Role of Civil Service in implementing Federalism

Dinesh Shiwakoti

“No government is efficient than its civil service mechanism.”

Federalism is a type of governance system in which the state power is constitutionally divided between the different levels of government units. The different political units exercise sovereign power of the state vertically and horizontally too as stipulated in the constitution.

In this system vertical division of power, rights, duties and obligations is created in the national, regional and local level. The elected bodies carry out the socio-cultural, eco-political and holistic development activities in federalism in the proactive role of administrative body which is known as civil service.

Civil service is institutionally formed for the frontline service delivery agent of government formed by constitution and different acts. An organized attempt of providing services, facilities and opportunities offered by state according to certain rules, regulation and procedure and address the people’s holistic issues can be referred as civil service. Civil service has most prominent role in the implementation of federalism.

The climbing of Nepalese political system toward progressive citadels was initiated after the completion of revolution in 2007 BS. The debate in Nepal about entering into the federalism for six decade has firstly introduced after the commencement of The Interim Constitution, 2063.

The most awaited federalism was truly identified after the issue of the Constitution of Nepal which dreamt the three levels of governance units, devolution of political, financial, social, cultural, judicial and developmental authority and use of residual power between government units.

Federalism has great charm in the developing countries like Nepal to reconstruct the unitary and arbitrary government and to increase people’s meaningful participation in all level of governance. This addresses the issue of people’s identification, access and representation, power, decentralization, delegation and devolution of state power. High fulfillment of citizen’s basic need desires and demands, efficient operation of state function.

Periodic elections give validity to the governments of all levels and they gain value via vote to implement political philosophy and manifesto to run the state properly guiding toward economic prosperity. Being a youngest federal country, Nepal has better opportunities of correcting the trend of traditional development, make developed and prosperous country. Manage and grow social, cultural, lingual, regional, local, ethnical harmony reducing all sorts of discrimination, safeguard sovereignty, territorial integrity, national unity, dignity and freedom. Manage the use of natural resource and local employment for stopping labour migration, promote good governance.

These all dimension of political, administrative, financial, legal and judicial, foreign relations the federalism create is best implemented and accomplished in the proactive, prominent and vital role of civil service. Civil service has the best opportunities of implementing the values carried by federal states and bridges the government to people. It adopts its best ideologies and strategies to safeguard government’s decision, policies and activities.

Civil service is the organized system of delivering state services and facilities to people. It is the valid state mechanism which represents on the behalf of state to address the public affairs and issues. The professional, skilled and excellent personnel represent the government on the course of delivering services.

It deals with the issues of intra-state to inter-state affairs, centre to local government, womb to tomb, and state to UNO affairs. The constitution of Nepal article 285 and 302 has the provision of constituting government service and formation and operation of government service at state and local levels. Both articles in the same way define- The government of Nepal may, to run the administration of the country, constitute the federal and state civil service.

The constitution, operation and conditions of service of such services shall be as provided for in the federal Act. The state council of Ministers, village and municipality executive may be by law constitute and operate various government service as required for the operation of their administration.

The government of Nepal arrange for the delivery of services by making adjustment of the employees serving in the government services with federal, state and local levels in accordance with law. The civil service act 2049 including regulation provisions ten services as civil service in Nepal. Four classes exist in gazette and five classes in non-gazette.

The current hierarchy has 31 ministries including office of the prime-minister and ministers, 61 departments, 149 regional level offices, and 306 zonal offices. 744 local executives exist according to new constitution. Although, the current structure of civil service was formed in unitary system, 75% of the total civil servants are working outside the valley.

According to the publication of MoGA 83,393 civil servants are working till the end of 2072. Among them 21,097 are gazette and 43,417 are non-gazette staff where 18,879 are classless staffs. There are 61,955 personnel are working outside the valley and 21,417 are in the Kathmandu valley. The federal civil service has three primary tasks in implementing federalism: implementation, administration and regulation.

The numbers of crucial role are waiting in the doorway of civil service to be played vitally in the heroic manner efficiently to implement the federalism in Nepal. Some roles of civil service to implement the federalism prescribed here indicate the political, social, legal and others dimensions. The civil service has the following prominent role in implementing political and governance system: Internalize the people’s sovereign rights and setting their meaningful participation in each level of governance institutionally.

Technically support the government to conduct and accomplish the state and federal elections in determined timeline, assist in setting up the governmental offices, constitutional bodies, judicial offices and other service delivering mechanism, train and facilitate all the elected representatives about conducting developmental activities, preparing strategic plan, policies and development calendar. Facilitate the central government for allocating sufficient budget to all levels.

Civil service should try to create moral pressure to build up political culture to control loser can govern, last past the post, form stable government to deal with the problems of all governance, reduce political interfere in administration, setting up proper coordination, collaboration and minimize the disputes between leaders and administration in the course of using authority and responsibilities. Facilitate to decrease misinterpretation of laws and regulation to set up rule of law, and strengthen the effective implementation of the Check and Balance and SoP. Moralize political parties to maintain transparency and ethics.

The civil service in the course of implementing federalism should have the following social and economic role: Ensuring the mainstreaming and providing access, power and representation to the disadvantaged, backward, marginalized, vulnerable and classified societies in the governance system, make their free and formal access to the basic development, economic and social empowerment of diverse classes, diversity management, social mobilization, participatory plan, livelihood and creating employment, social protection and security.

Similarly, managing the financial and tax decentralization, take efficient steps in profiling the natural and human resources, mobilization of resource to get comparative advantage, managing the issue of identification, eco-social and inclusive development, managing relations of intra-state to inter-state, inter-local free transportation and trade arrangement, infrastructure and sub-road construction to link-up the inter-state and inter-locality, creating local employment and target programs, manage lasting development of economic and environmental resource, strengthen the human resource and capacity building to promote public-private partnership in federal, states and local government.

The civil service in the course of implementing federalism should have the following constitutional, developmental, administrative, and service delivering role: Handle the implementation of the fundamental rights, directives, policies, obligations and other constitutional provisions. Properly implement the fourteenth periodic plan and its vision, mission, goals, objectives, strategies and sectoral aims.

The obligations by treaties and conventions and resizing, reframing and restructuring the administrative organ should be properly addressed. Construct the administrative structure considering 4P approach, review of O and M and workload analysis. Decrease the administrative centralization; end the vertical hierarchical and juggernaut. Build work culture and openness, promote transparency and accountability. Build development friendly, service oriented public administration and promote the use of citizen charter and meaningful participation.

Manage and promote ICT, door service, mobile camp, and one-step services. Starting BOOT, BOT, PPP strategies, out sourcing and contracting out to promote private parties in governance and boost up productivity. Widening the space of reinventing and limited government, NPM, NPS, and make predictable service delivery and promote personnel’s motivation for strengthening access of information and building institutional memory. Finally advocacy of setting up unified civil service should be properly handled.

Civil service is the only one institution which functions as the permanent government and handles the various issues of MTEF, MTBF and MTFF in the absence of political government. Safeguarding the aforementioned dimension of civil service’s role in implementing federalism, it has the best opportunities of addressing the major issues of developments education, electricity, health, drinking water, communication, agriculture, finance, commerce, industries, tourism, cooperatives, employment opportunities, food crisis,, post conflict management, institutionalizing the advantages of democracy, keeping lasting peace, privatization, liberalization, globalization and make a sovereign, territorially integrated, diverse, federal and socialist country as dreamt in the preamble of Constitution of Nepal.


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