CSC wins civil court case over ‘responsible officers’ at atoll and island offices

The Civil Court has overruled the home ministry’s decision to cut allowances for ‘responsible officers’ at atoll and island offices.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) took the home ministry to court over the matter after it rescinded the allowances of the CSC-appointed responsible officers, the highest-ranking civil servant in the island and atoll offices tasked with overseeing organisational tasks and liaising with the commission.

The court ruled that the CSC’s responsibility under the Civil Service Act was to set the “tasks, responsibilities, rights and powers of civil servants, free of outside influence,” and that there was no legal obstacle to appointing responsible officers or giving them an allowance for additional work as the appointments were made “within the bounds of the law”.

The court ordered that the directive from the home ministry to the province offices “not to carry out the duties of the civil servants appointed as responsible officers, and give them allowances, shall be invalidated.”

CSC spokesperson Mohamed Fahmy Hassan said while the president-appointed island councillor’s role was to oversee the atoll and island offices, the responsible officers’ role of selecting and promoting civil servants was not conducted by political appointees.

“The government misunderstands and distrusts [the CSC] and is unable to accept what [worked] before [it was in power],” Fahmy said.

State Minister for the South Central Province, Ahmed Mujthaba, said the ruling would “really obstruct adminstration and provision of services and is in conflict with the very basis of the civil service.”

“The civil service is subordinate to the government – you can’t have them operating as a parallel government,” he said. “They are saying this is about independence but what they are creating is something very dangerous, by giving civil servants the message that they are subordinate to the CSC and not the government.”

“[Civil servants] will show allegiance and respect and readiness to those with the power to promote and transfer them – that is very basic human resources,” Mujthaba claimed.

“If that is the message, the civil servants cannot be induced to work on government programs. I don’t think this government can implement the programs it has promised with the way the civil service is currently set up.”

Mujthaba said he had observed the problem “first hand” administering his own province office: “The rules are so rigid that we can’t effectively operate a government.”

He added that it was “very unfair” for the CSC to assume the government would politicise the civil service if given a free hand.

“People elected the government because they know it is responsible. If we violate [civil servants] rights then there are people they can call. What the CSC is doing is purposely hindering the government’s development efforts. There are elements in the civil service against the government, and this is something I call on the president to look into.”


7 thoughts on “CSC wins civil court case over ‘responsible officers’ at atoll and island offices”

  1. another example of the civil service commission trying to wreck the country for their own dubious interests

  2. According to the Maldivian Civil Service Act, a person must be appointed to the position of permanent secretary as a highest civil servant to each Ministry, Office of the President, the Attorney General’s Office and offices established by the President which are administered separately.

    The name "responsible officers" are direct translation of name given to permanent secretary in local language there can not be more than one permanent secretary in a Ministry.

    Last year one of the Courts has decided that there can not be more than one permanent secretary in a Ministry. It funny, this time a total U turn by the Court.

  3. Ibrahim,
    "Zinmaadaaru verin" & "zinmaadaaru Is Verin" are 2 different positions. Zinmaadaaru Is verin (Permanent Secretaries) are appointed to individual ministries & Zinmaadaaru Verin (Responsible Officers) are appointed in government departments like Immigration, customs & islands etc that are too large/difficult to administer due to geography...they are not permanent secretaries so it is not a case of U turn by court.

    This is supposed to be a democratic government & the independent commissions etc are also part of the government & is carrying out government's work. The current President is not just the president of people who wear yellow, he is the president of the whole nation...

    The president is the captain who oversees the operation of the ship & how to reach the destination, he does not personally go & see how each crew does the work individually...he has people assigned to each department to oversee how it is run...CSC is such a department. If the political people are given free reign over the civil servants, then there's no one to protect their rights.

    As the current political people are inclined to show more favour towards people who like the colour yellow, what about the rest of the people who are affiliated to other colours or no colour? As a civil servant affiliated to no colour, i have observed many such cases in my office.

  4. Another verdict favouring the ex-government. This is what I mean?? A verdict that does not favour the ex-goverment never comes out of the Judicial system in these days???

    Ha hahahahaha... poor us.. the people

  5. The last president and his parliament has made mince meat of us and the constitution using the so called independent commissions as a tool to create havoc to the governing system.
    It is time president Nasheed to reign in these culprit commissions and take control of government without further hassle.

  6. Giving each part of the state; space and time to figure out its own functions and way forward to operate in the best interest of the nation might be considered too idealistic by some. But in a situation where we didn't have a nation but a dictatorship this might be the best option forward for nation-building.

  7. The present Maldivian Civil Service is a pure product of the former President Gayoom. Gayoom in power has created a regime of favoritism by which public servants are compelled to belong to Gayoom’s DRP. Most of the employed at the top posts of the civil service, such as Permanent Secretaries, Executive Directors, Director Generals and Island Chiefs had been were either Gayoom’s DRP members or his party hardcore supporters. Usually, members of other parties who were public servants were fired from top posts or marginalized within a Department or Ministry for a variety of formal and other reasons.

    When the political parties’ regulation was introduced by Gayoom regime under international pressure on the advice of then the Attorney General Dr. Hassan Saeed in 2004, it do not regulate public servants membership to political parties and parties elected post. This has created a chaotic political public service system, a system which is quite contrary to the public interest. Political factors have become more crucial for the appointment and promotion of public servants in Gayoom’s regime. Even today, Gayoom’s hangover is still strongly embedded in the civil service, creating havoc in the running of the present government.

    The civil service can not be efficient unless justice is created by dealing with unfair promotions awarded by Gayoom. It is imperative to establish a Civil Service Tribunal to deal with prostitution of public service by the Public Service Department of President’s Office of Gayoom regime.


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