The Speaker

Parliament passes Civil Service Reform Bill after removing OAG’s power to compound offences

The National Assembly today accepted all the five changes recommended the National Council to the Civil Service Reform Bill.

The four changes were minor changes in language and does not affect the bill while the main and fifth change was the removal of section 31 by the NC which said the ‘Office of the Attorney General shall compound petty offences in accordance with the compounding rules endorsed by the Lhengye Zhungtshog.’

This section came under a lot of fire in the NC as not being related to the Civil Service Reforms, there being no checks and balances on the powers of the OAG, excessive number of offences coming under the OAG with 107 out of 170 offences in the penal code, overhauling of the legal system, affect on accountability, political influence and abuse of power, conflict of interest of OAG being the prosecutor and compounder, increase in crime rate and finally the danger of criminals joining the civil service and politics.

The head of the Good Governance Committee said that there were consultations with the OAG and the Judiciary and it was agreed that any changes on this front can be made in the Penal Code sections 71, 72 and 72 which have to do with compounding of offences.

After accepting the NC recommended changes the Bill was passed by the National Assembly and will now go for Royal Assent.

The Civil Service Bill’s main change is that it restructures the civil service into 9 ministries and does away with two ministries and other associated changes.  

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