The People’s Majlis has passed a bill submitted by the government to establish a Foreign Service as a separate institution.
The bill, submitted by MP Hussain Shaheem (Henveiru-South), had been approved by the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee before it was passed with a majority of 46 votes in favor. The bill establishes the Foreign Service as an institution independent of the Civil Service.
The Foreign Service will comprise of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Maldives’ diplomatic missions, and consular posts.
The Committee had amended the bill submitted by MP Shaheem. An additional clause established that the salaries of the Foreign Service will be determined by the Pay Commission, as advised by the Foreign Ministry and the Finance Ministry. In addition, the requirement that any candidate for the Foreign Secretary’s post must have served in the Foreign Ministry for a duration of 15 years was reduced to 10 years.
The highest post of the Foreign Service will be the Foreign Secretary, directly answerable to the Minister.
The bill allows for ambassadors to be appointed from outside the Foreign Service on the condition that they resign on a change in government.