‘Over 75 percent’ civil servants to go out of central government

2018-01-21

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Jan 21, 2018-With three tiers of government becoming operational after the announcement of temporary provincial centres and appointment of governors to the seven provinces, experts say more than 75 percent of the total civil servants will be deployed to the provincial and local levels for their full-fledged functioning.

Ending the centuries-long centralized system of governance, the Constitution of Nepal in 2015 adopted three tiers of governments—central, provincial and local, decentralizing the authority of the center.

The local governments have been elected for months while the elections to the provincial assemblies and the House of Representatives that completed last month have paved the way for setting up two other governments.

After the governors’ swearing-in on Friday, the provincial administration will be set up when they assume their offices in the respective temporary headquarters. The High Powered Federal Administration Restructuring Committee led by Kashi Raj Dahal, chairman of the Administrative Court, has recommended that over 75 percent of the total 83,200 civil servants be deployed to the provincial and local levels. This will leave only one-fourth of the existing government employees under the federal government.

“As the provincial and local governments have more role than the centre, obviously more civil servants will be required there,” Dahal told the Post. Broadly, some 40 percent staffers will be deployed to the 753 local federal units while around 35 percent will work under the provincial governments.

The Local Level Restructuring Commission had suggested 70 officials on an average in each local government under the command of a joint-secretary at the metropolitan city and under-secretary at the lower level.

The secretary (called provincial chief secretary) will lead the bureaucracy in the province.

According to Article 302 of the constitution, civil servants will be deployed at the three levels in the new arrangement. The Civil Servant Adjustment Act endorsed by parliament three months ago sets the broader criteria for management and deputation of the staffers within six months.

As the process has yet to get momentum, the Ministry of General Administration is preparing the standard for deployment. It has already asked the officials to opt for voluntary retirement by February if they do not want to join the provincial or local services.

“The provincial governments will hire their own staff based on their need when the adjustment of officials from the centre completes,” said Dahal. The constitution provisions the provincial Public Service Commission to hire civil servants in the state and the local bodies under it.

Source: The Kathmandu Post (Online)