With the Civil Service Reform Bill passing in both Houses of Parliament, an important provision in its section 35 states, ‘The Royal Civil Service Commission may recruit Civil Servants on contract if required in accordance with the Bhutan Civil Service Regulations.’
While RCSC already hires junior staff, teachers and others on contract, the specific provision is to allow it to hire even executive civil servants.
The RCSC Chairperson, Karma Hamu Dorjee, said they are currently in the process of working out the details of this.
She said, “We want the talent pool to be bigger, which is the intent.”
She said that while the existing executives and P1 are eligible to move up, they are looking at certain positions.
The RCSC Chairperson said they have not finalized the positions, but they cannot also open it up all at once.
“The plan is to be quite careful and see how it works, but the intent is there. The RCSC will share which positions will be opened up once it is finalized,” she added.
The RCSC plans to carry out consultations with executives and stakeholders on the issue, and ensure that whatever is done is thought through well.
RCSC which is in the stage of making initial drafts has to go for consultations, and also ensure that the government is on board.
A proper framework will be drawn up for this system to ensure it is a robust one.
The positions to be opened up will be critical positions, and as of now, they will only be in the executive category.
The contracts will be based on durations, and once the positions are opened up all the criteria, qualifications, experience, competency will be announced.
In terms of payment, the RCSC does not have any direct authority, but it can recommend payment to the pay commission.
“Obviously, if we want talent and want to retain talent people at the executive level should be paid adequately well,” said the Chair.
She said that irrespective of who the people are at that level, whether on contract or permanent, executives they should be paid well.
The salary scale for the contract positions will be the same as the regular executives as it will have to go with the ones approved by the Parliament.
The plan in the medium to longer term is to pay the executives, and those hired on contract at their level, well, and also hold them accountable.
The Chairperson said, “All over the world, be it countries, governments, companies or agencies they are looking for talent. One way to attract talent is through remuneration.”
“We need to first get all our senior civil service management systems in place before we can suggest any higher pay,” she said.