Parliament rejects Civil Service Bill



The joint sitting the Parliament adjourned an hour ago, at about 10:30 PM, having concluded the debate on the Civil Service Bill. The bill, an “urgent” bill, was also rejected by the joint sitting. Only five MPs supported the bill, 7 abstained, and 55 voted against it.

Discussions on the bill started collapsing when major differences emerged over whether the judiciary should be completely independent, or whether the current civil servants in the judiciary should continue to be part of RCSC.

So now what? According to the Constitution, His Majesty the King may command a national referendum if, in His opinion, the bill is of national importance. Otherwise, the bill is dead. But, if needed, a new bill on the same issues can be introduced in the Parliament.


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  1. Phuntsho says

    Interesting times…

    Do MPs feel that those bills that are rejected are not important? As far as I am concerned, civil service bill is very much required to guide the functions of the civil service and to support the elected governments to deliver its plans and promises to the electorates.

    Do MPs have vested interests that propel them to reject those bills? Did MPs want to support the interests of their uncles and aunties, and brothers and sisters, who are working in the agencies that demand autonomy from the RCSC and thereby ignore the wider national interests?

    Does this reveal that the two houses are incapable of thinking alike over national interests?

    I would like to believe that MPs are elected because people trusted them to be capable of espousing our national interests and furthering our national aspirations.

    By the same token, I wish our MPs remain mindful of the trust and faith reposed in them by their electorates.

    Otherwise, as some sections of the public feel, thou shall be guilty of serving your own interests and ignoring other bigger issues.

    God bless us!

  2. The judiciary should be totally separate from the RCSC even the staff should be controlled by the judiciary system. it should not be linked with the RCSC system at all. the semi status creates mistrust and may create a situation where RCSC do not post enough clerks in the judiciary system thereby the service delivery will suffer

  3. The Civil Service bill is an extremely complicated one that will have far-reaching impacts and consequences, and it is only understandable that there would be numerous contentious issues. For this very reason India does not have a civil service act because a civil service act can never fully satisfy all the institutions under its unberella. Bhutan too has been functioning well without a civil service act till now even though the RCSC and the civil service has been in existence for decades. Therefore, I do not see the urgency of passing a civil service act immediately. Time should be taken to properly debate each and every section of the act in a more detailed manner than is being done by the NA and NC presently.

  4. You are talking as if you are in favour of referendum or making the bill dead!!! I am sure it will be very costly to have referendum and costlier to make these bills dead. The issues, i believe are not that enormous or complicated that it warrants calling for a referendum or requires changing it completely. Referendum should be the last option after exhausting all parliamentary devices! Looks like it is due to limited time to deliberate properly and thrash it out. So, it would be wise to conduct extraordinary session and pass it. I think there is a provision to appeal HM for advice and conduct special session and pass such bills. And i think even the joint sitting/house resolved to conduct special session….now again don’t tell us it is unconstitutional!

    • I am not in favor of a referendum but I am in favor of having a well-debated bill. It might be costlier for us and our future if we do not have well thought out and well-debated bills being passed as acts.

  5. I am made aware that even constitutional bodies like ACC and RAA have lost its independence given by the constitution. If its true, it is really going to break the commitment of organisations like ACC and RAA to curb corruption. I have a strong believe that ACC and RAA people will have reservations on investigation or issuing memos to the RCSC people fearing consequences from their actions in the future. please think about it.

    Lyonpo, you r doing a great job there. keep up the good job.

  6. Being a civil servant, i have a strong feeling for the civil service system in Bhutan. Bhutan has a well structured civil service system in place and as some one said it has been functioning well even without civil service act. With so-called democracy people feel we should have civil service act. Well no problem. The problem arises when people argue for separation of three arms of government and indirectly suggest that there should be three such separate services and accordingly three separate services rules.

    The question to ask is do we require separate service rules especially given the small size of the population /country and civil service in Bhutan? Can government afford to fund three civil service systems? How are we to maintain linkages and coordination anmong separate services? Will not separation lead to creation of more beauracratic systems?

    I would rather advocate for separation of functions for three arms of government, rather than asking for three separate services systems. Recruitment, transfer, promotion etc. of civil servants may be kept under the existing RCSC, but these be done in consultation and approval of respective branches of the government. In this way, we can harmonize the services systems and coexist rather than paving separate independent pathways.



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