The advisers will be dividing their time between the ministries and their offices and will be meeting once a week
The Chief Advisor of the Interim Government, Justice Tshering Wangchuk allotted the respective ministries to be handled by the nine advisors of the interim government.
Chief Advisor Chief Justice Tshering Wangchuk will look after Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.
These are the two most sensitive ministries with the Home Ministry looking after internal security and also administration over the Dzongkhags and the foreign ministry having to deal with foreign relations. The same ministries were taken by the last Chief Advisor in 2013.
Advisor Dasho Karma Ura, the President of Center for Bhutan Studies will handle Ministry of Finance. This is the same post as last time around in 2013 and is also linked to Dasho’s expertise in the field of economics.
Advisor Dasho Penjore, Governor of Royal Monetary Authority will look after Ministry of Agriculture. Though it may not be the intention his appointment in the ministry may help both RMA and the Ministry which have been looking at ways for financial institutions to help fund commercial agriculture among others.
Advisor Dasho Ugen Chewang, Chairman of Druk Holding and Investment will look after the Ministry of Education
Advisor Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, Managing Director, Druk Green Power Corporation will take charge of the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement. He is an engineer by training with extensive experience in hydropower projects management and construction.
Advisor Dasho Karma Tshiteem, the Chairperson of the Royal Civil Service Commission will handle the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Dasho’s experience in his previous field of GNHC will bring in an additional perspective to this key ministry.
Advisor Aum Kinley Yangzom, Chairperson, Anti-Corruption Commission will look after the Ministry of Health which is also located right next door to the ACC.
Advisor Nidup Dorji, the Vice Chancellor of Royal University of Bhutan will look after the Ministry of Information and Communications.
Advisor Bachu Phub Dorji, the Managing Director of Kuensel Corporation will look after the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources.
The appointments while taking into account the qualifications and background of the advisors have also wisely avoided any potential conflict of interest.
For example, the RMA governor and the DHI Chairman have not been given the Ministry of Finance. The MoF secretary is a board member of the RMA board and the MoF is also the largest shareholder in DHI.
Also, the Kuensel MD is not looking after the MoIC which is the parent ministry for competing media houses.
The make up of the advisors is also largely similar to the 2013 list.
In accordance with Article 19 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan, His Majesty the King issued a Royal Kasho appointing Chief Advisor and Advisors for the 2nd Interim Government on the the auspicious day of 9th August, 2018.
The interim government will assist and enable the Election Commission of Bhutan to hold free and fair elections in the Nation. Further, it will fully commit to serve the Tsa-Wa-Sum during its tenure.
The government shall be formed within ninety days from the date of submission of the National Assembly.
The advisors will split their time between their present jobs and their jobs as advisors in the respective ministries. This will avoid people from the ministries running with their files to the advisors and vice versa. The advisors are expected to meet once a week like a cabinet to discuss and take joint decisions or coordinate with each other.
The advisors will not receive any additional pay or facilities. They can use the 11 Prados surrendered by the former ministers, but most of them declined saying they already have their own duty vehicles.
The interim government, formed after the end of the elected government’s term, will function on the same principles as the government, but with the limited powers as prescribed by the Constitution.
Article 19, which deals with the interim government says that whenever the National Assembly is dissolved, the Druk Gyalpo shall appoint an Interim Government to function for a period, which shall not exceed ninety days, to enable the Election Commission to hold free and fair elections.
The interim government shall carry out the routine functions of the Government but shall not be entitled to take any policy decisions or enter into any agreement with foreign governments or organizations.
It will receive timely and regular briefings from the ministries, the constitutional bodies, the commissions, the autonomous bodies, and other agencies, so as to keep the interim government abreast of evolving situations, emerging trends in the country, and of external events that could have a bearing on the State.
This is the second time that an interim government will be set up following the enactment of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
The interim government will ensure the continuance of all the routine government functions in a seamless manner until the next elected government takes up office after the elections.
The cabinet secretariat will support and function as the interim government’s secretariat, as in the case of the regular cabinet. The ministries, the constitutional bodies, the commissions, the autonomous bodies, and other agencies will ensure that normal government functions are carried out so that existing activities of the government continue, especially those in the pipeline like, the completion of the 11th Five-Year Plan, formulation of the 12th Five-Year Plan, and discussions on projects and mobilization of aid or financing with foreign entities.
The interim government will allocate ministries to the advisors to facilitate the broad oversight of the functioning of the government, and efficient interaction and interface between the interim government and the ministries, but without undue interference in the day-to-day routine functioning of the ministries.
The ministries will study and make recommendations for the future on critical issues of long-term national concerns such as, the fiscal and monetary situation and trends, education, employment, immigration, and good governance.
The interim government shall cease to exist from the date on which the new Prime Minister enters office when the new National Assembly is constituted.