Amyotha Hlut­taw ap­proves Civil Ser­vice Law tweaks

The Myanmar Times - - News - SWAN YE HTUT swanye­htut@mm­times.com

THE Amyotha Hlut­taw ap­proved an amended Civil Ser­vice Law in line with rec­om­men­da­tions from the up­per house’s Bill Com­mit­tee at a par­lia­men­tary ses­sion yes­ter­day, adding a pro­vi­sion in­tended to en­cour­age a more merit-based sys­tem.

“We added an ad­den­dum to the law and made some other changes also,” Amyotha Hlut­taw MP and Bill Com­mit­tee mem­ber Daw Nwe Nwe Aung (NLD; Mon 2) told mem­bers of the me­dia.

Sub-sec­tion (a) has been added to the orig­i­nal Sec­tion 24 of the leg­is­la­tion, with the ad­den­dum stat­ing, “De­pen­dant on abil­ity and high per­for­mance, civil ser­vants will be awarded pro­mo­tions with the rec­om­men­da­tion of the rel­e­vant panel on abil­ity ad­ju­di­ca­tion.”

Daw Nwe Nwe Aung touted the change as a win for civil ser­vants who oth­er­wise might strug­gle to ad­vance pro­fes­sion­ally due to in­sti­tu­tional bar­ri­ers.

“In the past, civil ser­vants have had to wait their turn to gain pro­mo­tion for a long time,” she said. “Some­times though, a civil ser­vant is pen­sioned off and his job given to an­other per­son who comes into the pen­sioner’s place as an ‘ex­pert’. So [in those cases], the civil ser­vants un­der [the pen­sioner] can­not gain pro­mo­tion even though they have abil­i­ties.”

Civil ser­vants have re­cently protested the lack of per­ceived pro­mo­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties through rain­bow rib­bon cam­paigns. The colour-coded move­ment takes aim against the “mil­i­tari­sa­tion” of min­istries and gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, protest­ing the as­sign­ment of re­tired mil­i­tary per­son­nel to the public sec­tor in­stead of ad­vanc­ing ca­reer civil ser­vants.

Most of the up­per house’s other amend­ments to the Civil Ser­vant Law con­cerned mi­nor changes to the leg­is­la­tion’s word­ing.

Daw Nwe Nwe Aung yes­ter­day also ex­plained the rea­son­ing be­hind the Bill Com­mit­tee’s de­ci­sion to leave un­changed a clause ex­clud­ing sol­diers and mem­bers of the po­lice force from the law’s re­mit.

“The bill’s Sec­tion 2, sub-sec­tion [e] says, ‘[For the pur­poses of this law], sol­diers and po­lice forces shall not be in­cluded in the def­i­ni­tion of the word civil ser­vant.’ We have seen a lot of con­tro­versy over it. Peo­ple have asked, ‘Aren’t sol­diers and po­lice forces civil ser­vants?’”

“Ac­tu­ally, sol­diers and po­lice forces are civil ser­vants,” she ac­knowl­edged, while adding that both have sep­a­rate laws per­tain­ing to their re­spec­tive pro­fes­sions and so are not in­cluded in the Civil Ser­vice Law.

The amended leg­is­la­tion will be sent to the Pyithu Hlut­taw for fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion.

– Trans­la­tion by Win Thaw Tar

‘In the past, civil ser­vants have had to wait their turn to gain pro­mo­tion for a long time.’ Daw Nwe Nwe Aung NLD MP

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