Institutional Arrangements of Government of Nepal under Federal Constitution


Name of Project: Institutional Arrangements of Government of Nepal under Federal Constitution
Service rendered to: Ministry of General Administration/ Project to Prepare the Public Administration for State Reforms (PREPAPRE)
Consulting Team: Madhav Ghimire, Balananda Paudel, Trilochan Pokharel, Bal Krishna Suvedi, Prabhakar Pathak, Dhruba Raj Regmi  and Michael Winter

Following the promulgation of the Constitution of Nepal on 20 September 2015, the Ministry of General Administration (MoGA) with the support from PREPARE took initiatives to prepare necessary arrangements for administrative federalization. Upon the request of the  MoGA, Nepal Administrative Staff College (NASC) commenced a study for  providing a proposal on 'Institutional Arrangements of Government of Nepal under Federal Constitution'.

With an objective to propose institutional arrangements for four sectors (education, health, agriculture and transport infrastructure) among the three orders of the government, as per the constitutional provisions and international practices, the study provides a number of recommendations that could support government for taking decisions to implement federalization.

  • It sets certain principles for assigning structures for functions. Government may take this as reference for suggesting institutional arrangements for other sectors.
  • This report provides a good documentation of global experience of federalization, especially from Canada, Nigeria and India including number of references from other relevant countries.  
  • It unbundles the constitutional allocation of functions from an institutional arrangements perspective. It provides evidence for the government to take decisions on making necessary arrangements for delivering functions.
  • Importantly, this report provides institutional set-ups for four sectors based on the agreed principles. Since this is the first effort of this kind for recommending institutional arrangement in a federal setting, it can be taken as a reference for defining structures for the remaining sectors. The institutional arrangements proposed take into account a number of important considerations – constitutional provisions, efficiency, effectiveness, institutional linkages (vertical and horizontal) and avoiding redundancy, among others. While suggesting institutions, this report fully takes into account constitutional provisions. It provides recommendations with certainty for the functions having constitutional clarity. However, for unclear and ambiguous functions, global practices and established principles of government’s business allocation (particularly in federal constitutions) are considered. The report has mainly focused on federal and provincial level institutions with due consideration for local level. The reason for not being able to suggest local level institutional arrangements is the uncertainty on the size and number of local bodies. But recognizing the interlinkages, this report unbundles local functions and recommends minimum institutional requirements. It will definitely provide a point of reference to the government for taking further decisions.  
  • The study provides principles for estimating required human resources for delivering the identified functions. Although, defining the size and position of staff requires comprehensive clarity in functions and structures followed by workload analysis, this proposal provides a preliminary estimation of human resource requirements corresponding to the structure suggested. It may provide a basis for the government to initiate preparations for human resource management.
  • This proposal also enumerates the potential challenges that the government may encounter while federalizing the country and suggests some measures to mitigate those risks.