Report on tourism agency points to rife absenteeism

A new report points to lax management and widespread employee absenteeism at the Greek National Tourism Organization that has cost the agency an estimated 180,000 euros.

The investigation, carried out by public administration inspectors at the end of last year, found that seven out of 10 employees could not justify their absence from the office on at least one occasion in November 2012. The apparent absence of checks on staff by management meant that the majority would not bother clocking in, inspectors noted in their report. “The failure of employees to comply with the rules appears to have been a long-established state of affairs, one that had a negative influence on the smooth operation, effectiveness and image of the organization,” the report said.

Staff were found to have declared an unusually high rate of sick leave, according to the report, which said that the frequency of declared sick days increased on the days before and after public holidays.

Officials at the Administrative Reform Ministry, which is overseeing an overhaul of the civil service demanded by the troika, have said they are determined to identify employees who continue to pocket a state salary without working the prescribed hours and ensure they are dismissed. Another focus in the ministry crackdown are staff who are accused of a range of disciplinary offenses.