English | Dzongkha Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Making civil service small and efficient remains a daunting task

Sonam Pem, Thimphu
Sep 25, 2018

The aim of the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) is to maintain a small, compact and efficient civil service. But realising this aim still remains an uphill battle, states the annual report of the RCSC released recently.

With nearly 29,000 civil servants including 3,195 contract employees, the RCSC remains the country’s biggest employer.

According to the report, Bhutan’s civil servants-to-population ratio is 1:25, which is large compared to other countries.

The report highlights increasing government mandates as factors contributing to the increase in the size of civil service. Recruitment of one ECCD facilitator for every 15 children across 273 centres is one example. The operation of machinery operation services is the other.

An increase in mandatory positions resulting from various acts governing institutions, poor performance management and failure to do away with redundant positions was also pointed as a factor impeding the commission’s efforts to keep the civil service small and efficient.

The growth in the size of the civil service is already putting pressure on the government’s fund. 38.6 per cent of the recurrent budget is currently being utilized to meet pay and allowances of the civil servants.

The RCSC says it is putting concerted efforts to contain the growth of civil service by improving Human Resource (HR) through multitasking, re-skilling and adopting contract recruitment for time-bound projects and programs.

The commission commits to keeping 10 per cent of the civil servants on contract for flexibility.

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