This year’s report by the Public Service Committee shows a public sector that is bloating from the sudden increase in defrosted openings, along with a significant slowdown in early retirements.
It also brings to the surface the problem of evaluating public servants effectively, with 93% of the public sector workers being evaluated as “excellent”.
Indicative of the rate at which the public sector in central government is growing are the numbers of defrosted hirings.
In 2013, at the middle of crisis, only 19 positions were defrosted, making them available to public servants. In 2014 the number rose to 126, in 2015 it reached 426, and by 2016 it climbed to 485 job positions.
Already in 2017, with four months to go until the year’s end, 943 job positions have opened.
Meanwhile, retirements are slowing down mainly due to a drop in voluntary early retirements. During 2012, 734 public servants retired early, while in 2013 that number rose to 926. It then dropped to 365 in 2014, 97 in 2015 and rose marginally to 107 in 2016.
Everybody is “excellent”
The matter of evaluating public servants effectively and the need to revamp the evaluation system was at the centre of comments made by the president of the Public Service Committee, Georgios Papageorgiou.
He argued that a new evaluation system must be put in place, as the current one creates disincentives that are damaging to public sector efficiency.
“It is our belief that introducing a new evaluation system, which will serve its purpose and will deal with and correct the problems stacked against the public sector’s effectiveness from the system in place, is of paramount importance,” said Papageorgiou as he handed the report to President Nicos Anastasiades.
Of the entire public sector workforce, 93.14% were evaluated as “excellent” on all traits under evaluation; only 3 were found to have more than 2 or 3 “non-satisfactory” traits.
As a result, says Papageorgiou, there is no basis on which to choose who to promote, with seniority becoming the determining factor.