Phurpa Lhamo 

The government with the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) would decide on the fate of gaydrungs (gewog clerks) after the local government (LG) elections.

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering conveyed this to the National Assembly yesterday when Chumey-Ura’s member of parliament (MP) Drungtsho Karma Wangchuk made the query on the status of the gaydrung post.

A study in 2019 by the Department of Local Government (DLG) on the relevance of gaydrung in gewog administrations recommended retaining and regularising the post of gaydrung.

The report stated that around 93 percent of the population confirmed that gaydrungs were critical for public service delivery.

The 22nd dzongdags conference and 9th gups conference also acknowledged the critical role of gaydrung in the functioning of gewog administration.

Similarly, in 2019, the National Assembly also decided to retain the post of gaydrung and to regularise them as civil servants if circumstances were favourable.

The Cabinet extended the tenure by three years. Following this Cabinet order, the home minister issued an office order on April 29, 2019, informing dzongkhags that the end of the tenure for all new gaydrung recruits should fall within April 1, 2022.

The issue first surfaced after the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) Organisational Development (OD) exercise found that the gaydrung posts were not required.

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said that while the assembly’s 2019 decision to retain gaydrungs was conveyed to the RCSC, the RCSC stated that they would work in accordance with the Bhutan Civil Service Rules and Regulations (BCSR) 2018.

The BCSR 2018 states that the authority for amendment and interpretation of any provision under the BCSR 2018 shall rest with the RCSC and its interpretation shall be final and binding.

The gaydrungs were then employed on contract.

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said that gaydrungs were employed through the relevant ministries as there were no provisions regarding gaydrungs in the RCSC.

With the contract term coming to an end in April next year, there was further discussion to retain the gaydrungs on contract.

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said that when the government asked RCSC if gaydrungs’ contracts could be renewed after discussion with the newly elected local leaders after the local government elections, RCSC responded that the issue could be discussed later.