KATHMANDU, Dec 10: President Bidya Bhandari on Sunday endorsed the Civil Servants Adjustment Ordinance 2018, clearing the way for the federal government to depute civil servants to the provincial and local governments.
Due to the lack of civil servants in required numbers at the provincial and local governments, service delivery and development work have been largely affected. Also, the government was widely criticized for its failure to send civil servants in adequate numbers to the local and provincial governments after the new federal structure was adopted in the country.
Of the total 123,000 civil servants envisaged by the ordinance in the country, 45,000 will be kept under the central government, while 21,000 will work for provinces and 57,000 for the local governments.
With the endorsement of the ordinance by the head of state, civil servants will now have to mandatorily attend the offices they are deputed to, within 35 days of the deputation. The civil servants not attending the offices they are deputed to except for those mourning the death of someone in their families, female civil servants in postnatal periods and suspended civil servants, can be relieved of their jobs.
Civil servants have been reluctant to go to the offices under the provincial and local governments, citing the lack of a clear law. In view of possible non-cooperation by civil servants, the government has offered a grade hike or promotion to civil servants volunteering for adjustment at the provincial or local levels under the new ordinance.
The ordinance offers a two-grade hike for civil servants who have served in the same position for less than five years. Those having served over five years in the same position will get promoted to the next senior level.
The government was forced to draft a separate law to this effect after civil service trade unions protested against the Civil Servants Adjustment Act introduced last year. The act had no provision for grade hike or promotion as demanded by the civil servants, and the trade unions challenged the government to implement it.
Civil servants choosing adjustment at the provincial and local levels will not get an opportunity to get transferred to the federal services or to other provinces. However, the ordinance has paved the way for transferring them to other local units under the same province.
The government will give priority to considerations such as seniority, current province or local unit, permanent address, the address mentioned in the citizenship certificate, and age while deputing civil servants to provincial or local government offices. According to the ordinance, the government will give preference to adjusting spouses in the same province or local unit. The ordinance also proposes a recommendations committee headed by a Public Service Commission member.
The ordinance has also provisioned for the province or local unit concerned to arrange the salary and perks for civil servants under their service as well as severance, pension and other incentives.