Opposition members against amendment to annul prioritizing merit when hiring for Civil Service

Committee of the whole House metting on 02 Dec 2020 Photo: Majilis

Malé, Maldives –  Opposition MP’s have gone against a new amendment to annul prioritizing academic prowess when hiring for Civil Service jobs, alleging that it is a ploy to give MDP activists jobs rather than qualified workers.

Debating the proposed bill, Opposition MP from Faresmaathodha Constituency Hussain Mohamed Latheef stated that this is a slap on the face for young adults finishing their higher studies.

He added that Civil Service should be built on capable and educated individuals, but that removing this requirement from the Civil Service Act will result in a lower quality of service from government institutions.

MP Hussain went onto allege that this bill aims to allow for MDP activist to be appointed to civil service posts instead of qualified and capable individuals, and would contribute to even greater political influence in Civil Service.

In addition to MP Hussain, other opposition MP’s raised their concerns, with some stating that workers with high merit in civil service are questioning this move, adding that this bill will result in more power to the hands of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef said that his will result in the Civil Service becoming even weaker, and that this closes doors to academic youth.

This comes after thirteen amendments were proposed to the Civil Service Act of Maldives on the 15th of March by MP of Addu City, Meedhoo Constituency, Rozaina Adam. One of which includes removing Chapter 5 Section (e) of the Act which shows precedence for merit and experience for employees.

Chapter 5 Section (e) of the Civil Services Act:

A person may be employed in the Maldivian Civil Service as prescribed below based on merit and experience.

  1. Whilst employing a person in the Maldivian Civil Service, priority shall be given to those with highest academic results. 
  2. Where the academic results of the applicants are the same, priority shall be given to the person with experience from the relevant field and based on the quality of the work.

The above section will be removed from the Civil Service Act if the amendment is passed.

The amendment also increases the maximum age for Civil Service job hires from 55 to 60. If this amendment is implemented only individuals from 18-60 years will be able to get jobs in the Civil Service Sector. 

MP Rozaina’s amendment also proposed a structure for disabled individuals to get Civil Service jobs, ensuring that hires are not terrorists or belonging to terrorist organizations and giving power to the Ministers to remove permanent secretaries from Ministries.