The Interior Ministry is working on drastic reforms in the public sector to improve efficiency, promote meritocracy, root out corruption and, ultimately serve the public more effectively.
Chief among these initiatives is the provision of incentives to civil servants in posts with a large and taxing workload. These incentives will include not just monetary benefits, but also more leave and a swifter rise up the pay scale.
The aim is for this reward system to turn the public sector into an attractive workplace for people with qualifications and ambitions.
“The reward mechanism will help to instill a culture of meritocracy in public administration,” said Interior Minister Makis Voridis, noting that the current culture is one that equates everyone regardless of merit.
Other initiatives to this end include changes to the staff selection process via the new the state hiring agency (ASEP) so as to ensure the right person is in the right position, a bill reforming the system of internal audits to fight corruption, a reward system encouraging the efficiency and productivity of employees, and the creation of an evaluation mechanism based on international work standards so that the civil service operates as a modern company.
The bill on the reform of the internal auditing system, which is scheduled to be put to a parliamentary vote by the end of February, is expected to be put to public consultation next week. This bill seeks to introduce safeguards in order to prevent corruption by nipping it in the bud.
According to Interior Ministry officials, when an employee is in the position of handling certificates, their verification will be provided by another person so that if there is a case of forgery it can be detected immediately. An internal audit body is also foreseen, which will check at all times whether the correct internal procedures are being observed and will intervene where necessary to rectify any irregularities.
An integrity adviser is also foreseen in each department to advise employees in relation to their actions and whether they are in violation of the existing legal framework.
Last but not least, the ministry envisions a system to effectively evaluate civil servants.
The move is described by Voridis as “a top reform that will help strengthen the goal of a meritocratic state operating with transparent procedures.”