NEWS

Stricter laws for lax civil servants

New regulations currently being drafted by the Interior Ministry aim to put civil servants found guilty of dereliction of duty or corruption on a fast-track scheme to dismissal, Kathimerini has learned. In a bid to put an end to years of unaccountability, the ministry also plans to impose strict deadlines for rulings by disciplinary councils hearing the cases of civil servants charged with dereliction of duty. Moreover, civil servants will be barred from holding positions on these councils, as a sense of solidarity has led many of them to issue decisions that are too lenient on fellow public servants. The government is also planning to merge the various mechanisms currently involved in organizing inspections on the public sector into one single unit. It is thought that this leaner, centralized mechanism will be more effective in targeting cases of corruption and dereliction of duty. According to sources, Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis has asked Leandros Rakintzis, the general inspector of public administration, to supply him with data showing the progress of cases of corruption in the state sector. The sources told Kathimerini that the watchdog has concluded a report that catalogs 2,500 serious disciplinary transgressions, most of which are described as «under-the-table transactions.» Speaking to Kathimerini, Rakintzis remarked that only «1 percent of corruption in the state sector is traced.» According to the watchdog chief, authorities managed to curb corruption in the Greek public sector by 1 percent this year. «This saved some 200 million euros if one considers that the state loses around 20 billion euros in illegal transactions each year,» Rakintzis said.