Senior govt officials reluctant to join NRA

  • Factors: Working with ‘untested’ boss, career concerns
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 18, 2016-

The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) faces an uphill battle to recruit the required human resource—partly due to the reluctance of senior government officials to work under an “untested” chief executive and the lack of clarity on career prospects, sources say.

One joint-secretary has already declined the offer to join the NRA. Instead, he has requested a transfer to the National Planning Commission. According to a highly-placed source at the Ministry of General Administration (MoGA), Madhu Marasini, chief of the International Economic Cooperation and Coordination Division of the Finance Ministry, refused to join the authority. Marasini’s request is under consideration at the Cabinet.

An Organisation and Management survey conducted by the Prime Minister’s Office and the authority has concluded that at least 208 staffers including 17 joint-secretaries and 36 under-secretaries will be required for the authority.

The NRA, the central body responsible for reconstruction and rehabilitation of the quake-ravaged settlements, heritage sites and infrastructure, has fixed a two-tier organisational structure—central and sub-regional, with local agencies to be mobilised for rebuilding at the ground level.

“Junior officials seem interested to join the authority, while at the higher level, very few have shown interest,” said MoGA Secretary Tankamani Sharma. Senior officials including Secretary Sharma of the General Administration Ministry and the authority officials are scheduled to discuss the staff recruitment process on Tuesday.

Senior officials are concerned about their future prospects while the juniors want to be clear about perks in the office where they may have to put in extra effort. 

“Civil servants are not interested to join this office because they may have to work round the clock. It is not clear what kind of facilities they receive for additional work,” said a source close to the authority’s chief executive. A senior MoGA officer said there are no joint-secretaries in the required number to be readily deputed. This would require fresh recruitment, but the lack of clarity on career prospects and the kind of facilities they receive in the new office are the deterrents, said the official seeking anonymity citing the sensitivity of the matter.

The NRA wrote to the General Administration Ministry on Sunday to provide staff for the Authority. The NRA categorically demanded the deputation of Joint-secretary Suresh Adhikari (Foreign Ministry) and Kali Prasad Parajuli (Home Ministry) and other officials without further delay.

“We have asked the ministry to provide at least 50-60 employees with expertise in planning, engineering and monitoring,” said NRA Acting Secretary Madhusudan Adhikari. In the lack of enough senior officials, junior ones deputed from the PMO run day to day works at the Authority. According to the NRA Act, besides officials deputed from the government, the CEO appoints employees at various levels on contract basis.

Published: 18-01-2016 08:31

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