Employee adjustment process tardy

The MoGA does not have a dedicated minister to take the adjustment process ahead

Kathmandu, October 28

Adjustment of civil servants in the federal set-up has been moving at a snail’s pace, thanks to the recent Cabinet reshuffle that has left the Ministry of General Administration without a dedicated minster.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba concurrently holds the general administration portfolio after he stripped all the CPN-MC ministers in his Cabinet of their portfolios.

The Cabinet reshuffle has adversely affected drafting of two crucial bills relating to Federal Civil Service and Provincial Civil Service, and formation of the Operation and Management Survey Committee that would fix the administrative structure and number of civil servants for local, provincial and federal units, according to MoGA Joint Secretary Prakash Dahal.

Absence of a dedicated minister has also halted the process of forwarding the draft Local Governance Regulation, a vital legal document for the implementation of the Local Governance Act recently passed by the Parliament, to the Cabinet for approval.

“At a time when we need to fast-track our work, we do not have a dedicated minister. On top of that, the secretary has recently been transferred,” Dahal said, adding that even the Authorised Federal Administrative Restructure Committee, which is trying to address the most contentious issue of trade union in civil administration, could not meet for over two weeks.

The committee has proposed one directly-elected trade union not aligned to any political party. However, the existing party-affiliated civil servant organisations have opposed the proposal, said Dahal, adding, “Party-affiliated organisations are promoting unprofessional bargaining and impunity in civil service.”

Since the committee is currently chaired by the prime minister, decision-making has been severely hit due to the PM’s time constraints. Moreover, since bureaucrats consider the ministry ‘less attractive’, they are reluctant to be posted there. Even if posted, most of them seek early transfer. “Outgoing Secretary Mohan Krishna Sapkota stayed for five months, which was one of the longest tenures for a secretary in the ministry,” said Dahal, adding the ministry was facing a serious leadership crisis.

The ministry’s preliminary estimation shows that local bodies need 40,000 civil servants, while provincial and federal governments require 15,000 and 22,000, respectively, for effective delivery of services guaranteed to the people by the constitution. “For this, we need to hire around 20,000 fresh officials,” he said.