Press release: Amendments to the Law on Local Self Government to be thoroughly approached

Current proposal for amendments to the Law on Local Self-Government is not contributing to one of the main objectives – to bring legal certainty in employment and civil service administration at the local level.

Proposed amendments, formulated on the Government’s session in mid-December last year, include more than 20 articles which regulate civil service system. Allegedly, the goal of these articles is to avoid the problems of the analogous application of the Law on Civil Servants and State Employees at the local level.

Namely, Law on local self-government currently in force partly regulates legal status of the local civil servants and employees, referring to analogous application of the regulations stipulating the legal status of civil servants and state employees. However, many issues of civil servants system at the local level are not possible to be regulated by analogous application of regulations on the state level, especially with regard to the application of testing procedures of candidates for local officials, as well as to the protection of their rights and mandatory application of by-laws arising from the Law on Civil Servants and State Employees.

Over the years, such legal loopholes have been contributing to the non-transparent work of local self-governments and to the lack of oversight over employment in municipalities.

There are two key reasons why the proposed amendments to the Law on Local Self-Government would not bring fundamental change of perennial bad practices. One of the reasons is the fact that the most of the new procedures was literally copied from the Law on Civil Servants and State Employees, which has not, according to the findings of the Institute alternative, given the best results in practice.

The second reason is that the key phase of employment, testing procedures, remains unregulated. Analogous application of regulations from the state level, related the organization and implementation of testing procedures for the largest number of positions, is still foreseen by the Law.

Additionally, mere transcription of provisions that regulate the service relations at the state level to the Law on Local Self-Government was done even at the places where there is no logical foundation to do so.

For example, the right for head of authority not to appoint the best ranked candidate was retained at the local level too. However, according to the proposed solutions, this would be the second level of influence of head of the authority in recruitment procedures, considering that he is also in charge of appointing members of the commissions for verifying capacities for management positions in local self-governments.

Accordingly, the head would be appointing people for conducting skills assessment, to eventually may have decided not to fully take into account results of their work.

Other key issues of human resources management are also not sufficiently addressed in the Proposal, first of all, appraisal of state employees.

The Proposal only states the basic outline of the way in which the appraisal shall be conducted by the immediate manager, and for further details, reference is made to the Law on Civil Servants and State Employees, which, however, does not provide details for this area, but the special Government’s Decree on appraisal.

All together does not give much hope that the local employment will finally be properly regulated. Therefore, we hope that MPs will review submitted proposals and eliminate their deficiencies in further procedure.

Public Policy Researcher

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