… RCSC punishes dzongkhag HRC members for failure in duty

Dechen Dolkar  

The Royal Service Commission (RCSC) has revoked the promotion of 53 civil servants in Pemagatshel, which was due last month because document submission in the Zhiyog Electronic System (ZESt) was not completed before the deadline.

Kuensel learnt that out of 53 civil servants, 40 are teachers who were due for promotion in July. The rest were from other sectors.

The affected civil servants said that they have submitted all the documents to the dzongkhag human resource office before the deadline. “The HR office failed to punch our documents into the system before the deadline.”

The civil servants said that due to the late submission of the documents, their promotions have been revoked.

The affected civil servants have appealed to their respective sector heads to request a reconsideration. The dzongkhag administration has also appealed to the RCSC to reconsider its decision.

The RCSC declined and the civil servants  appealed to the Prime Minister.

It was learnt that it was their first promotion for some civil servants. A few others will be superannuating next year.

“We feel that we are punished for no mistakes of ours,” an affected civil servant said. They said that their promotion will now be delayed by six months and it will make a huge difference in salary and allowances among other civil servants at the same levels.

Some who have applied for further studies said  their promotion will be delayed by three years.

The assistant human resource officer of Pemagatshel has written to the affected civil servants on July 26 that on July 4, when he processed the promotion orders in the ZESt system the system was automatically locked as the deadline for the submission of documents was over.

“I was unaware of the ZESt system getting locked after the deadline,” the HRO stated in the letter.

The HRO also stated that the processing of documents has been delayed because he was busy in June with auditing, dzongkhag moenlam chhenmo and training.

“I as HRO, who shall be held fully accountable for the failure, am left with no other space than to genuinely ask for your forbearance and understanding though this has caused you all a huge blow emotionally and materialistically,” the HRO’s letter to the civil servants stated.


What RCSC said 

According to the commission, the promotions were revoked based on non-consideration of retroactive promotion which is stated in the BCSR 2018 as well as the Civil Service Act 2010.

According to the provision in section 13.5.1 of BCSR 2018, promotion is normally approved with effect from January 1 and July 1.

For all types of promotions, due process has to be followed only upon which the promotion will become effective, the RCSC stated.

As per Section 13.5.2 of the BCSR 2018, for July promotion (Agency level promotion) all the due process has to be completed by 15th June. The process includes submission of all documents by the individual, verification of documents by the HR Section, deliberation and approval of the promotion by the Human Resource Committee (HRC) of the agency. By June 25 all the approved promotions have to be inserted into the system (ZESt).

The BCSR 2018 chapter states that the agency must ensure that all the promotion procedures are completed prior to the deadline.

It states that the human resource division (HRD) will proactively generate the list of all civil servants eligible for promotion and will facilitate the processing of promotion.

The official from RCSC said that the agency (Pemagatshel dzongkhag administration) failed to process the promotion within the stipulated timelines. The RCSC received an appeal to consider the promotion of those civil servants only on July 5, this year.

According to Section 66 of the Civil Service Act of Bhutan 2010 there will be no retroactive promotion.

The RCSC official said that the commission  is mandated to ensure that uniform rules and regulations prevail throughout the civil service – be it on recruitment, appointment, staffing, training, transfers and promotion.

RCSC punishes HRC members 

As provisioned in Section 13.15.2 of the BCSR 2018, the authority responsible for granting such promotions will be accountable and liable for administrative actions.

The RCSC official said that in the present case, it is a delegated function whereby the HRC of the agency is empowered to grant promotion. Therefore, the commission has imposed administrative sanctions on HRC members ranging from reprimands to major penalties.

It was also learnt that the dzongkhag HRC members for promotion were reprimanded.  The dzongrab being head of dzongkhag administration and HR being directly accountable for delaying document submission, the RCSC withheld the dzongrab and HRO’s increment for three years.