Appointing dzongdags

My last post generated a lot of discussions. Good.

Most of you feel that the cross transfer of the Samtse and Haa dzongdags does not represent new appointments. That they are merely transfers of existing dzongdags. And, that the home ministry has the authority to transfer existing dzongdags.

I disagree. The home ministry cannot transfer existing dzongdags for two reasons: One, dzongkhags are not under the home ministry – they are independent, autonomous agencies. So, the home ministry does not have legal administrative authority over dzongdags. According to Chapter 16, Section 2.1.3 of the BCSR, only the RCSC can execute “inter-ministry/agency” transfers. And the BCSR defines agency as “the Ministry, Dzongkhag, and Autonomous Organisation…”

And two, according to Article 2.19(q) of the Constitution, dzongdags shall be appointed by the Druk Gyalpo “by warrant under His hand and seal.” But does this mean that the Druk Gyalpo appoints dzongdags in general, as a cadre of civil servants not meant for specific dzongkhags? Or, does it mean that the Druk Gyalpo appoints dzongdags to specific dzongkhags?

The RCSC favours the second interpretation. Hence their announcement:

His Majesty the King has appointed Rinzin Dorji, Chief Planning Officer, GNH Commission as Dzongdag, Samtse Dzongkhag; Karma Dukpa, Sr. Drungpa, Phuntsholing Dungkhag as Dzongdag, Zhemgang Dzongkhag; and Sonam Jigme, Chief Trade & Industry Officer, Regional Trade & Industry Office in Samdrup Jongkhar as Dzongdag, Gasa Dzongkhag.

The above appointments have been made in accordance with Article 2, section 19 (q) of the Constitution.

His Majesty’s warrant is specific. Rinzin Dorji was appointed as Samtse Dzongdag, not as any dzongdag. Karma Dukpa as Zhemgang Dzongdag. And Sonam Jigme as Gasa Dzongdag. So they cannot be transferred to other dzongkhags.

But that does not mean that they, and other existing dzongdags, can never serve in other dzongkhags. If the RCSC and the government feel that moving a particular dzongdag to another dzongkhag is desirable, all they’ve got to do is follow procedure. Follow Article 2, Section 19(q) of the Constitution.

And why is procedure, especially those enshrined in the Constitution, so important? To ensure checks and balances. And to ensure respect for law and transparency.


Facebook Comments:


  1. i agree that RCSC should be consulted while transferring dzongdas but i am doubtful whether dzongkhags are independent and autonomous agencies or not…If so, then what constitutes home ministry? Only departments in Thimphu? ….In that case, letter heads of dzongkhags should be changed….Today they write, Ministry of home and cultural affairs, samtse dzongkhags…..Now they should write, Royal Goverment of Bhutan, Samtse Dzongkhag…
    ..just my thought

  2. No, actually I think if the Dzongdags are not under the administrative control of the central government and if the Home Ministry has no jurisdiction over the dzongkhangs, then RCSC should rename them as follows:

    Government of Dzongdag
    Samtse Dzongkhang

  3. Come to think of it, in most of democratic countries, State and provincial government are independent of Federal or Central government.

  4. The very fact it generated a lot of discussion and many thought that it was just a transefer-interdzongkhag transfer….. how can it be concieved as punishement transfer. It was not administrative transfer but just an interdzongkhag transfer.

  5. The very fact it generated a lot of discussion and many thought that it was just a transefer-interdzongkhag transfer….. how can it be concieved as punishement transfer. It was not administrative transfer but just an interdzongkhag transfer.

  6. Dear OL

    If your interpretation were to be accepted, it would mean that the transfer of a dzongdag would have to be by warrant under His hand and seal of the Druk Gyalpo.

    Isn’t this tantamount to burdening His Majesty with administrative responsibilities? That does not seem fair or reasonable.

  7. I don’t agree that transfer should be done by RCSC. It should be done by the Home Ministry itself because Dzongdas directly report to the Home Minister.

  8. I also think that the Constitution is one confused document with misguided intent and purpose.

  9. Yangchung says

    This is so messed up. I come here, read your blog, and leave totally confused! Every time!!!

    • Dear Yangchung:Very good. This means that we are thinking, no? I believe that being confused because you’re thinking is far better than not thinking and accepting that everything is all right. Tshering

  10. this act of home ministry is so misguided that it really doesnt make any sense,,,
    if they really want to put the official in question under scrutiny and observation then transfering him to to Thimphu???the SP to Pling? Is that a punishment for the irresponsible things that they have done, for am i not seeing the irony here. And why do the other people like the Haa dzongdag and SP Pling and the others have to suffer for these peoples wrongdoing by having to transfer immediately and prematurely.if i am led to think that a dzongdag should atleast serve few years before he or she can be transferred …how now can the Haa dzongdag be transferred from Haa after a little more than a years stay there? doesnt it seem unfair? the home ministry is flaunting too much of its power…..above all the poor citizens are suffering ….distaseful and illogical

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