New system to replace outdated civil service transfer rules

Α draft bill on mobility for public sector staff, now forwarded to Parliament’s central legislation processing committee, will transform the current outdated system for civil service transfers and secondments, Alternate Interior and Administrative Reconstruction Minister Christoforos Vernardakis told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Monday.

Once passed, the new legislation will set up a modern, flexible system that covered the needs of public administration and would combine with changes in the organisation plan of state agencies that was now underway, he said.

“We have an antiquated system of transfers and secondments that is very bureaucratic and time-consuming and serves clientelist relations more than real needs,” Vernardakis told the ANA. With the new law going into effect from January 1, 2017 any secondments would be made in response to urgent and emergency needs for a specific period of time, while transfers would be carried out on the basis of vacant positions in the civil service organisational charts and the employees’ own expression of preference.

“The entire process will be carried out via an electronic platform, where public agencies will post their needs for specific positions. Subsequently, each individual employee will put his or herself forward for the position, based on his or her qualifications,” he explained.

The minister said that the entire process was expected to take between four and six weeks, with the transfer of the permanent position to the new agency and automatic adjustment of any wage difference arising from the move.

“There will be a more efficient and better management of the needs of services with the individual choices of each employee,” Vernardakis said.

The employee desiring a transfer will not need the prior permission of the agency where they already serve, provided that at least 50 pct of permanent positions in the employee’s sector are covered, he added.

He noted that there would also be a “standardisation” of job descriptions in the public sector that would abolish many sectors where the work was essentially the same but given a different name.