Kathmandu, December 19

A group of disgruntled government employees submitted a memorandum to the government opposing the provisions of the newly enforced civil servants adjustment ordinance.

They submitted their two-page memorandum to the chief secretary and secretary of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration. They demanded that adjustment of civil servants should be voluntary and not obligatory. As per the ordinance, civil servants can be sacked if they don’t comply with the transfer order within the stipulated date. Civil servants’ move came at a time when local level staffers have also taken to the streets against provisions of the ordinance.

Agitating employees protested in the Prime Minister’s Office today before submitting their memorandum. They have stated in the memorandum that the ordinance is against the spirit of the constitution, Section 58 of the Civil Service Act and the principle of justice.

They said as per Article 243 (5) (d) of the constitution, the government needed to seek advice of the Public Service Commission before transferring a civil servant from federal government to provincial government or vice versa. They said as per Section 58 of the Civil Service Act, a civil servant’s terms of job cannot be altered without his/her written consent. Protesting civil servants sought six amendments to the ordinance, demanding that the adjustment of civil servants in three tiers of the government be made voluntary.

The agitating employees told THT that all civil servants had a genuine desire of reaching the post of chief secretary, but under the provisions of the ordinance, employees who choose to go to local governments and provinces would not be able to reach the top post. “They’ll always have to work under the employees sent by the federal government,” one employee told THT.

They demanded that the government replace inter-service competition in the ordinance with the word inter-governmental service competition so that the employees of the local and provincial governments could be eligible for competing in the internal promotion process of the federal government.

They said the adjustment process should start only after the federal civil service act, provincial civil service acts and local civil service acts were enacted. They also demanded a provision for similar hierarchy in provinces and local governments.

Protesting employees  said the ordinance provision that required non-gazetted first class officers to submit their academic certificates for promotion to section officer (sixth  level) was discriminatory, as such requirement did not apply for the promotion of other civil servants.

They said there should be a uniform rule for promotion.

They demanded that the government bring another ordinance addressing their concerns.

The ordinance gave the federal government the power to appoint joint secretaries as provincial secretaries. “This is against the spirit of the constitution. How can the federal government control the bureaucracy of the provincial government?” he asked and added that the provision mandating the provincial government to seek recruitment of required number of staff from the federal Public Service Commission till the provincial PSC was not formed also lacked constitutional sanction.  “It is the provincial PSC’s job to deploy employees to the province. Why should the federal PSC have any role in this matter?” he wondered.

Under-secretary Ishwari Prasad Pokharel, an employee of education service, said the ordinance gave unfair advantage to employees of the administration service as they would be leading all the departments. “This means technical staff will not have a chance to lead any department,” he said.