The year of the Rooster heralded numerous major reforms in the civil service.

The year began with the introduction of a new performance management system (Max) to ensure the alignment of individual civil servant’s performance with the organisation’s objectives.

Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) also launched an initiative to prepare civil servants for the life after retirement mentally and financially. Forty-six civil servants, who would be retiring in 10 years, attended the workshop to equip themselves with better future plans.

Doctor’s career path was incorporated into the new BCSR 2017 to address doctor shortage, retain and motivate doctors. Before the implementation of the provisions in 2015, doctors became junior to their peers when they pursued long years of study, affecting their career, which resulted in experienced doctors resigning.

Although, the change benefitted and apparently made some 61 doctors happy, some changes like a year increase in the promotion for the SS level made some civil servants unhappy. The change also drew criticism from National Council, which recommended the RCSC to reconsider the promotion period for the Supervisory and Support (SS) level civil servants from five to four years.

The supervisory and support (SS) category of civil servants also had their career ladder remapped to SS4/SS3/SS2 with the benefit of upgrading it to SS1 level that is equivalent to P2 in terms of benefits.  RCSC said that position was overlapping and created confusion as one entered through BCSE while the other civil servant was from SS category.

RCSC also saw a glitch in the conduct of the preliminary examinations due to the clerical error. As a result, 97 more qualified for the main examination.

Graduates of Bhutanese and Himalayan Studies (BHS) from the College of Language and Cultural Studies were denied opportunity to pursue post-graduate diploma in education in history. The incidence exposed the communication gap between the commission and the Royal University of Bhutan.

The commission made drug testing compulsory for civil servants to ensure accountable and responsible service delivery for the first time setting examples to other institutions.

Beginning last year, civil servants on extra-ordinary leave are not allowed to work for full-time employment, or consultancy that conflict with his or her civil service roles and responsibilities or work for government projects.

Government employees would also have to go through a moderation exercise where they will be graded by their own agencies’ ratings drawn from the performance management system, making the ratings stricter.

While the change made it necessary for all new civil servants to stay in the first place of appointment for a minimum of three years, both spouses when transferred to the same place would be entitled for transportation allowances.

With the pool of civil servants ever increasing, it remains to be seen what more reforms would this commission launch in its final year in office in the male dog year.

Rinchen Zangmo