School of Public Administration is set up, only to be ignored

The National School of Public Administration (ESDD) was founded in 1985 and, as Athens University’s Antonis Makrydimitris comments, is a classic example of a reform that takes place in Greece and is absorbed by the system without transforming it. The main reasons for this are the politicization of the management and the lack of sound planning. While the school was supposed to formulate courses along the lines of new management methods, in fact such notions were canceled out due to politicization. In 1991, Law 1943 contained a provision that any department head had to have studied at the school, but the law was repealed immediately afterward. ADEDY opposition «The internal training department would be attended, after preliminary tests, by those who wished to rise up through the hierarchy,» said Makrydimitris. «These intensive courses for aspiring department heads were to form a reserve of public service officials. The law was not implemented owing to opposition from the public service union ADEDY. Hence managers and department heads are chosen who do not possess the requisite qualifications. «But the school lost its prestige it had. In its early years, faculty members were the cream of academia, the judiciary and leading figures in the economy and business. Eventually, after secondments and transfers of management and academic staff, first-rate professionals no longer wanted to work there. Now you might find a teacher there who has fewer qualifications than someone who is being taught. That is why the new general secretary of the center intends to create a new register of teaching staff.» «For years, the ministry said that they needed us, but the minute we turned up in the public service they didn’t want us,» N. Lenos, vice president of the Public Administration School Graduates Union, told Kathimerini. Unwanted graduates «The first thing they told us was to go to the registry section. It’s all right to stay in the registry for two to three months, but not for years. «Every graduate costs the Greek State 28,000 euros. But those of us who have been put to use owe it mainly to luck. Very few graduates have been recognized by the administration. Of the school’s 1,108 graduates, only 85 are department heads, 15 are managers, and not one is a general manager.»