Recommendation from the organisation development exercise will help achieve it

RCSC: Towards the end of this year, the reformed civil service will begin taking shape.  The Royal Civil Service Commission is almost done with the organisational development (OD) exercise and has come up with a large list of recommendations.

As the recommendations will be implemented in another one year, it is expected to take the civil service that has reached a minimum standard now to another level.  The civil service reform was required to take civil service from “good to great” level.

Chairman of the Royal Civil Service Commission, Karma Tshiteem, delivered a lecture “Good to Great” to RTC students yesterday on the civil service reform.

The reforms are broadly categorised into five.

First reform will ensure every employee in an organisation is fully utilised and that all organisations have a purpose and individual employees will have identified responsibilities.

Today it is not known who does what work in an organisation, he said, for which the civil service log book was introduced.  It keeps record of what each civil servant do for the day.

As part of the OD exercise, RCSC is considering an overall government reorganisation for more balance in distribution of work.  Of the 10 ministries, Karma Tshiteem said, some ministries have too much work, while some have too little.

“We’re going to rationalise local government,” he said adding that during rationalisation, things like need of dungkhag offices in areas where road network has covered will be closely monitored.

The second reform is focused on the position classification system (PCS), whose objective was to ensure right person for the right job.  The current trend, Karma Tshiteem said, was that RCSC was not getting the kind of returns government has invested on training human resource.

He added that, for nation building, technical professionals, such as doctors, teachers, engineers, play a critical role, but there is very little incentive for people who want to join this field.

“The current system of people entering civil service isn’t good enough to absorb the best and the brightest,” the chairman said. “People are not still prepared to work after the one-year PG diplomas.”

RCSC is improving the system to ensure that only the best and brightest enter   civil service.

He said there was a need to enhance delivery, in which case civil service must perform.  For this, civil servants go though the performance management system (PMS), which differentiates between performing and non-performing civil servants.

Every year, an employee’s performance is rated on the performance evaluation ratings, which has rating level from outstanding to improvement needed.  Anything above 3.5 points is considered outstanding, Karma Tshiteem said.  Rating above 3.5 meant eligibility for meritorious promotion.

After RCSC found some discrepancy in promotion of performing and non-performing civil servants, a rapid assessment was conducted in the 10 ministries.  Average rating in the 10 ministries were 3.8, which meant everyone was outstanding.

“When everyone is outstanding, it means no one is. The system is not differentiating. This is not good,” he said. “The system does not make a person who works hard work harder, instead demotivates them.”

Reform in this area will cascade down from the national level to individual level.   Based on the outcomes, employees of an organisation will be categorised in percentage of performance.

“Improvement needed” category civil servants will receive human resource action, such as trainings to improve.  If that do not help, they will be shown the door.

On the leadership reform, performance of some 150 civil servants at leadership positions will be put on spotlight.

Even for appointment to a leadership position, the open competition system has been improved. In the new open competition system, three major steps are involved, internal assessment of the competitor, his/her track record, experience and integrity assessment.  The competitors’ anti-corruption commission feedback and audit history will be considered.

“We have lost 38 percent of the RCSC toppers since 1990 so far, which is a big loss for the country.  These were people, who have proven greater abilities,” he said. “But we’ll not allow that to happen now.”

Leaders will now receive periodic training.

The chairman also briefed students on the civil service welfare and life after superannuation for civil service.

By Nirmala Pokhrel