Insider Economy The time for public service reform has come

The time for public service reform has come

The new year’s first two months could be turbulent for Cyprus parliament considering that the House Finance Committee will reopen debate on much-needed reforms in the public service after four years of stalled exchange of views. Since 2016, when the first reform bills were approved, the remaining proposals had been put in the drawers.

Other hot issues to be discussed soon include those of the Solidarity Fund and the island’s foreclosure framework, while the intention of political parties to give the green light for the establishment of a third deputy ministry is also on the cards.

According to the legislative package on Public Service reforms, which has been forwarded to Parliament, all civil servants will be evaluated on a six-monthly and annual basis for purposes of becoming permanent ones as well as for promotion. The performance of civil servants will be evaluated from one to ten. And if for three consecutive years the performance of a civil servant is rated below five, then he/she will not be considered a candidate for promotion.

The legislative package also stipulates that employees will be able to appeal their grading, while department heads will be assessed anonymously by subordinates.

House Finance Committee chairman Angelos Votsis has already made clear that priority will also be given to the proposed bill on the establishment of a Deputy Ministry  of Innovation and Digital Technology. The bill proposes that both the Department of Information Technology and the Department of Electronic Services and all their responsibilities are transferred to the Deputy Ministry.

The debate is expected to be thorough and intense since this is the government’s third proposed deputy ministry.

And Opposition Akel has already raised objections of a constitutional nature. The year’s first meeting of the Committee will also have to conclude debate on proposed budgets of semi-governmental organisations. Including that of the Cyprus Port Authority, the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation and the Cyprus Grain Commission.


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