Surplus civil cervants: IMF’s formula

As of next year, hiring civil servants will be carried out along the principle – one hired – five made redundant.

This is what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has proposed to the Serbian government, as stated in the document that the Blic daily was given an opportunity to see.

This is also a part of a set of measures required for the sixth audit of the financial arrangement with Serbia which is supposed to be defined in the second half of October. Before that, the general framework of the financial consolidation should be defined in principle by late September when the IMF officials are due to come to Belgrade.

A source from the Serbian government claims that the formula for laying off surplus civil servants is going to be the main topic when the IMF officials come.

– Because of the European integration process, laying off civil servants will be done along the principle – one hired, five made redundant. This could result in certain segments of the public administration not being able to uphold the EU standards which is why our government has been trying to push more for the 1.3 to 5 ratio – says the government source.

He goes on to say that the Serbian government thinks it can persuade the IMF to agree to their proposal since Serbia has achieved good results in other segments of the financial consolidation.

– Furthermore, the government doesn’t want to make any hasty moves, i.e. there has to be a functional analysis in place before the redundancies actually happen. If the redundancies are made based on the rigid statistical data, the quality of public administration could be jeopardized which, in turn, would lead to the EU giving us a bad mark. Before the official negotiations about the sixth financial arrangement start in the second half of October, the IMF officials will come to Belgrade in late September and by that time the second part of the functional analysis should be finished. The analysis will show which sectors have surplus workers and which need more experts. The Ministry of State Administration and Local Self-Government has been working on this document for quite some time now.

Our interlocutor adds that the document is nearly finished and that minister Ana Brnabić has been having discussions with each individual minister in order for the layoffs not to jeopardize the work done by certain segments in the public administration.

– What is certain is that the number of 76,000 civil servants, which is how many of them are supposed to be laid off in the next three years, will be much lower. In August, the IMF agreed to wait and see what the analysis would show but we are not sure whether they are going to change their demands. Still, this could be good news since the previous arrangements did not even mention a solution regarding taking on new workers – the government source explains.

Minister Ana Brnabić: Everything will be revealed in the second part of October

The Ministry of State Administration did not want to comment directly about the Blic’s findings.

– We are going to have concrete information about the IMF’s demands in the second half of October when the IMF delegation is supposed to come for the sixth audit. Before that, their experts are due to arrive here in late September when we might get a hint of the IMF’s future steps in this area. What is important for us is that layoffs in the public sector are not going to be carried out without a proper functional analysis which will determine where civil servants are surplus, and where a deficit – Minister Ana Brnabić said for the Blic.

She added that no actions that could result in poor quality of public administration would be taken.

– It is important to know that we are not only going to lay off people, but also hire them where needed in order to provide our citizens with quality services. There are departments that don’t have enough workers, like inspections which are very important for combating shadow economy and creating conditions for fair competition. If we hire more inspectors, they are going to be financially sustainable because they will generate enough money for their salaries and the state budget – Brnabić adds.

(Blic, 12.09.2016)

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