Maintaining small and efficient civil service a challenge: RCSC

The Royal Civil Service Commission’s (RCSC) aim to maintain a small, compact, and efficient civil service will be difficult with the government policies.

The RCSC’s annual report stated that civil service to the population ratio in Bhutan is 1:27, which appears large when compared to ratio of other countries. “The government policies such as the planned employment of 200 teachers for the dratshang will increase civil servant numbers.”

The current youth unemployment situation also worsens this challenge for the RCSC as everyone turns to the civil service for employment.

The report stated that due to decentralisation, the growth of local governments could lead to increase in the size of the civil service. It stated that the utility vehicle each in the gewogs meant recruitment of 205 drivers that will cost the government an additional Nu 30.335 million per year. “From the perspective of RCSC, decentralisation efforts must focus on dzongkhags and going any further, must be preceded by and be contingent on the rationalisation of the number of gewogs.”

The RCSC shared concerns that certain positions are not utilised fully and contributes to the slow growth of civil servants.

For instance, optimising human resources will remain a challenge as civil service in general is seen as a better option to deliver most of the public services. “The HR officers are the key officials at the RCSC Secretariat and in the agencies who carry out important human resource functions,” the report stated.

“Even globally, the HR function is gaining stature with HR being recognised as the key to any organisation’s success,” the report said.

The annual growth rate of civil servants for the year 2017 is 4.80 percent as compared to 0.86 percent last year.

The report stated that the increase in the civil servants was due to the inclusion of consolidated contract employees, assistant research officers for the National Assembly and National Council, wardens and matrons, and sports coaches in schools.

There was an additional 1,238 civil servants until June 2017.  Of that 630 were “separated”, meaning, they were either retrenched or transferred to other organisations.

Phurpa Lhamo

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