Considered as the permanent government, bureaucracy plays a crucial role in ensuring effective delivery of basic facilities to the people, law and order, good governance and economic development. The civil servants serve as the bridge between the government and the people. The success of the elected government largely relies on the integrity, efficiency and performance of the civil servants. Bureaucracy is a legitimate instrument to implement the programmes, policies and strategies of a government formed as per the popular mandate.
The political parties that lead the government after securing majority of seats in the parliament have the onus to live up to the electoral promises. Their credibility gets enhanced only when the entire bureaucracy commits to translate their programmes and vision of nation building into action. The parties are required taking the bureaucracy into confidence so that the latter acts and supports the political leadership without bias. The political and administrative leaderships must work in tandem to address the people’s aspirations for peace, development and prosperity.
Despite the commitment of successive governments to deliver good governance, the bureaucracy is beset with various problems. As a result, it is unable to meet the public expectations. The other day Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda said that the government would form a high-level administration reforms commission to address the problems seen in the administrative sector. He informed this while addressing the second quarterly review meeting of the offices under the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers and the meeting of the ministerial level development problem resolving committee. The PM has admitted that there was a huge gap between bureaucracy and public expectations and the government is working to bridge such a gap.
Headed by the PM, the commission will have experts to suggest the timely improvement in the civil service sector. The report of proposed commission can be helpful to sort out the problems and anomalies facing the civil service. However, it is not necessary to wait for the recommendations of the commission if they make delays in coming. The government can swing into action to revamp bureaucracy even on basis of core guidelines to suit the changed context.
The public administration needs to be effective and efficient but it has bloated structure with overstaffing. There are unnecessary structures created without proper study and research. The unnecessary mechanisms should be either downsised or entirely scrapped. Likewise, the government should introduce strong reward and punishment system for good governance and effective service delivery.
Immediately after assuming office, Prime Minister Prachanda had issued directives to the government secretaries based on his statements delivered in the parliament and those mentioned in the policy priorities of the government and its common minimum programme document. With the adoption of the federal system, powers have been transferred to the provinces and local units. But in the absence of Federal Civil Service Act that is pending in the parliament, the civil administration has not been fully federalised.
Against this backdrop, the government has constituted Administrative Coordination Council to coordinate between the federal and provincial administrations. Unlike the government that changes with the periodic polls, the bureaucracy is a permanent structure entrusted with the task of implementing the policies and policies of the government. So it must be capable enough to maintain policy consistency while upholding the ethical norms, fiscal discipline and zero-corruption policy so that the people get prompt and effective services.