Yangchen C Rinzin
When a post of a Holder, Member and Commissioner of a Constitutional Office becomes vacant for any reason other than the expiration of term, the new appointee shall get to serve for the full term or until attaining the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
This is one of the new provisions in the Entitlement and Service Conditions Act for the holders, members and commissioners of constitutional office of Bhutan (amendment) Bill 2020.
With 21 of the 22 members present voting in favour, National Council (NC) yesterday endorsed this new section in the Bill.
The new section was inserted by the National Assembly (NA).
NC’s Good Governance committee, chairperson and Chhukha MP Sangay Dorji said that after the committee members went through the pros and cons, it decided to endorse the section.
“If a new appointee needs to serve only the remaining years, then he/she may not get enough time to serve and prove their capability,” he said. “If a member or commissioner resigns after completing four years, one year won’t be enough for the new appointee to learn and share their experience.”
The new section, 4B, is apart from Section 4A that was amended and endorsed by both Houses.
As per the Section 4A, commissioners and members of constitutional offices will not have to resign from the civil service on their appointment or after completing the five-year tenure. The members and commissioners, otherwise, are detached from the civil service once appointed.
The Bill originated from National Council.
Despite confusion over the constitutionality of Section 4A on the resignation, both Houses endorsed the Bill. Some of the members of NA expressed that Section 4A contradicts Article 24, 26, 27 and 31 of the Constitution.
However, chairperson Sangay Dorji who mentioned only about Article 31, said that having gone through the Constitution, the committee members have concluded that Section 4A does not contradict Constitution in anyways.
“It was proposed to do away with the compulsory resignation with the intention to keep the capable ones, which otherwise have to resign at an early age after completing the tenure,” he said. “Instead of making them resign, we can keep the capable ones in the civil service.”