Plan for ministry staff finalized

Plan for ministry staff finalized

The government is drafting a plan to regulate the appointment of employees at ministries, State Minister George Gerapetritis said on Thursday, confirming Kathimerini’s report of a bid by the center-right administration to tackle the perennial problem of overstaffing in central government bodies. 

In an interview with Thema radio station, Gerapetritis said authorities plan to legislate a “central system” that would limit recruitments at ministries and other central government bodies.

To date there has not been a system but rather a series of “scattered decisions” for ever more recruitments. “We reached the point of not knowing how many employees had been appointed,” he said.

Now there will be a ceiling for ministers and their subordinates, he said, referring to plans to set a limit of nine administrative staff and two journalists for each minister, with a maximum of six employees for deputy ministers and five for general secretaries.

The scheme will lead to a reduction of between 15 and 20 percent in the number of ministry clerks, Gerapetritis said, adding that the initiative would cut costs by 30 percent.

It remains unclear exactly how many ministry clerks there will be under the new center-right government. The total number of administrative staff under the previous government was 2,700 on March 31.

That figure was boosted for the European Parliament elections in May and the snap general election earlier this month, though it remains unclear by how much.

The government’s legislation streamlining the public administration is expected to go before a vote in Parliament next week along with other bills outlining tax cuts, abolishing the university asylum law and overhauling the governance of Greece’s local authorities.

Separately, on the planned creation of a national transparency authority aimed at cracking down on corruption in the public sector, Gerapetritis said it would be staffed with “eminent technocrats” and would “harness the powers of multiple inspection mechanisms that are currently scattered.” 

The new authority, he said, will enforce “innovative inspection techniques with the liberal use of modern technology” and will function “entirely without bias and will not be subject to political control.”

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