There was a distinct whiff of pre-electioneering to the Energy Ministry’s bill for the staffing of energy entities. The draft law paves the way for more than 500 hirings on contracts of indefinite duration, more than half of which will be processed without involving the civil servant hiring council (ASEP).
The case of the Raegulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) is quite revealing: It has long been known that the energy market watchdog is understaffed, leading to serious delays, and the demand for hirings was submitted at least three years ago. That the government has suddenly decided to address it just months before the general election, and to fast-track it too, is somewhat suspect.
Using the argument that the ASEP process is time-consuming, the ministry is proposing the commissioning of 79 permanent staff through proclamations made directly by RAE, with ASEP’s role reduced to just checking the legality of the process.
Another 220 hirings are planned for the new entity to replace the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (IGME), with priority given to the 180 current IGME employees. The bill also rules ASEP out of the process for hiring some 30 staff for Ariadne, the company that will implement the Crete-Attica power interconnection.