According to the federal system, there are three levels of government in the country: federal, state and local. According to the essence of federalism, political, economic and administrative rights have been brought to the lower level. There is a constitutional provision that the lower level should make its own civil service law only after the federal civil service law is enacted. In the current situation where the Federal Civil Service Act is stuck in the parliament, there is no clear legal provision regarding staff management. Residual rights are exercised by the Union in cases where it is not mentioned in the constitution or there is no clear legal provision. Although the Employees Adjustment Act was enacted, it was not without controversy. Due to the failure of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration as the Central Personnel Agency (C.P.A.), the work of returning the employees to the union is currently underway by the decision of the Supreme Court. As a central staff body, the Ministry has so far not felt the need to provide any kind of training to the employees appointed at the local level on the basis of the recommendation of the Federal Public Service Commission and the letter of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration. However, the work of all the ministries, secretariats and constitutional bodies done by the federal and state governments has been done by the same staff.
Questions from local level staff to the Ministry of Federal Affairs:
There are currently 753 local governments in the country. Effective staff administration is needed to run local service delivery, development construction and financial administration. The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration must seriously consider these questions.
Question no. 1. Local level employees do not need training?
To date, the Ministry has not been able to arrange any training for the employees appointed at the local level on the basis of the recommendation of the Federal Public Service Commission and the letter of the Ministry of Federal Affairs. While the branch officers of the Federal Civil Service were trained for six months in theoretical training and rites related to the service, no one-day orientation training was provided to the recommended employees after checking the same curriculum at the local level. So far no initiative has been taken to arrange in-service training. This is an unfair treatment of the local level of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration as a central staff body.
Question no. 2. Who is the custodian of the local level staff?
Local level employees have been feeling the lack of proper working environment. Employees are left without guardians due to the lack of a body to help and protect employees about work problems. The tendency of not appearing anywhere, having to endure undue pressure from the people's representatives, not getting the transfer agreement at the appropriate place, ignoring the ministry even if it is found, and transferring only on the basis of accessibility has made the local level employees feel helpless.
Question no. 3. Until when is the unjust arrangement of union employees and local level employees always working?
As per the Local Government Operation Act, 2074 BS, the appointment of the Chief Administrative Officer will be in accordance with the law. Accordingly, until the appointment of a Chief Administrative Officer, the Government of Nepal shall assign a civil servant to act as the Chief Administrative Officer. At present, the Ministry is sending the branch officer of the Government of Nepal as the Chief Administrative Officer in the village municipality. Unjust provision has been made that the sixth tier employees who get equal basic salary and the 7th and 8th tier employees who get higher salary should consider the federal branch officer as the boss and the local level employees should always be the employees. This situation exists even in municipalities. This has lowered the morale of the employees. Such an unjust arrangement should end the situation of always being inferior as a local level employee.
Question no. 4. Doesn't the local level need training institutes or training centers in staff development ?
Under the federal system, the Ministry of Guardian of the Employees did not seem to have any idea about the development of the lower level employees even after the end of one term with the election of all the three levels. To improve the capacity and performance of the employees and elected representatives working at the state and local level, to facilitate the implementation of the programs of the state government, to improve the institutional reform and governance capacity of the government and semi-government bodies under the state and the local level. Even though the state has been formed under the name of Good Governance Center, such establishments / centers have not done any effective work under the pretext of Covid 19. In the spare time, the ministry did nothing to build the capacity of local level staff.
Question no. 5. Why is it difficult for the federal government to call local service "civil service"?
"Civil service is the main administrative service of a government of non-military character" This is the universal definition of civil service. But so far I have not been able to find out the reason why the main administrative service of the local government in Nepal can be called civil service. Although the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has issued a circular stating that the conditions of remuneration and service facilities of the employees working at the local level will be the same as the civil servants unless specified in accordance with the state and local laws, it does not mean that the local level employees are civil servants. This question is not only for the Ministry but also for the framers of the Constitution. Why is it so difficult to call the federal, state and local level three-tier government in the constitution but to call the body that solves the real problems of the people and provides services to the people as a separate government and its main administrative mechanism as civil service? Municipal federations and village federations also need to pay serious attention to this.
Question no. 6. Is the exercise of staff transfer rights not transparent and predictable by the Ministry?
Currently, the transfer of local level staff is being done by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration on the basis of mutual consent. The Ministry has not yet formulated any criteria / basis for transfer. With the change of government, many federal civil servants have been transferred, but the transfer of local level employees has been stalled on the pretext that there is no departmental minister. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. The ministry has failed to make the transfer system transparent and predictable. The Ministry has not taken any action on the petitions collected from the Ministerial Decision dated 2078/01/08 till 2078/01/208 on the basis of double agreement as per the staff management criteria (with amendments), 2077 BS. . Therefore, the ministry has completely failed in the transitional staff management of the federal system, whether it is in staff adjustment or staff development or staff management.
Question no. 7. What is the role of Municipality Federation, Rural Municipality Federation ?
Municipality federations and Rural Municipality federations should not shy away from their responsibility to draw serious attention and pressure from the federal government on the fact that the federal government has not formulated laws / standards on staff issues at the local level and neglected staff development. Even at the end of this term, the federations must take the initiative in building the system.
Question no. 8. When will the mother law of civil servants of all levels “Federal Civil Service Act” come?
The problem of staff adjustment is not over yet. The issue of transfer / promotion of employees or other conditions of service is in a dilemma. To this day, no law knows what position he is in. The government should fulfill the major responsibility of bringing the Civil Service Act. Laws related to service facilities have become more important than the law of responsible service to run the administration of the country. Looking at the existing laws, even after the enactment of laws related to the service facilities of all political appointees, the Civil Service Act has not been found. It is imperative that the laws of the civil service at all three levels be enacted as soon as possible to make the staff administration transparent and predictable, to keep the morale of the employees high and to streamline the service flow and development. In the absence of the Civil Service Act, the employees have no choice but to ask questions.
Conclusions / Suggestions
To enable the lower echelons to exercise political, economic and administrative rights according to the spirit of federalism in Nepal, to develop the system, to control corruption, to develop staff, to develop competition, to make service delivery and development transparent, to increase participation, to empower the local community. To identify local needs and local resources, it is essential to operate them properly. It is important to pay special attention to the humanitarian aspect by developing human resources that mobilize all kinds of resources. As the federal government is the guardian of the lower echelons, it is natural to expect the federal government to play a leading role in these matters as well.
The government should play a role in the initiative of the ministry to move the Federal Civil Service Act forward when it is stuck in the parliament. The Federal Civil Service Act should be passed in the direction of successful implementation of the constitution with long-term thinking and not on the basis of partisan interests. The lower government should be guided accordingly. The staff administration should develop a transparent and predictable system by making clear legal arrangements regarding staff management. A system of automatic transfer and promotion should be developed within a certain period. According to the federal structure, there will be a situation of discrimination in the formation of three levels of separate staff administration. The work of staff management of the federal system is in a transitional state until the Civil Service Act is enacted. Therefore, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration needs to make its role as the Central Staff Body (C.P.A.) fair, transparent and efficient in this vacancy. It is necessary to accelerate the role of the state government in staff development and system development at the local level.
Date: 2078/06/07 Published in prasashan.com