KATHMANDU, June 25: The government’s preparations to bar professionals other than civil servants from competing for the post of joint-secretary has been criticized from various quarters.
Contrary to the existing provision of allotting 10 percent of the total joint-secretary positions for open competition, a bill proposed by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has removed the provision of recruiting joint-secretaries through open competition.
The bill on the Formation and Operation of Federal Civil Services and Management of Terms and Conditions of Civil Servants proposes filling 30 percent of joint secretary vacancies through internal competition and 70 percent of the vacancies based on seniority and work performance.
“If the government is really working to remove the provision to recruit joint-secretaries through open competition, it is not a good decision,” former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai wrote on Twitter.
The former prime minister has suggested to the government to improve examination system instead of barring talented people from joining the civil service. “Let’s not move backward,” said the former prime minister.
Former Secretary Janak Raj Joshi, who was recruited as joint-secretary through open competition, also opposed the move saying it has closed doors for several young talents to join the bureaucracy.
“Although open competition has its pros and cons, the door of recruiting young talents should not be closed,” said Joshi stating that several talented bureaucrats were selected through open competition.
Former chief secretary Bimal Koirala, former secretary and former chief election commissioner Bhojraj Pokharel, secretaries Bhagwati Kumar Kafle, Dipendra Purush Dhakal and Shankar Koirala had joined the government service through open competition in the past.
The government has argued that junior bureaucrats and other professional have been found just focusing on examination instead of improving service delivery. The government has also attributed fewer applicants for the posts of joint-secretary as a reason behind the plan to scrap the provision.
Based on these arguments, the government has proposed removing open competition category while recruiting joint-secretaries.
The bill proposing removal of open competition for the post of joint-secretary is at the Ministry of Law. It will be enacted only after the parliament endorses it following an approval by the cabinet.