Yangchen C Rinzin

Considered the first compulsory retirement case for non-compliance, Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) made an engineer of Paro dzongkhag compulsorily retire.

The engineer was transferred to Mongar last July but he did not comply with the transfer and relieving order.

It was found that he neither went to Mongar nor worked in Paro dzongkhag but had been receiving a salary from Paro dzongkhag for almost four months and 15 days.

RCSC made the decision to compulsorily retire him with benefits on March 5.  The engineer was at a supervisory level.

The commission officials said the decision was based on Bhutan Civil Service Rules and Regulations and Civil Service Act.

The case only surfaced when the engineer approached RCSC on December 2 last year, appealing for a transfer to a nearby dzongkhag instead of Mongar.

The commission then investigated and found that he did not comply with the transfer order but was receiving salary without going to work in Paro or Mongar.

It was also found that the engineer’s parent agency, works and human settlement ministry, had transferred him in the 2019 annual transfer and reminded him thrice since November that year.

The engineer has refunded the salary he received for four months and 15 days.

An official from Paro dzongkhag said that he was transferred and relieved in July from the dzongkhag and a copy of the order was also sent to Mongar dzongkhag administration, but the officer had appealed to revoke his transfer order or have him transferred to nearby places.

“Then the first nationwide lockdown happened and we couldn’t follow up on the transfer. We expected him to have reported to Mongar since we gave him the relieving order.”

The official said that, when they followed up, the engineer explained that he had he appealed against his transfer. “He could have at least reported to Mongar dzongkhag administration and then processed his transfer.”

The official agreed with the administration lapses but said it was because most officials were involved with work related to the Covid-19 pandemic and overlooked the relieving order. “The finance division wasn’t aware he was already relieved since they hadn’t come across the relieving order.”

It was learnt that Mongar dzongkhag administration found out he did not report in October last year.

Meanwhile, RCSC asked the dzongkhag administration to explain the lapses.

“Although the dzongkhag administration has submitted the response, the commission is yet to take any action, as most of the commission members are busy with civil service examination viva.”

RCSC’s annual report 2019-2020 stated the commission took various actions for civil servants.

Of the seven civil servants prosecuted before a court of law, administrative action was taken against four cases as per the delegation of authority, and one civil servant is under suspension.  Two cases are pending.

Nine civil servants were given disciplinary action by respective agencies, where the penalty imposed ranges from reprimand to termination.

The report stated RCSC received 11 appeal cases after disciplinary action was taken. “However, the Commission upheld the decision of the agencies and earlier Commission’s decisions on seven cases and four cases are pending.”

There are 13 cases where the Commission has received a complaint from the Anti-Corruption Commission.

“As per the delegation of the authority, the cases are forwarded to respective agencies, which in turn are required to submit action taken reports to the RCSC,” the report stated. “The RCSC has received six reports from the agencies, whereas some agencies have taken administrative actions, while other cases are dismissed for lack of legal basis after the investigation.”