Administrative action

The Samtse Dzongdag has been transferred to Haa. His transfer, which was decided by the home ministry, is meant to be an administrative action against him.

But Article 2, Section 19(q) of our constitution states that:

The Druk Gyalpo shall, by warrant under His hand and seal, appoint: … Dzongdags on the recommendation of the Prime Minister who shall obtain nominations from the Royal Civil Service Commission.

If it is the Druk Gyalpo who appoints dzongdags, then how is it that the home ministry has appointed a new dzongdag for Haa? And a new one for Samtse? Kuensel raised this point more than a year ago. And so did I.

I will ask the RCSC if due process was followed in the appointment of the two dzongdags.

And I will ask the RCSC if their rules permit the prime minister to issue “… directives to the home ministry, the judiciary and the police to take appropriate actions against the senior dzongkhag officials.”


Facebook Comments:


  1. Are the two Dzongdags new appointees? I was under the impression that the Samtse Dzongdag was transferred to Haa and vise versa.

    Now this democracy is making me dizzy! How is it possible that a Ministry is not empowered to transfer its own officers? How is it possible that the power and authority of the Prime Minister of the country who is the head of the government is in doubt – as to whether he can issue directives to the home ministry, the judiciary and the police?

    By the way, I was under the impression that in recent times, Dzongdags were appointed by RCSC through competitive examinations. Have I got that wrong?

  2. OL,
    The PM is absolutely empowered to issue directives to the ministries and other agencies. If something bad happens, are you going to take responsibility or are you going to blame the PM? In other words, you want the PM to be accountable for every thing going wrong but not have the authority to do any thing about it. I am not sure whether it is the right administrative action taken by the concerned agencies but I am in no doubt that the PM is the head of the government and there is only one government in Bhutan regardless of what you think.

  3. The issue could have been relevant to discuss if Dzongdag is transferred to other departments, but transferring from one dzongkhag to another cannot be construed as new appointment….i agree with yalam that whether that can be considered as punishment or not is a question but i find no problem in transferring dzangdags from one district to another. Lets not interpret constitution too narrowly!

  4. Reprimand in the form of transfer? It is perhaps a little too lenient for a misdemeanour of this stature. The pedestal needs to be humbled down. Tshering, I certainly see a point to be noted in your statement. It is time to uphold the principles of the constitution and abide by them. We certainly cannot afford to disconnect the two.

  5. OL alyays seems to refer our constitution which is good. But here your are referring to the wrong incident. home ministry didn’t appoint new Dzongda to Haa. Ministry just transferred old dzongda as a punishment.i support all three above.If PM as a head of govt.have no power to give directives to the concerned agencies who should have it? OL argument here seems cheap & pointless

  6. I also think it is the nature of the so called punishment we are worried about.
    If someone does something bad, and all they get is transferred to a better place, how is it a punishment.

  7. And for people saying we should not blame everything on the prime minister. Prime ministers always takes credit for things that they did not do, so it is only fair they take critism, for things they did not do as well. I am not talking about Bhutan in particular. It goes to any other countries.

  8. guardian says

    By now our OL must be well versed with our constitution, only thing wrong is that he interprets it the way it suits him. For someone as educated as the OL, I don’t know how he even came up with such a non issue. As rightly pointed out, the two dzongdags are not new appointees, they are just being transferred. Just imagine the chaos that would follow if for even a transfer one required His Majesty to issue a royal kasho.

    For many of us, what is more pertinent is whether the Samchi dzongda was guilty or not and if not, then why was he transferred.

  9. Who the hell said that only new appointees are to be selected by RCSC on competitive basis?I am worried with such interpretations & Knowledge our Bhutanese ppl possess. Any vacant post at that level is to be recommended and selected for your kind information. And the question OL put is because the Black book (BCSR 2006) carries provisions like administrative actions at that level will be dealth by RCSC since they are civil servants and PM does not come in…On the whole, yes, PM is the head of the Government and no one can dare question him, so such happenings. But gone are the days when one is always a “Yes Boss” person and I must say it’s healthy for the nation to question even the PM on his doings if it is found wrong. Is a transfer an administrative action?what guarantee is there that what happened in Samtse wont repeat in Haa.

    I would also like to draw your attention to the Drangpon whose administrative action is still not taken. I hope and worry they dont bring him in High Court on transfer as administrative action.

    Lastly ppl, make noise, raise your voice till he who decided this hears it…dont let him stay deaf,it’s unhealthy and disheartening for us to know such a wrogn thing has happened and we cannot do anything about it coz it’s the decision of the higher authorities..totally not done and shoudl not be accepted. Home Ministry and the Police have to take back their decision and demote them, teach them a lesson and keep it on record.

  10. I am worried why Haa is chosen as a place of Punishment of all the places. Is Haa such a bad place? Won’t Haa need a happy Dzongda as well? No wonder Haa is one of the most underdeveloped districts.

    It’s funny though, why Haa dzongda is punished with a transfer (to samtse)?
    Or is Transfer a Punishment?

  11. Can someone explain to me if “administrative action” means the same as “punishment”? I was under the impression that it is not and the transfers were just meant to give an “impression” of one to satisfy those who felt they deserved one.
    If it is meant to be punishment, the question I have as some others did is, “what is so punitive about being transferred to Haa or Phuentsholing?”
    On the other hand, transfers as punishment used to be a popular MoE strategy (I hope they have given it up now). Any misbehaving teacher or principal would be sent off to a remote location where s/he can do anything s/he wanted (ala sweeping under the carpet), and the poor children paid the price. I think this has done much damage to the quality of education in remote Bhutan, and continue to do so. “Remote” means “punishment”, not “service” that could be rewarding experience.

  12. Look guys,

    OL raised an issue related to whether the PM or the government has the authority to give directives to the agencies named. He also also raised the issue that only His Majesty appointed Dzongdags. What we are trying to ascertain is whether the said Dzongdags were new appointees and whether the PM and the government had the power and the administrative authority to give directions to the agencies named by the OL.

    So please be kind enough to stay with the issue. If you want to discuss the appropriateness of the administrative taken by the government, please raise the issue separately.

  13. For once, it would be nice if we keep HM above our petty discussions. As Head of State and ultimate guardian of the nation and people, the sanctity of the institution must be protected at all costs. OL, please learn to bring out issues and defend your view points on their own merits.

  14. yalama,

    I don’t see OL challenging HM in any way. HM’s position is already sacrosanct, there is no question about that. By the way, as far as I can see, I don’t think this issue is petty unless you are somehow related to the Samtse dzongda or it is in your nature to remain a cunning puppet to a false system for the whole of your good life.

  15. Twister,

    That is bloody unfair. I support yalama. I am also pretty fed up that the name of HM has to be dragged in to lend credence to every topic of discussion. We debate not because all of us are experts at the subject but because we hope to gain some understanding about a subject under discussion and on which we are unsure.

    Let us discuss an issue on the basis of its own merit. It is lame to bring in the name of HM which you agree is sacrosanct!

  16. Twister,
    You really are a twister – good choice of name! I didn’t say OL is challenging HM -what I said was that he should not ALWAYS resort to this tactic of bringing in HM’s name. By the way, please tell us which false system you are talking about? If I am a puppet of the false system, then you are no more than a lapdog of the OL. Focus on the issue under discussion and don’t twist my statements.

  17. This strategy of the OL bringing in HM and the Constitution everywhere, intended I guess to play on people’s sentiments, is so pathetic in its transparency.

  18. We must respect OL’s view and that is his view. But being too rigid always is also not so good. Yes we do have a very good Constitution but we must intrepret it in a little Librel thinking.

    Haaps must welcome the New Dzongdag and from my experience Haaps are very accomodating. Haaps must not loose heart as the Govt. has sent him to Haa as punishment transfer, though it is hurting to undermine the Dzongkhag as least developed and backward.

    OL, I think Govt has all the authority to transfer officials and I also think to transfer officials they don’t have to follow the Constitution. I hope the new Dzongdag will prove himself to be a able leader..this is an opportunity.New Dasho Dzongdag…. Don’t lose heart afterall the man who stands the great fall will succeed in life. I know we commit mistakes as we are Human Beings. Haaps will Welcome You with Open hands.

  19. yalama…first you need to brush up your English before commenting on my post.

  20. guardian says

    I just read that the previous Samtse dzongda, now the present Ha Dzongda was earlier working in the GNH Commission. If thats how he goes about spreading happiness in the country, then we have had it.

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