Three sec­re­taries sur­ren­dered to RCSC for breach of civil ser­vice rules

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Thukten Norbu

The cab­i­net sec­re­tary Dasho Pen­den Wangchuk, eco­nomic af­fairs sec­re­tary Dasho Sonam Tsh­er­ing and for­eign sec­re­tary Yeshi Dorji was sur­ren­dered to the Royal Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (RCSC) with im­me­di­ate ef­fect for RCSC’s ac­tion or un­til the com­ple­tion of the Anti- Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sions’ ( ACC ) in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The cab­i­net sec­re­tary had failed to keep the Prime Min­is­ter in­formed of the com­mit­tee of sec­re­tary’s dis­cus­sion and de­ci­sions. The Sec­re­tary of eco­nomic af­fairs has mis­used the in­sti­tu­tion of the Com­mit­tee of Sec­re­taries ( CoS) to raise, dis­cuss and take ac­tion on al­le­ga­tions made on him by a for­eign mag­a­zine. The sec­re­tary of for­eign af­fairs has mis­rep­re­sented the Royal Gov­ern­ment by send­ing a for­mal let­ter to the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia with­out the ap­proval of the for­eign min­is­ter or

the prime min­is­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to the press re­lease from the prime min­is­ter’s of­fice the CoS had dis­cussed the al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion made by ENERTIA, an In­dian pub­li­ca­tion, on four con­sec­u­tive meet­ings con­ducted be­tween 2nd Oc­to­ber and 27th Novem­ber 2014. The pro­ceed­ings and de­ci­sions of th­ese meet­ings were not re­ported to the Prime Min­is­ter or any other Min­is­ter.

The CoS de­cided to re­quest for the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia’s in­ter­ven­tion in the al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion made by ENERTIA against a se­nior civil ser­vant in Bhutan. A let­ter to this ef­fect was sent on be­half of the Royal Gov­ern­ment by the sec­re­tary of min­istry of for­eign af­fairs on 2nd De­cem­ber 2014 with­out con­sult­ing or in­form­ing the min­is­ter of for­eign af­fairs. The con­tent and lan­guage of the let­ter could have se­ri­ous for­eign pol­icy im­pli­ca­tions. The of­fice of the at­tor­ney gen­eral had ad­vised rais­ing the is­sue for­mally with the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia with­out the Royal Gov­ern­ment first ver­i­fy­ing the al­le­ga­tions and facts.

The Lhengye Zhungt­shog learnt about the let­ter on 9th De­cem­ber by ac­ci­dent, one week after it had been sent, and almost 10 weeks after the CoS first de­cided to in­form the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia.

In view of the above, the Lhengye Zhungt­shog has noted that the CoS has ex­ceeded its man­date by dis­cussing is­sues out­side the scope of its terms of ref­er­ence, and has pur­posely with­held in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing im­por­tant de­ci­sions, from the Gov­ern­ment and that mem­ber of the CoS has breached im­por­tant pro­vi­sions of the Civil Ser­vice Act of Bhutan and the Bhutan Civil Ser­vice Rules gov­ern­ing the code of con­duct of se­nior civil ser­vants.

In view of the above, after ex­ten­sive de­lib­er­a­tion and care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion, the gov­ern­ment has re­quested the Anti Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion to un­der­take an in­ves­ti­ga­tion on the al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion on the ap­point­ment of Bhu- tan Ven­tures Trad­ing as agent for Bharat Heavy Elec­tri­cal Ltd, to dis­con­tinue the Com­mit­tee of Sec­re­taries with im­me­di­ate ef­fect till fur­ther no­tice. The Gov­ern­ment shall es­tab­lish a task force to re­view the func­tions of the CoS and rec­om­mend if and how the Com­mit­tee needs to be re­in­sti­tuted and to “sur­ren­der” the Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary, Sec­re­tary of Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, and Sec­re­tary of Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs.

The Com­mit­tee of Sec­re­taries ( CoS) is an im­por­tant in­sti­tu­tional ar­range­ment es­tab­lished to en­hance good gov­er­nance and pro­mote trans­parency, ac­count­abil­ity, ef­fi­ciency and pro­fes­sion­al­ism. The CoS meets once ev­ery week to en­sure that the ex­ec­u­tive func­tions of the Royal Gov­ern­ment are im­ple­mented ef­fi­ciently and ef­fec­tively by co­or­di­nat­ing gov­ern­ment poli­cies, pro­grams and projects among the min­istries.

The CoS, whose mem­ber­ship com­prises of all the gov­ern­ment sec­re­taries and the cab­i­net sec­re­tary, func­tioned in­de­pen­dently with­out any in­ter­fer­ence of the Lhengye Zhungt­shog. The CoS en­joyed the com­plete trust and con­fi­dence of the Gov­ern­ment and their con­sid­ered views and rec­om­men­da­tions were taken se­ri­ously by the Lhengye Zhungt­shog.

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