… from the earlier division head at P1 level to a director at EX3 level

RCSC: The Royal Civil Service Commission will, henceforth, nominate candidates for the dzongda position from director level (EX3) and not from division heads at P1 level.

To ensure that only “proven people” are appointed to the important position of a dzongda, the commission in its 16th commission meeting last month decided the position level for dzongda at executive position categories EX2 and EX1 from the existing EX3 and EX2 categories.

A January 19 notification from the commission states that, nominees for dzongda position will, henceforth, be from the existing civil servants in position level EX3 and above.  The notification has come at a time when the dzongda posts of three dzongkhags – Thimphu, Wangduephodrang and Bumthang – are vacant.

Until now, dzongdas were placed at EX3 level after the commission nominates the candidate from the professional and management position category P1 level.

As of June 2013, there were 89 civil servants at EX3 position level and 383 at P1 level.

“This meant that civil servants, who were mainly managing affairs at a division head level, were being thrust to this important position, where non-performance carries great risk,” the notification stated.

The commission said it allowed civil servants to enter the executive service position category without going through open competitive selection process.  This, according to the notification, undermined the integrity and rigour of entry into civil service leadership positions. “As a system that seeks to build a foundation on meritocracy, this is not desirable,” the notification stated.

The new dzongda position is also expected to recognise new developments, such as the status of a thrompon, who is an elected public servant, being equated to an executive position EX2 level.

One of the commissioners said that, for a dzongda’s position, there is a need to have someone, who has knowledge of work at an executive position.

“It’ll empower dzongdas to carry out the decentralised responsibilities, and for that it’s important that the person has knowledge on policies,” the commissioner said.

The commissioner also said that, while the implementation part would be done phase wise, it does not ensure that all existing dzongdas would be elevated to the new position.

Civil servants currently serving as dzongdas will have to go though a screening process, fulfil certain criteria before they are elevated to the new EX2 and EX1 position levels.

“It’ll look at the candidate’s potential and performance,” the commissioner said.

RCSC will also ensure that, in consultation with the cabinet, executive level civil servants are regularly transferred between dzongkhags and central agencies.  Regular transfers, according to the commission, are expected to shape the civil service with executives, who have greater depth and breadth of managerial expertise that will enhance the delivery of the civil service in general.

“Most executives, especially those with potential to rise to the highest positions in the bureaucracy, should expect to serve in this important position,” the notification stated.

By Nirmala Pokhrel