Civil Servants under RADA

Overall, the Rules for Administrative Disciplinary Actions (RADA) for civil servants is an important reform.

While it is largely drawn from the Code of Conduct of the Bhutan Civil Service Rules (BCSR), the BCSR did not spell out specific penalties.

As a result, there was no uniformity in the action taken against civil servants for various offences, and the actions were usually on the milder side.

This is most visible in the various RAA Reports where civil servants responsible for even serious lapses and issues either had no action taken against them or got away very lightly, with the same issues cropping up next year.

Civil Servants should understand that RADA is not meant to prosecute them, but its main aim is to enhance accountability and good governance.

For example, there are a host of offences in RADA which are mainly to fight corruption and improve transparency. RADA also has provisions to hold civil servants accountable for accepting shoddy quality of work.

It has provisions to improve the service delivery capacity and ensure that office time is office time.

For those complaining, they should do two things. The first is take a tour in the villages and see how many farm roads, water projects and other projects, where billions have been spent over multiple plan periods, are unusable. This all happened due to a lack of accountability and professionalism.

The second thing they can do is call their friends or relatives in Australia and find out what it means to work in a truly professional setting.

 However, the main point of concern over RADA are to do with restrictions being imposed upon civil servants to not share information or even express themselves.

The RCSC has clarified to this paper that civil servants can share public information with the media, but this needs to be emphasized as many civil servants are increasingly afraid to talk to the media.

The RCSC should note that restrictions to not give out information will be celebrated by those who are corrupt as it will only help them to cover their tracks.

Corruption and inefficency cannot be stopped simply by issuing rules, but the media and even citizens must also be given the ability to hold officials to account by asking for information.

Information is the oxygen of the modern age.
Ronald Reagan

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