Nepal | June 07, 2020

Govt flayed for failing to fill vacant posts

Jagdishor Panday
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Kathmandu, September 4

Ruling and opposition parties have come down heavily on the government for failing to expedite the process of filling vacant posts of civil servants in all tiers of government, transferring right person to the right place and scrapping identical posts that are increasing costs.

Minister of Federal Affairs and General Administration Minister has claimed that his ministryis doing its best to keep public administration robust.

Ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmakers Pampha Bhusal and Nabaraj Silwal, and main opposition Nepali Congress lawmakers Amresh Kumar Singh and Dilendra Prasad Badu told the parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee that the government was doing a bad job in terms of restructuring the public administration. But Minister Pandit said it would be unfair to criticise the government now.

“The country has just undergone a major change with the shift from unitary to federal system of government. It will take some time to cope with it. We will complete civil servant integration process by mid-January,” said Pandit, who had previously set mid-July deadline to complete administration restructuring process.

The federal, provincial and local governments need a workforce of 124,257, according to the Federal Affairs and General Administration Ministry. But the number of staff in the three tiers of government currently stands at 85,922. The biggest chunk of staff is required at the local levels, where around 57,000 civil servants need to be deployed. But the central government has so far transferred only 29,229 staff to local bodies, according to Minister Pandit.

“We have already started the process of hiring more staff in coordination with Public Service Commission,” said Pandit. “The central government will hire staff for provincial and local governments until public service commissions are established in provinces.”

NCP (NCP) lawmaker and former minister Bhusal suggested that the government follow scientific process while restructuring the public administration. “Instead, many are more interested in fulfilling their own interests,” she said, adding, “Look at the way the number of government departments has gone up; even ministers want to see a bunch of staff around them.”

She also suggested that the government do away with a large number of offices at the district level. “If we keep so many offices in districts, we will have four tiers of government,” she said. “This will further complicate our problems and may lead to downfall of federalism.”

The biggest victim of delay in public administration restructuring process has been local bodies, as they have not been able to function properly either due to shortage of staff or due to lack of skilled human resources.  “The central government is transferring engineers to places that are demanding health professionals. This will not address the problems of local bodies,” said Nepal Congress lawmaker Singh said. “Worse, some of the local bodies are seeing rampant transfer of staff.

Another Congress lawmaker Badu claimed government officials were being transferred based on ruling party’s instruction, which will not support the country’s budding federalism.

 


A version of this article appears in print on September 05, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.


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