Friday, August 21, 2009

What exactly is The RBP’s Status?

*This Was How It Was Supposed to Come Out in Bhutan Observer Where the Paper Wrongly Credits Mr Thuji Nadik, TCB.
** The Original Header Was Supposed to be As Above and Not What The Paper Has Printed.
***A Very Regrettable Matter.
**** Apologies to AU Thuj who was a mere recipient of the article.

The parliamentary discussion on the police bill and decisions thereof left me in a state of confusion. I would like to put forward my quandary in the following areas for public opinion and hopefully, some clarity.

1. Administrative Control
The parliamentary decision was to maintain it with the Ministry of Home Affairs but my own understanding of Article 28 of the Constitution is that the RBP will function under the MOHA’s instructions for law and order reasons and that the administration will remain with the Defense Forces.

It is true that in certain countries the police function under the administrative control of the home ministry but should not we be concerned with the Bhutanese context only? From what I have seen, the police functioning under civil authorities tend to be more susceptible to corrupt practices. The RBP in Bhutan must be one of the cleanest police force in the world due to its affiliation with the defense forces and the discipline thereof.

2. Status

However, if my interpretation of Article 28 is faulty and the RBP is now to be under the MOHA, does it mean that the RBP is a civil department? If so, what are the titles to be accorded to the police personnel? The Chief of Police- will he remain the chief since obviously he no longer is the chief executive officer? And then Lt. Colonels, Majors and such other ranks are titles that cannot be used by civilians as these titles are ranks and not titles by appointment as is the case of civilians.
Are the RBP personnel now to be included under the purview of the BCSR and such, the RCSC?

3. Pay, Allowances and Benefits

If the RBP is now a civil department, its personnel must be equated to other civil servants. Does this mean that the pay and allowances structure will now follow the civil service? What about benefits like free housing, orderlies’ et al being enjoyed presently? Are all civil servants going to receive the same benefits? Are the benefits going to be taken away from the RBP?
Surely, it must be one or the other as we cannot have a completely new status just for the RBP!

4. What is the Police Promotion Board about? Does the maintenance of such an authority imply that the RBP is now a government corporation?
Confusion reigns supreme and some clarity will help (or am I the only ‘dumbo’ in the kingdom?)

(Credit Should Have Been )
Jurmi Chhowing
K4 Media
Thimphu (And Not Mr T. Nadik)

Ps: YourLustForLifeStartsRightNow!

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