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Monks of the Zhung dratsang are known for their wit. A common one, not very popular with senior monks, is when they are asked to make room when sitting for prayers at the Kunrey (congregation hall).

The sitting is arranged rank wise. Junior monks will ask their seniors to ‘move up’ –move up to Dodena or Phajoding. They mean retiring to a life of prayers so the juniors can rise. Such is the pressure for senior monks coming from within in the past.

There is no pressure in the civil service, especially at the senior level. But that is changing now.

Details are vague, but the Royal Civil Service Commission, it was learnt has politely requested a few senior civil servants to call it quits. This was following the commission’s organisational development exercise. They have identified some non-performers and served them gentle reminders that their service is no more needed.

This is a good move, long due for implementation. Not to deride the civil service, it is a common belief that a government job is a job secured until superannuation. That’s why everybody wants to be a civil servant.

Times have changed and so should our mentality. The civil service has an important mandate of carrying out public duties. The success of the government or good governance largely depends on the bureaucracy. Besides, it is efficient service delivery that will make a difference in the lives of people who depend on the efficiency of the bureaucracy.

The OD exercise, it is known, has found many things that need to be cleaned up in the system. The end target is not only to have a small civil service, but also to have an efficient one. Even without an OD exercise, it was clear that there was duplication of jobs, responsibilities and in some cases; entire divisions and departments were created without much reasoning.

A lot of actions are expected once the recommendations of the OD exercises are implemented. The civil service is not a kidu agency and should be able to take the hard decision. Some heads will roll and we will even see some divisions close down for the good of the country and the people.

The RCSC initiated a performance management system to differentiate performers and non-performers among the civil servants. This will shake up the biggest employer and make room for young officers to grow and contribute. Even today and after major reforms, there exists the senior and junior mentality. We know senior civil servants are not necessarily the best performers. Sometimes, they are seen as a hurdle to young, energetic, full of ideas, public servants.

There will be some grievances as the OD recommendations affect individuals and agencies. But the recommendations should be implemented for the good of the civil service and for service delivery. Transferring a non-performer, for instance, to head another department is transferring a problem. It is not a solution. Tough decisions should be made.

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