotion, which is only part of their job. They don’t do anything strategic,” he said.

HR officers, he said, should lead change in the organization as an employee champion, strategic partner and integrity advocate.

However, given the limited trainings and investments on them, the Chairperson said they are doing a good job. The commission and the RIM are designing a training content to improve the competency of HR officers.

Dasho Karma Tshiteem said the commission is mindful of ambiguities in the existing rules that can lead to unfair consequences for doing a work.

The commission is also designing the civil service system that will help curb corruption and increase efficiency. “People should appreciate the challenge of what we are tying to do,” he said.

MB Subba

2 replies
  1. Development practitioner
    Development practitioner says:

    The doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants, managers, sales representatives, teachers, and other skilled professionals together serve as the engine of growth. If the system is disorganized from the core and undermines their value and technical knowledge, the professionals do not find enough functional space to perform with dedication and integrity. So where would the transformational driver of workforce change, away from present “casual culture”, come from? We should not under foolish illusion that a chain is as strong as its strongest link. No sir, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So RCSC may seriously think about introducing 360 degree performance evaluation system that many countries are already implementing successfully!

  2. sibidai
    sibidai says:

    Civil service does need to reform keeping in tune with the changing time.
    RCSC began with Cowlagi an Indian IAS on deputation who imposed bureaucratic rules with Stalinistic terror tactics. It was then nurtured on by Jigme Thinley. Bhutanese employees then were too few and too timid to oppose and face the impending wrath of being sent on ‘punishment’ postings, while expats got the best leeway. Over time things did change but not the attitude that ‘employees should always be paid the minimum and while they remained on duty 24/7’.
    And its time this gets to change.
    Employees – be public or private – should be paid for the hours they work. And, the employer should pay extra for additional hours of engagement. An employee is not a slave to slug 24/7 on a salary that hardly meets living needs.
    So, I feel, its time all employees comprehend this and have RCSC incorporate provisions and conditions that will commensurate and address all employees’ concern. After all everyone needs their toil rightly compensated.

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