The administrative mechanism of any country is carried out by its employees and the economy of that country. Employees and economy must be balanced to create a strong governance system of the country and then only people get easy services and feel comfortable. Nepal is now the new Federal Democratic Republic after the promulgation of Constitution in 2015. The main objective of the Constitution was to establish a public welfare system of governance, where people had hopes that they will be delivered services by the new mechanism.
According to the Constitution and the wishes of the people, the nation formed three tiers of governments, including 753 local governments, seven provincial governments, and one federal government. The government used a variety of methods to accomplish vacant posts. However, various provincial and local offices are still vacant due to the problem of employees’ adjustment and delayed hiring.
A total of 84,409 posts were created under the federal government; 22,297 posts under the provincial governments; and 66,908 posts under 753 local levels. This means that 35% of posts were created for the federal, 16% posts for the provinces, and 49% for the local government. However, neither the provinces nor the federal governments are hiring required employees. The provincial governments have not completed the Provincial Public Service Commission (PSC), and the federal government is busy on other issues. A government study shows that local government still requires 58,000 and provincial governments, 21,399 employees.
Need for Employee Adjustment
‘Adjustment’ is not a bonus of federalism, it is an essential prerequisite to institutionalizing a new administration. An adjustment will help to increase the capacity of employees and fulfill vacant posts in the administration. If the federal government recruited new employees without adjusting existing employees, then a large number of employees would be on hold in the federal system. That is why employee adjustment is necessary. As per the ‘Employee Adjustment Act 2075 BS’, some employees remain in their present positions whereas others are adjusted in the provincial and local as per Article 10 and 11.
The government has emphasized to fulfill and balance employees in three-tiers of government through employee adjustment. But a large number of employees are not interested to be adjusted in the provincial or local governments because there is more benefit to stay in the federal. Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur – among the 753 local governments across the country, have become the first three choices for employees in adjustment. Meanwhile, representatives are dissatisfied due to department re-calling of staffs to federal from local and provinces. One thousand employees were still working in the federal while they were adjusted in the local and provincial governments. Despite a provision in the Employee Adjustment Act that the employee should resign from the previous place before going to the adjusted place, a maximum number of employees neither resigned nor went to the adjusted areas. The effect can be seen directly in the local governments where people have been deprived of even basic service like vital registration due to lack of employees. Locals claimed that the government transfers the employees, but the vacant posts are not filled, resulting in more and more vacant posts in remote areas.
The state affair committee has proposed to the general administration that employees should spend at least two years in the remote districts in a rotational system. Government has brought different kinds of facilities and promotions for the employees that will be halted if they do not go to the remote districts. The implementation, however, remains to be seen.
The Meddling of Federal Government
It has already been three years since the promulgation of the constitution but both, federal and provincial, have not been able to hire the required number of employees. When the federal PSC opened vacancies for local governments, the province criticized against the vacancy saying that there should be inclusivity in hiring and the provincial governments should have autonomy in posting vacancies. Then provincial governments showed interest to make their own provincial PSC bill from June 2019, and some have started to work under it.
Recurrent Budget Exhaustion albeit less Number of Staff
In the past ten years, the recurrent budget has been increasing than allocated capital expenditure budget. Even though the government did not hire many numbers of staff, the recurrent cost continued to escalate. Now, the government has allocated double recurrent budget. Delayed hiring process from federal and provincial governments has seen a shortage of staff in the government offices but there is no recurrent budget remaining. What is the cause behind it? This is a thing to look into as to why despite a shortage of employees there has been increment in the expenses, and there has been shortage of recurrent budget every fiscal year.
Author: Phiroj Chaudhary
 Constitution of Nepal