The Auditor General’s Office is up in arms over the rising number of employees who joined the island’s public service under a lease of services but have since come under the regime of indefinite time contracts.
The Office believes the specific number is much higher than what the Department of Public Administration and Personnel, which maintains data only for employees in public departments and ministries, shows.
Specifically, a total of 74 public administration employees have come under the regime of indefinite time contracts, according to official data. However, the number of employees who have come under this regime at semi-governmental organisations and municipalities remains unknown.
A special report by the Office underlines that this issue may prove to be more serious after relevant information is obtained from public law legal entities and municipalities.
And it gives as an example the state of play at the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission where six such cases have been reported. And another ten cases there are reportedly now under review.
At the same time, when this issue was brought up before the House Labour Committee there was agreement that this practice could have an impact on public finances.
The Auditor General’s Office then sent recommendations to the Ministry of Finance, one of which was the establishment of a special registry for leasing of services cases at semi-governmental organisations and municipalities.
However, the Department of Public Administration and Personnel decided that any further handling of the Auditor General’s recommendations does not fall within its competences which only concern public authority contracts.
On the other hand, the Auditor General believes this matter is the responsibility of the Ministry since the state will be burdened with additional costs either directly or through state subsidies.