By Chimi Wangmo
The Royal Civil Service Council’s (RCSC) efforts for the 12th FYP will be to consolidate and firmly institutionalise the Civil Service systems that have been developed over many plan periods and in particular, the reforms introduced in the past.
Among a host of other initiatives, RCSC said the systems that have been set up over the many years such as the Position Classification System, BCSS, and the MaX need continued consolidation and refining to ensure their efficacy and effectiveness with the changing times.
After numerous deliberations, the Commission debated intensively and distilled the areas of focus into the five Thematic Areas with the overall vision to excel in service.
One of the core mandates of the Royal Civil Service Commission is to ensure a “Small, Compact and an Efficient” Civil Service. The size of the Civil Service has been a source of concern given the fiscal burden and other implications it has on the Government.
As of June 2020, the size of the Civil Service was 31,278.
RCSC is of the belief that having the right size is also important to afford salaries that attract and retain the best and the brightest in the Civil Service.
RCSC will also carry out Organisation Development Exercise and staffing exercise is to ensure right sizing of the Civil Service.
OD Exercise uses McKinsey’s 7S framework to assess an Agency vis-à-vis its structure, systems, skills, strategy, staffing, shared values and style and presents any issues against this framework.
Staffing exercises allow the RCSC to rationalise HR numbers against our SOPs for staffing. This ensures vetting of existing staff numbers and requests for additional staff will be subject to a rigorous process of review.
“The OD and staffing exercise will provide the data that will facilitate projections of HR requirements in the years to come, which in turn is critical for our recruitment plans and preparations for succession planning,” RCSC said.
Furthermore, over the years, certain positions have become redundant or have a reduced workload due to changes in technology and the work processes.
“RCSC will review such positions in order to gradually phase them out if found redundant or look into ways to multitask them if services are underutilized,” the Commission stated.
In addition, RCSC is also reviewing positions in the Supervisory and Support Category (SSC) that can take on greater responsibilities, thereby freeing-up the Professional and Management Category (PMC) to take on more strategic roles for greater utilisation of their analytical abilities.
To enable the SSC to take on greater responsibilities, RCSC believes, the qualification requirements for entry of new recruits could be increased to either a diploma or certificate while existing SSCs can be trained to enhance their capabilities.
Further, the Commission is of the view that leveraging technology can bring us rich dividends in terms of rationalising HR numbers. Therefore, the RCSC will work closely with agencies that have rolled out new IT systems to see the potential efficiency gains that it brings.
“Once the IT systems have stabilised, RCSC in collaboration with relevant agencies will review the staffing numbers vis-à-vis the new systems. However, this exercise will not be limited to these systems alone and the RCSC will consistently look out for new IT systems being instituted to bring in such changes,” the Commission stated.
Service Delivery is one of the core mandates of the Royal Civil Service Commission.
The Commission states that RCSC will work closely with the Public Service Delivery Division (PSDD) of the Cabinet Secretariat to enhance service delivery of Civil Service Agencies.
Further, IT will be leveraged for efficient service delivery, as far as possible, but options for offline service delivery will also be provided given that not all citizens have access to computers and smartphones.
In addition, the Civil Service is guided and regulated by many systems, sub-systems, frameworks and guidelines for the purpose of performance management, transfers, career progression, and human resource development & management.
Leadership Development and Management
RCSC is of the view that amongst many critical elements that must be instituted to ensure good leadership and management in the Civil Service is the career progression and assessment system for civil servants aspiring to leadership and management positions.
The Leadership Assessment and Development System (LeADS) is an effort in this direction to build a robust system to assess and validate the levels of capabilities/ competencies in line with international standards and RCSC’s Leadership Competency Framework.
The Commission states the system of assessment must establish an objective and a transparent way of validating their leadership capabilities and also be able to withstand any scrutiny, legal or otherwise in its credibility and validity.
Further RCSC believes the Assessment and Development Centers should serve the purpose of providing the civil servants aspiring to leadership positions the necessary courses that help in assessing and developing their leadership competencies aligned to the Leadership Competency Framework of the RCSC.
In addition, RCSC states the conduct of interviews is the final step of the assessment and recruitment process. This procedure and framework needs to be enhanced so that it is better structured with a well-defined rubric to assess and select the right candidate.
The RCSC as the Central Personnel Agency is also mandated, amongst others, to maintain a safe and healthy working environment including health, safety and welfare of the civil servants as prescribed in Section 27(f) and 89 of the Civil Service Act of Bhutan 2010.
In this respect, the RCSC continues to look after the welfare of the civil servants from entry to retirement and post retirement, wherever possible.
In addition, the RCSC as the Central Personnel Agency, promotes “Best Practices” in the Civil Service. Towards this end, the Commission said it will host Symposiums/Workshops and provide both physical and virtual platforms for showcasing and recognising innovation and creativity in the Civil Service.
The RCSC will also continue to promote incorporating the Design Thinking approach in all our initiatives. For this, it will continue to extend training for Design Thinking across the Civil Service so that activities have blended this approach into their planning and design phase.
Meanwhile, the Commission, to achieve their aspiration of being a model organisation, will also continue to improve our internal decision making a processes through SOPs and leveraging information systems for real time data.
“We will work on capitalizing on our revamped CSIS to automate many of our work processes and also link our system with other IT systems like e-PEMS, which will ensure an enhanced validation of our data and compliance to the BCSR,” the Commission stated.
The Commission is also tying up with other IT systems, for instance the passport services, will be pursued to validate and lean HR processes for improved service delivery.
Further, the Commission will make constant assessments on the civil servants’ job descriptions and job size and the commensurate competencies that need to be built will be identified for further skills enhancement programs.
Transfer guidelines will also be drawn up to ensure a predictable, transparent and a fair process.