Bringing closure to the secretaries issue

The Royal Civil Service Commission’s decision to ‘reassign’ the three secretaries is actually a decision which in all honesty has left neither the ruling government nor the opposition happy.

The cabinet would have much preferred a clean break from the three secretaries, probably an early retirement or something akin to it with benefits intact, running short of a termination.

The Opposition as it has stated on more than one occasion wanted the three secretaries to be reinstated to their former positions.

The RCSC, it appears, after its own process and due diligence has opted for a middle path approach by not going to what it saw as the either extremes.

Though the government did not get what it wanted it has handled the issue in a dignified way and gracefully accepted the RCSC’s decision. Being the government in power it could have used the OAG to challenge the RCSC in court or apply its strong institutional pressure, but it is very well that it did not do so.

The RCSC, in what could have been a very tricky situation, has upheld its independence and decided to go with what it saw as the merits of the case after hearing all sides and sifting through all evidences.

The Opposition party’s absolute stand on the other hand does not do anyone including itself any favors. Democracy cannot be a zero sum game with absolute winners and losers. It is more complicated and organic then that.

At the end of the day the RCSC’s decision establishes the politicians as the bosses and policy makers which is rightly their role in a democracy. However, in not completely getting rid of the secretaries the RCSC has also ensured that senior civil servants don’t start developing very flexible spines.

Ultimately for democracy to do well it is important that state institutions like RCSC perform their roles to the best of their ability.


“The first duty of a man is to think for himself”

José Martí


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