Gaydrungs in the dark

Seventy-four gaydrungs (gewog clerks) had their service terminated on March 6. They are still serving and are on government’s payroll.

The gaydrung’s post was debated in the past. Gaydrungs were once proposed as civil servants and rejected. A Royal Civil Service Commission organisational development exercise didn’t recommend the post. The first session of the third Parliament decided to retain the post of gaydrungs and regularise their service as civil servants or keep them on long term contract.

With the recent decisions on the post, those working in the gewogs would be waiting for the bureaucratic sky to clear soon. The gaydrung is a low post, but decisions and discussion on it is revealing more than the importance of it.

The confusion and independent decisions taken depicts the lack of communication or coordination between the government and the bureaucracy. The RCSC decided to terminate the contract based on the contract agreement it signed. It is a legal decision. They went by the spirit of the contract, signed and sealed.

The Parliament, where the ruling government enjoys a majority resolved to retain their post as civil servants or take them in on long-term contracts. A resolution of the Parliament becomes legal and binding. How the decision was not conveyed or how the home ministry resorted to issuing an office order to extend the gaydrung’s post for three more months is appalling.

The Parliament’s resolution was made in January where 40 of the 42 members present voted for the decision. Between January and the March, all the home ministry did was issue an order stating that the term should be extended until the completion of the review. Why should a National Assembly resolution be reviewed?

Those observing and the confused have a lot of questions. The RCSC is driven by its vision of keeping the civil service  “small and compact.” The commission feels that local government could do without the gaydrungs.

The government has a mandate to create jobs. There are 199 gaydrungs of which 125 are working as clerks. Doing away with the clerks is robbing 199 people of their livelihood. It is sensitive, at least politically.

There is support for the clerks from elected leaders at the local level who feel that post is as important as that of the gup’s and mangmi’s.

A decision has to be made. Gaydrungs had been in the system since 1960s. They helped the gup in clerical jobs and collecting taxes. It was an important post. A lot has changed at the local governance level.

We have elected gups, some with university degree, information technology has changed how offices are managed and we are riding on e-governance.

Following the spirit of the 12th Plan’s 3 Cs, coordination, collaborations and consolidation, the issue must be resolved at the earliest.

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