Amyotha Hluttaw approves Civil Service Law tweaks
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