Mandate  

PREFACE

Respecting the aspiration of the Constitution for the state to pursue the noble development objective of Gross National Happiness (GNH) propounded by His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo for the benefit of all Bhutanese for all time to come;

Reflecting the desire of the government to function more effectively and efficiently in support of the Parliamentary Democratic System of Government;

Recognizing the importance of the government to function as one body treading the same path towards a common goal as reflected in the government decision to merge the functions of the erstwhile Planning Commission and the Committee of Secretaries in the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC);

The Royal Government hereby approves the following mandate and rules of procedures for the GNHC.

OBJECTIVES

a.The GNHC shall ensure that GNH is mainstreamed into the planning, policy making and implementation process by evaluating their relevance to the GNH framework of: i.developing a dynamic economy as the foundation for a vibrant democracy;
ii.Harmonious Living – in harmony with tradition and nature;
iii.Effective and good governance; and
iv.Our people: investing in the nation’s greatest asset.

FUNCTIONS

The GNHC shall:

  • Be the central government body for coordinating and spearheading policy formulation, and shall ensure that all policies, irrespective of their origin, are processed in line with the attached Protocol for Policy Formulation.
  • Prepare a Strategy for GNH (SGNH), a twenty year perspective that will provide long term development framework for the five year plans and programmes till the year 2028. The SGNH will be updated periodically to improve its relevance overtime.
  • Direct and coordinate the formulation of all policies, plans and programmes in the country and ensure that GNH is mainstreamed into the planning, policy making and implementation process by evaluating their relevance to the GNH framework.
  • Approve and adopt the GNH Index as a guide for the formulation of sectoral policies and plans, and the Index shall be used as a yardstick to monitor development performance.
  • Review sectoral policies and plans and finalize the national plan for government approval
  • Review & recommend non-plan investment programs including the mega projects;
  • Develop mechanisms for effective enforcement of policies and resolve all issues arising from the implementation of policies and plans.
  • Ensure efficient and judicious allocation of and utilization of scarce resources to bring about regionally balanced development and growth with stability, equity and social justice.
  • Establish coherence of policies to promote performance and growth, through a regular process of policy review and commissioning of policy research/studies/surveys by expert groups.
  • Appraise the Government on the progress and outcomes of development plans and programmes from time to time.
  • Approve framework for annual grants for Dzongkhags and Gewogs through the resource allocation formula.
  • Review and endorse the resource allocations for the Five Year Plans of the Central Agencies, Dzongkhags and Gewogs.
  • Endorse the annual and the multi-year rolling plans and budgets.
  • Monitor the implementation of development activities by instituting an effective monitoring and reporting system.
  • Commission impact assessments and evaluations of policies, programmes and activities to assess the progress towards the achievement of national goals and targets that are articulated in the SGNH.
  • Discuss all matters related to inter-ministerial and inter-agency coordination and cooperation in the implementation of policies and programmes of the Royal Government to minimize duplication and wastage of resources; and
  • Review roles and responsibilities of government organizations from time to time to ensure that government organizations respond proactively to the changing expectations of the Royal Government and the people;
  • Review rules and regulations from time to time and amend those that are irrelevant and conflicting being totally mindful of their objectives, costs and benefits.
  • Ensure that regular administrative responsibilities and development programmes for the Royal Government are implemented in the most efficient, effective and beneficial manner.
  • Ensure that there is parity and uniformity in the capacity and condition among the various ministries of the Royal Government. Ensure judicious management of limited resources, financial and human, leading to sustained efficiency, transparency and accountability;
  • Promote and maintain harmonious functioning with other branches of the Government and constitutional bodies through effective coordination and cooperation; and Undertake tasks assigned by the Lhengye Zhungtshog.

MEMBERSHIP

Membership of the GNHC shall be as follows:

  • The Prime Minister (Chairperson)
  • The Cabinet Secretary
  • All Secretaries to Ministries
  • Head of the National Environment Commission Secretariat
  • GNHC Secretary (Member Secretary)

Besides members, other officials shall participate in the discussions as and when desired by the Commission.

SECRETARIAT

The GNHC Secretariat shall serve as the secretariat to the Commission.

OFFICE BEARERS

The Prime Minister shall be the Chairperson of the Commission and the Cabinet Secretary shall be the Vice Chairperson. The Secretary of the GNH Commission shall be the Member Secretary.

CODE OF CONDUCT

Members shall:

  • Strive to maintain the highest standards of integrity, loyalty, dedication and endeavour to promote professional excellence in fulfilling the objectives of the Commission.
  • Refrain from unauthorized communication of information, which shall be detrimental to the smooth and efficient functioning and integrity of the Commission.
  • Maintain official decorum and refrain from indulging in actions that may tarnish the image of the Commission.

POWERS AND DUTIES OF CHAIRPERSON

The Chairperson shall:

  • Endorse the agenda and date for the Commission meetings proposed by the Secretariat.
  • Convene and close the sessions of the Commission, direct the discussions, ensure observance of rules, accord the right to speak, raise questions for decisions and announce such decisions.
  • He/She shall rule on points of order and, subject to the rules in force, have control of the proceedings and the maintenance of order.
  • Invite special invitees to attend the sessions as and when deemed necessary.

POWERS AND DUTIES OF VICE-CHAIRPERSON

In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall assume the powers and duties of the Chairperson.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SECRETARIAT

The GNHC Secretariat shall be responsible for the following:

  • Preparing long term national development goals and milestones such as preparation of Strategy for GNH (SGNH).
  • Setting national priorities, goals & targets for 5 Year Plans based on SGNH.
  • Allocation of resources for development plans and programmes based on national priorities, goals and targets.
  • Plan, coordinate and monitor the five year plans and programmes of the Central Ministries and Agencies to achieve both the five year plans and the long term development objectives of the country.
  • It shall support and enhance the capacity of local governance so that the wishes of the people as expressed through the Dzongkhag Tshogdus and Gewog Tshogdes are fulfilled as per the provisions of existing local government acts and chathrims.
  • It shall guide, supervise and support the development and strengthening of the Dzongkhag and Gewog administration and ensure their efficiency and effectiveness in the discharge of their responsibilities.
  • Undertake research and policy analysis to bring about coherence and consistency in Royal Government policies, socio-economic development objectives and programmes.
  • Conduct impact assessments and evaluations of policies, programmes and activities using the indicators for GNH as a development measure to assess the progress towards achievement of national goals and targets articulated in the SGNH.
  • Coordination and management of external assistance within the framework of the Development Cooperation Policy.

Additionally the Secretariat will provide the following support services:

  • Review the discussion papers submitted by the sectors and apprise the Chairperson.
  • Prepare the agenda and coordinate the meetings.
  • Ensure that the agenda with all supporting documents are submitted to the members a week in advance
  • Maintain record of the meetings and ensure timely circulation.
  • Monitor and follow up on the implementation of the Commission’s decisions and submit regular reports on the status and issues related to the matter.
  • Carry out works assigned by the GNHC.

FREQUENCY OF SESSIONS

The Commission shall meet at least once every quarter. Additional meetings may be called by the Chairperson on his own account or upon the request of one-third of the members.

VENUE OF SESSIONS

All sessions of the Commission shall be held in the GNHC Conference Hall, unless otherwise determined by the Secretariat.

NOTIFICATION OF SESSIONS

The Secretariat shall notify all the members of the time, date and venue three weeks before the meeting, except when emergency meetings are necessary.

AGENDA

  • Members shall submit agenda items in writing to the Chairperson at least two weeks in advance. All agenda items shall be studied thoroughly by the concerned divisions looking after the sectors in the GNHC Secretariat before submitting to the Commission. To the extent possible all agenda items shall contain brief write-ups with analysis and recommendations to facilitate the Commission to make informed decisions.
  • Reports, explanatory memoranda and supporting documents required for discussion, shall be distributed with the agenda.
  • The Secretariat shall distribute the agenda with the notification of the meeting at least one week before the meeting.

ATTENDANCE

  • Attendance shall be mandatory.
  • Members who cannot attend the sessions shall inform the Chairperson in writing giving clear reasons about their inability to attend the session.

QUORUM

Two thirds of the membership shall constitute a quorum.

STATEMENT BY MEMBERS

Any statement made by any member on the issue tabled for discussion shall be confidential. Any member may address the Commission after obtaining the permission of the Chairperson. The Chairperson may call a speaker to order, if his/her remarks are not relevant to the subject under discussion.

CLOSURE OF DEBATE

During the discussion, a member may move the closure of the debate on the item under discussion. If supported by a majority of the members present, the debate on that item shall be closed.

PROPOSALS AND AMENDMENTS

Proposals for discussion and amendments to the earlier resolutions shall be submitted in writing to the Secretariat, which shall in turn circulate copies to the Chairperson and other members for discussion in the next session.

WITHDRAWAL OF PROPOSALS AND MOTIONS

A proposal or a motion may be withdrawn by the proponent at any time before a decision is taken.

SUSPENSION OR ADJOURNMENT OF A SESSION

During the discussion, a member may move the suspension or the adjournment of the session. The session shall be adjourned or suspended if the motion is supported by a two-third majority of the members present.

RECONSIDERATION OF PROPOSALS

When a proposal has been adopted or rejected, it may not be reconsidered at the same session unless a majority of members present so decides.

EQUALLY DIVIDED ON MOTIONS

All decisions of the Commission shall be by consensus, and where the Committee is equally divided on a motion, the Chairperson shall exercise the power of arbitration.

ESTABLISHMENT OF TASK FORCES

The Commission may establish such task forces as it deems necessary for the performance of specific functions. The membership, terms of reference and duration of the assignment shall be specified whenever a task force is established.

CENTRE FOR BHUTAN STUDIES (CBS)

The CBS shall assist the GNHC with respect to the construction of a practical and target oriented GNH index, GNH filters and related work and research to keep it up to date and relevant. The CBS shall provide feedback on issues under consideration in the GNHC as and when deemed necessary.

THINK TANK

The GNH Commission shall be assisted in discharging its functions by a Think Tank, members of which shall be selected on the basis of personal merit and ability to contribute to the work of the Commission. The responsibility of the Think Tank shall be to provide an independent second opinion on the policies of the government for the benefit of the GNH Commission. The Think Tank shall play a critical role in initiating studies and research and reviewing and evaluating policy proposals and its implications.

GNH COMMITTEES

GNH Committees shall be instituted in the Central Ministries and Agencies and at the local government levels to strengthen the functional linkage with the GNH Commission and to mainstream GNH in all plans, policies and programmes of the country.

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