Civil service evaluation to begin after elections

An ambitious plan to evaluate Greece’s civil servants is to begin after general elections, which are expected in late April or early May, according to sources who told Kathimerini that the criteria for the assessment will be drafted by the end of this month.

The evaluation is to be carried out by senior state officials in association with French experts who have been brought to Greece by the European Commission Task Force.

Administrative Reform Minister Dimitris Reppas said that the first stage of evaluation would focus on the structure and departments of his own ministry and the Environment and Energy Ministry before being extended to others.

Overall, the plan is to streamline ministries by a third, which would result in the abolition and merging of departments and corresponding job losses.

Reppas played down the impact on jobs on Tuesday, noting that the streamlining was aimed at “abolishing departments and vacant positions, not reducing jobs.”

A total of 5,427 ministry departments are to be reduced by a third to 3,567, according to ministry sources.

The latest report by inspectors representing Greece’s foreign creditors -- the European Commission, European Central, Bank and International Monetary Fund, known as the troika -- is unambiguous. It acknowledges that a lack of know-how has contributed to delays in overhauling Greece’s public administration. But it also refers to foot-dragging in the planned reduction of the size of the civil service and calls for 15,000 public servants to either be dismissed or put in a labor reserve scheme, where they receive 60 percent of their salary, by the end of this year.

The troika attributed the lack of progress to “the absence of effective central decision-making and the inadequate implementation of agreed-to measures.”

Experts from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and McKinsey consultants have identified the lack of a permanent coordinating body as a key weakness in Greece’s efforts to overhaul its public administration.

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