Bhutan to revamp its civil service; half of top officials fail at performance review

Almost half of  Bhutan’s top civil servants and executives are unfit for their current jobs and roles, finds a performance assessment exercise, and they may face demotion, change in jobs, or forced retirement, as the government tries to revamp its civil service

Feb 04, 2022
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Bhutan to revamp its civil service (Photo: Kuensal)

Almost half of  Bhutan’s top civil servants and executives are unfit for their current jobs and roles, finds a performance assessment exercise, and they may face demotion, change in jobs, or forced retirement, as the government tries to revamp its civil service. 

The Bhutanese government has recently conducted its first-ever Leadership Assessment Excercise to test the suitability and performance of its top civil servants, secretaries, and director-generals. 

The exercise, conducted by the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) which also includes officials from foreign countries, found that 50 percent of the total 62 officials failed to meet to required expectations, reported Kuensel, the state. The commission is now in the process of “managing them” out. 

Among the options are demotion, changing roles, or forced retirement—all of them, the RCSC acknowledged, are tough but necessary steps to improve the performance of the government. 

“Those who demonstrate that they are not able to perform will be moved out of their current positions to make way for those who are more capable,” a top official of the civil service commission said. “This could include managing them out to lower-level positions, and offering them the option of resignation or retirement,” he added. 

Only four officers, roughly seven percent of all, exceeded performance expectations and they will be given greater roles and responsibilities in the future. 

“These initiatives signal a fundamental shift in how the RCSC will approach leadership selection and performance management, including rewards and recognition,” the commission said in its assessment report.

The commission is currently in the process of reaching out to the secretaries and director generals individually to communicate the outcomes to them. And, the government said that the performance of all officials will be monitored regularly. 

(SAM)

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