… all MPs vote in favour of it

Dechen Dolkar 

The National Assembly (NA) adopted the Civil Service Reform Bill 2022, yesterday.

The Civil Service Reform Bill 2022 consists of four Chapters and 38 Sections with the objective of amending the existing relevant laws to align with the civil service reforms and ensure effective governance of the civil service.

The NA’s Good Governance Committee submitted five recommendations out of 38 sections in the Bill on Wednesday. All recommendations were endorsed by the House.

The committee chairperson and Khatoed Laya MP Tenzin presented the recommendations to the House. The House has also supported the proposal to reduce it to nine ministries and the committee’s recommendations and changing the name of the Bill to Civil Service Reform Bill of Bhutan 2022.

The chairperson said that the committee has done consultations and stakeholder meetings while reviewing the Bill.

The committee recommended that this Act remains in force until the existing laws impacted by the Civil Service reforms are amended by Parliament.

The committee recommended that the Office of the Attorney General shall compound petty offences in accordance with the compounding rules endorsed by Lhengye Zhungtshog.

The committee also recommended that Lhengye Zhungtshog may rename the ministries in consultation with RCSC instead of upon recommendation of the RCSC.

During the deliberations, Khengkar-Weringla MP Rinzin Jamtsho suggested that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade could be named the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Some MPs also supported the proposal.

Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji said that in most developed countries foreign affairs and external trade work in parallel. “So far the issue of external trade has been solved by foreign affairs,” Lyonpo said.

Chhumig-Ura MP Karma Wangchuk said that the Dzongkhag Development Commission (DDC) could be kept as a commission instead of merging it with the home ministry.

Opposition Leader, Dorji Wangdi suggested that DCC could be merged with the education ministry since they have to work closely.

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that since it is under the home ministry, it will have more advantages and impact in fulfilling the responsibilities.

The members also expressed that the RCSC shall determine the tenure and terms of employment of senior civil servants as prescribed in the Bhutan Civil Service Regulations and its amendments shall be reviewed by the parliament since in most cases the rules and regulations are completely different from the Act.

The Bill will be sent to the National Council as an urgent Bill.