Depolticization of civil service has become an urgent need for Nepal since the politicized civil service failed to fulfill the motto and goal of the democracy and contemporary need of the people. The newest international and national multi-dimensional governance related reports and indicators also shown that overall productivity of civil service is declining besides the huge efforts for betterment and professional advancement inside the system of civil service.
The experiences have already proved that politicized civil service severely lacks the basic characters and functional competences for that it stands for. Therefore, in order to make the civil service more competent, vigorous, service-oriented and responsible” Depolticization” must be urgently internalize to neutralize the civil service from politicization.
The article explains the issues that are learned through professional experiences. Basically, the article illustrates about the basics causes of politicization, why the depoliticization is become an important issue now and how it can be done into civil service of Nepal. The article suggests some practical homegrown suggestions that would helpful to address the contemporary issues of depoliticization.
Depolticization is a widely applied term that explains about the political neutralization. In general, it means removal of political aspects, infections, influence or control. It is an act or process of depoliticizing. Simply, the depoliticization means to deprive from political character, tendency and its malpractices. Accordingly, the depoliticization of civil service means bringing and driving the civil service into right track, right approach and right way, and bumping off the unproductive political dogmatism respectively.
The depoliticization of civil service means making free the service from overwhelming political control, influence, and ideology. It means removing the political infections, hula-hula, and enabling and restoration of the rational character, competences, qualities and nature of civil service. The depoliticization restores the professional discipline, rationale enforcement of civil service law, and support enhancement of the professional productivity. Here the productivity of the civil service covers the overall areas of tasks, responsibilities and assignments that are allocated to the civil service.
Some of the scholars also claim that productivity of democracy is directly proportional to the productivity of civil service. So, it is important to have better civil service for better democracy.
Nepal is passing though a long chaotic transition because of the political polarization and growing political communalism that may a big unfortunate for the people and the nation. It is a common phenomena of a post conflict transitional country that its’ civil service is overwhelmingly politicized since the overall governance system became fragile specially for the country who are moving towards restructuring phases. The shifting nature of governance and government unrest also fuel the politicization of civil service in some extend, if the bureaucracy and its leaders are not strong enough to protect their professionalism and dignity.
Major Character of Politicized Civil Service
Politicized civil service is a major consequence of political transition, where state suffers with heavy transition and instability. Except some exceptions, politicized civil service is a symptom of anarchism, it drives the nation towards failure, it fuels conflicts, impunity, it plosives the development process and boom the corruption and authority abuses throughout the country. Politicized civil service kills the public expectations and spoils the nation and people simultaneously. The criminalization is another principal aspect of the politicized civil service, where such system performs several civil and criminal offenses in the name of political backup. The politicized civil service brutally attack on professionalism.
Major Causes of Politicized Civil Service
There are so many different causes have been identified and it depends on the country or institution specific scenario. However, some major causes include the political transition, post conflict scenario, state restructuring process, instable governance and government, over political influence, political polarization, political affiliation, deficiency in law enforcement, nepotism and favoritism, corruption and authority abuses, poor professionalism, crisis of discipline, incompetent civil personnel, unhealthy competition over strong job security, socioeconomic greed etc.
Depolticization is an Important Issue
Depolticization has become an important issue if the country wants to reinstate the peace, prosperity and happiness. No country wishes to suffer with such long-term chronic illnesses that are produced by the politicized civil service. Therefore, the depolticization is considered a kind of administrative engineering and institutional therapy that can help the civil service to neutralize from the political infections.
The civil service is a modus operandi of the government and all the government plan, policy, program can be achieved through the civil service system. No government can achieve its goal and motto until civil service involve within. Therefore, it is an important that depolticization must be enforced to help the state and government to achieve success in effective and efficient manner. The depoliticized civil service is the civil services that have huge capabilities to achieve its mission as expected by the state and its people.
The depolticization can bring the civil service from irresponsible to responsible, incompetent to competent, anarchy to order, poverty to prosperity and many more good symptoms. Specifically, it widely supports the progressive national development process; installation and operation of competent public service deliveries. The treated system may keep the state and its people happy, healthy and hopeful.
Depolticization prevent the nation from failure, it helps the nation building, national unity and restoration or socioeconomic harmony throughout the country. The result of depolticization may strengthen the national images and dignity not only inside but also among international community. Therefore, now depolticization has become unavoidable and an urgent issue for Nepal.
Instruments of Depolticization
There is no single or specific instrument that can just help to depolticization process. However, there are several options and tools that are available but it needs to choose in accordance with the situation and requirement. Some of them can be described as follows:
Firstly, the depolticization process may enforce through psychological therapy, it means a kinds of brainwash program need to practice during the various pre-service and in-service training of the civil service. Mostly the brainwash training is found more effective in entry level in terms of military pre-service training. Specially, psychological treatment and therapy is essential to transform political scenario into depoliticization.
Secondly, legal and administrative therapy, it means necessary legal and administrative actions need to make more practical, effective and efficient against those who breach the code of conduct, ethical norms and values, professional disciplines and the norms and parameter that are developed to follow for the civil servants. Specially, performance evaluation and monitoring system need to tie up with pay and promotion. Particularly, the supervisors should be strengthened and equipped with necessary disciplinary powers and authority that will help to command the junior.
The existing arrangements are neither found practical nor enforceable. Thirdly, social therapy, the both positive and negative social actions against the politicized personnel need to utilize in more scientific manner since it is considered as more productive in contemporary world. It also includes social dialogues, coaching, counseling, and other. Fourthly, contingency therapy, this therapy includes various adhoc activities as per the nature and character of the target group.
It may need specific qualities, creativity and investigative mind of the management who can quickly manage and design the scenario. Occasionally, it may requires some motivational arrangements for positive handling and cautionary actions including arrest, imprisonment etc. Lastly, religious therapies (e.g. Garud Puran for Hindu) and some traditional mind management methodologies should be introduced to depoliticize the civil service and enhance ethical and moral capabilities of civil personnel.
Firstly, high-tech engineering is essential to regulate the behavioral aspects of the all civil personnel to take care and update the intelligential issues (personnel profiling) against them where it required. It will collect necessary proofs and evidences of their political episodes which may present against them in front of judicial or quasi-judicial authorities.
Secondly, administrative engineering, it is required urgently for depolticization, as the existing system, organizational structure, governance and performance deliver system are also responsible in some extend to enhance politicization, therefore, it is an important to execute the suitable restructuring process by doing rationale and scientific organization and method (O & M) to meet the goal, target and objective of the contemporary scenario. Thirdly, customized tools and techniques (e. g. disqualification for promotion, detached from pension and allowances, bar from fringe benefits etc with justification) need to adopt to disconnect and unfasten the unnatural ties between the political and administrative domains and actors.
Also, it talks about the scientific relationship and also clear-cut enforceable limitation between the political and civil service actors. Lastly, personnel engineering should be operated and managed on professionalism and through customized mechanism in accordance with the need of the state, institution and people rather than the other parameters.
Firstly, there should be either one or no trade union in civil service, and it should be not treated equally as other trade union like other sector and rest deregistered. Trade unions must be closed down if it directly or indirectly declares or perform behavior as a sister organization of political parties. Similarly, the political parties must be declare ineligible if they found any civil service trade union as their sister organization.
Any direct or indirect political affiliation or behavior or biasness must be consider to the any members of the civil service as ineligibility for further career development that will help to stay all member of the civil service more neutral and committed. Secondly, pick-up and adhoc plough system in career development should be abolished and must be transformed into scientific self calculated predictable approached throughout the career management process of the civil service.
Thirdly, nepotism and favoritism should be abolished if anyone found guilty anywhere in an active or prejudice affiliation in favour of anyone. Fourthly, impunity, corruption and authority abuse should be kept as an issue of zero tolerance regardless the people and their positions. Specially, economic transaction between politicians and civil servants must be detached. Hello effect must be recorded, and controlled by publicizing through the media. Fifthly, activities and tendency of political people and their followers are found highly unethical, most of them considered as high impunity producers, so they must be bring under the jurisdictions of law enforcement agencies and associated to their future political career. And lastly, grievances handing and complain management must be handled by the respective superior authority and reward and punishment should be immediately allocated against the respective official, if such grievances and complain do not addressed properly in timely manner.
Castisms, social structure and communalism are also among the main causes of the politicization, so our social system needs to transform by bringing socioeconomic prosperity throughout the country. Social connections, obligations need to be revised; redefined and reorganized that will assist in depolticization process of the civil service.
The Depolticization process in civil service is not everything to make perfect; but it is an important instrument that helps the nation to keep its’ system and people healthy, happy and prosperous. To enforce the depolticization process into Nepalese civil service is not an easy job so all respective stakeholders need to mentally prepared in advance and should agreed to contribute positively from there level. Mainly politician, civil servants and existing trade union leaders have to play vital role.
The depolticization will maximize the individual and institutional competencies and productivity of civil service and it will immediately start to work as an antibiotic for minimizing the unethical conflicts, unfair and unhealthy practices that provokes people and group towards to play unfair professional and power game in the name of various political ideologies, regionalism, unionism, communalism and more. Also, the Depolticization may prove more effective in treatment process of existing BUREAUPATHOLOGY of Nepal.