Civil service to undergo major structural changes

A Cabinet approval is awaited to implement the recommendations of the RCSC’s OD exercise

RCSC: The Cabinet is yet to give directives on the implementation of major structural changes in the civil service that the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) proposed last month following the Organisation Development (OD) exercise.

RCSC’s chairman, Karma Tshiteem said, bifurcation or merging of departments and transfers of mandates are some of the areas that require extensive groundwork and that government’s approval before its implementation is necessary.

“Upon approval of the recommendations, the staff will be reorganised within a period of maximum of six months,” Karma Tshiteem said. “However, recommendations pertaining to systems and processes might take longer to implement.”

Implementation of recommendations relating to internal systems, processes and procedures in the civil service and those relating to procedures and systems that are cross cutting in nature, requiring bilateral and multi-sectoral consultations have already begun.

“Agencies have already started implementing OD recommendations that are within the authority of RCSC and the agency,” the chairman said.

By the end of February this year, the commission completed conducting OD exercise for 10 ministries, five agencies and 10 local government agencies.

On completion of OD exercise in the 25 agencies, the recommendations were holistically reviewed using Agencification Principles and Framework, Accreditation Framework and Guidelines, Parenting Guideline and Common Framework for the Local Government.

After the OD exercise in the remaining 13 dzongkhags completes, a detailed study on the need of dungkhags will be undertaken. The proposals will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval.

Dungkhags were initially established to bring services closer to the public. However, the purpose of establishment in some was found to have become irrelevant over the years.

RCSC began conducting OD exercise as per the requirement of Civil Service Act of Bhutan 2010. It was also following Cabinet order on December 27, 2013.

According to Article 29 of the Act, the commission shall, as per the decision of the Lhengye Zhungtshog create, abolish, upgrade or alter organizational structures in ministries and autonomous agencies, including names in consultation with line agencies. Likewise, the Legislature and Constitutional bodies shall carry out such organizational changes in consultation with the RCSC.

Karma Tshiteem explained that the exercise aimed to address a number of issues that bloated civil service with inherent duplication of services and the challenges of territorialism resulting in inefficient delivery of services and high costs.

The need for addressing such issues was reported by the interim government that was formed in 2013 and also through general perception.

While there may be large expectations from the OD exercise, from the RCSC’s perspective, he said that the exercise was to look at issues that appear to be the major areas of concern.

Karma Tshiteem said some of the major areas of concerns  among others are whether civil servants were utilised properly, if organisation and positions in civil service were redundant and if there was areas in the civil service where government should not be involved.

Nirmala Pokhrel

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