KATHMANDU, Feb 19: As many as 127 newly recruited government staffers have remained jobless for months because of lack of coordination between the federal and local governments in the adjustment of civil servants to the local level.
After various local units declined to take in the civil servants recently recruited by the Public Service Commission, they have been going to and fro between the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration and local units concerned seeking placement.
According to the ministry, they were recruited by the PSC last year to meet the manpower crunch faced by local units after the division of civil servants among the three tiers of the federal structure. But following prolonged delay by the central government in meeting the shortfalls, some local units recruited staff on their own -- without waiting for recruitment through the PSC. Civil servants also changed their postings from the remote areas to urban-area local units during the adjustment process.
“Some local units managed to transfer loyal civil servants to positions they sought instead of waiting for the recruitment process to run its course,” a senior official at the ministry told Republica, requesting not to be named. The spokesperson at the ministry declined to comment, stating that he had just been transferred to another office.
As many as 127 civil servants have been frequenting the ministry for postings to vacant positions at any local unit. They complain of not finding employment for months despite passing the PSC exams.
Province 5 has the highest number of civil servants turned down by the local units after being recruited by the PSC.
According to the ministry, the number of civil servants left jobless after PSC exams are eight in Province 1; 22 in Province 2; 38 in Bagmati Province, six in Gandaki; 41 in Province 5; three in Karnali; and eight in Sudur Paschim.
Nepalgunj has turned down the highest number of civil servants recommended to it as per its own demand letter. The sub-metropolitan city has turned away 18 of them.
“Misunderstanding and lack of coordination between the federal ministry and our office is the cause of the problem. The ministry seems to be writing to the PSC to recruit civil servants as per its assessment of staff needed, but we reduced this need, making and implementing our own law,” said Uma Magar, the deputy mayor. “The ministry should take responsibility for those civil servants who are in excess of our need.”
Some other local units have also been found to be appointing temporary staff to vacant positions and declining to accept newly-recruited permanent staffers.
They have informed the ministry in writing about the appointment of their own recruits to the vacant positions.
“We still need 50,000 civil servants at various local units. We must manage this need but we are struggling with some technical issues prior to any recruitment,” said Secretary at the Federal Affairs Ministry Yadav Koirala.
In the absence of civil service laws concerning the provinces, the ministry has failed to deploy civil servants from one local unit to vacant positions in another. “The ministry cannot deploy a civil servant recruited for one local unit to another unit at present. This can only be managed if the minister is willing to do it,” said former federal affairs minister Lalbabu Pandit.