This is not really an article to be read except if you are a bail-out-conditions maker, and even for that people…
It´s a suggestion of 32 measure to strenghthen the control over the public administration and improve its quality. Some of them exists in some organisms or public corporations, but they are not widespread. And most of them are 100% absent of our daily life.
If anyway you want to read it, you could get a quickview about how the public administration really (do not) works, and a proposal of how to fix it. To go further you ough to have some knowledge about how it works and which laws exist´s, are mandatory, and are effectively enforced.
So, enjoy the read or, better, find a EU-Parliament or EU-Commission member, and retweet it 🙂
Ps: My proposals for dealing with the Corporate State, or for returning to Growth, are not here and will come later (next week). But the ones of this post could have a really strong effect on growth, taking into account the share of GDP that the State control, and the effects that it could have in the (also chaotic) private sector.
|Measures||Meaning for management||Nº|
|Only exams´ selected public servants (“funcionarios”) from A or B levels will access to PLDs (Free Designation Positions) including central or regional Ministers.||The wage burden increases if outside staff is incorporated for management positions. Besides, his appointment is often arbitrary and the staff ´s competence, questionable. Once management becomes strictly regulated and controlled, external managers will be allowed again, with fewer risks of hiring (only) well connected professional scam makers.||1|
|Quality Accreditation across government dependencies, with public description of processes and jobs. Coordinated and supervised by the DGCS (General Directorate of Services´ Quality) and the DGM (General Directorate for Modernization).||The administration is a mess. Describing what it really do, by who and why, is essential to locate duplicate or surplus organs. And is the basis for the renewal of the access and promotion policy. The Quality Accreditation is the formal way to get this, and publicity is needed (as always) to prevent it being a fake-propaganda-measure.||2|
|The memories that motivate the existence of the current PLDs positions will be published on-line. Citizens and public servants will be able to ask for its modification or suppression.||When a PLD is created its accompanied by a memory. That memories have already been considered by the Andalusian Supreme Court of Justice (TSJA) as shameful. To enable the public review by the public and the civil service of the Administration´s top positions, will help to reduce the number of departments whose only meaning is it´s political dependence.||3|
|The rationale and conditions of PLDs´ designation and firing will be published. They will have measurable targets and a timetable to be agreed between the appointing and the appointee. Applicants should have a valid accreditation for the body to which the PLD belongs and pass a specific selection procedure. .||When a PLD is created it´s accompanied by a memory. That memories have already been considered by the Andalusian Supreme Court (TSJA) as shameful. And the appointment of a particular person to become a PLD usually lacks any motivation whatsoever related with that memory as well. We must stop this transforming the PLD appointment in a contract at the end of a public selection procedure.||4|
|Once there is the description of processes and jobs, leadership positions will no longer really be PLDs. Candidates for Head of Service, Director, Secretary General, or Minister, will go through a public selection process. One requirement will be at least three years of experience in the same or the immediately lower level during the past 12 years.The “free” election will take place via a selection procedure of “competitive dialogue”. Being the “bids” the task´s plans, and the bidders, the 3 best ones after a test-exam about the position current duties and about the ones of the staff under their direct orders. The decision will be taken during a joint session.||The PLDs are often ill or straight unprepared to perform the tasks for which they are appointed, appointment usually made solely on the basis of trust. And once the tasks are learned, they become “irreplaceable”. Literally, because the lack of real written procedures for each management or technical position makes substitutions a real drama at any level.With a selection procedure based on a definition of the jobs-tasks, there will be bosses prepared and, at the same time, replaceable. With the requirement of previous experience added to the open selection procedure, we will avoid people jumping from recently hired to Director General. This will hamper promotion possibilities of “young” star-managers, but rewards for rent seeking and rent sharing (corruption) among bosses will be reduced.||5|
|A person will not be allowed to be PLD for more than eight years, consecutive or not, without spending three years, consecutive or not, “recovering the sense of reality” in a technical position (not a basic one), not counting for the purposes of those 3 years the interim occupation of destinations.||This limit is an additional and independent limit to the 5 years foreseen in the measure 10. It is intended to give in more people in the PLDs, and to avoid the surge of a class of “professional PLDs” that simply rotate every five years. It is intended to favour the renewal of knowledge among the would-be-bosses because they do not have to simply come back to rest to a basic position, they have to win a technical one and spend time on it, if they want to resume their progress.||6|
|PLDs will consolidate personal levels till the 26 except in the internal audit units (“La Intervención”) that will have higher levels .||Reduce payroll M / Y and L / T.Forcing people with management experience to look for PLDs once and again. Right now, once consolidated, the personal level acts as a second seniority bonus, reducing the incentive to compete. Coupled with other measures: Encourage competition specially in the access to internal audit units (Intervención).||7|
|Remove the seniority plus (triennia) pro-future. It is and will be somehow paid (with more justice) by the consolidated personal level. Remove the current productivity payroll from the salary. Reduce the salary gap between the PLD and the technical positions in their units with a proportional scale.||Reduce payroll: Medium and long term, because right now, thanks to seniority and consolidation, the personnel expenditure is an ever growing balloon.Rationalize and simplify the wage structure, eliminating unreal pluses like ”productivity”, as “productivity” measures without clear tasks and results are a sad joke. As they way salaries have been fixed till now has been by decree, for each position, in function of the budget of that unit and as a reward for connected PLDs, a way to start reforming the salary structure is to link the PLDs salaries (downwards) to the ones of the people they command. The lack of other pluses will mean reward re-training and ambition, not mere seniority or connections.||8|
|“Internal affairs units” (Now the Audit Office and the General Inspection of Services´ Quality) PLDs will have levels from 27 to 30. These levels are the only 27-30 that could be consolidated.||This will strengthen the supervisory bodies, enhancing the economical attractiveness of these positions to promote competition in the access to them. The measures about publicity of salaries and designation procedures, jobs descriptions, claims against them by the citizens in general and not only by the directly affected, etc, will protect this (as the rest of) positions from political interference.It´s also aimed at meeting TSJA statements, such as 17/05/2011.||9|
|A person will be allowed to hold the same position of technical responsibility or of PLD for a maximum of five years. If that person has not got another position of technical responsibility or PLD, will be reassigned to a basic position.||Reduce payroll at Medium and Long Term. Avoid creating power knots and opacity. Submit to periodic peer-review and renewal sensitive materials and procedures. Rewarding re-training: A person passing their exams, general and specific, can go from a technical position to another, but will never do it (see measure 6) with PLDs. The periodical renewal and, as always, the publicity that all the process involves and creates, will prevent institutionalized looting.||10|
|The current liability plus foreseen for a given (technical or PLD) position, will remain, but will be included in the explanation of the job-tasks. Specifying which is the liability, administrative or criminal, that the holder can endure, and how could it be enacted.||Reduce payroll: Medium and long term, because right now, thanks to seniority and consolidation, the personnel expenditure is an ever growing balloon.Rationalize and simplify the wage structure, eliminating unreal pluses. Liability is right now an unreal plus. The staff is in fact irresponsible except if it plainly robs, or have enemies among the politicians or the Unions. (…and only if that person lacks enough connections to avoid the sanction). Where this plus will be real, this will allow people to know its risks before asking for a certain position.||11|
|Till the rules change, the newly appointed PLDs will waive the special High Rank plus (Director Generals and above have it), and the special layoff plus (“Cesantías”). The outgoing PLDs will be asked to do the same and, if possible with the current privacy laws, a public list of request, yes, and noes, wil be publish.||If only exam´s civil servants are designed, the layoff-plus lacks meaning. (I do not mean that it has a real meaning right now) And the High Rank plus too, because PLDs no matter which will be subject to the same consolidation and pluses rules that the rest of the staff. The same can be said of early retirement severances.||12|
|Cars and drivers already owned by the State will serve the staff needs, not the (usually private) needs of the higher rank PLDs.Its use will be organized on a “reserved” basis, be it made by “foot-soldiers”, technicians, or PLDs. They will always go out from their headquarters. And will never pick someone at home. PLDs will go to work by their own means, as the rest of the staff do.||The meaning of public vehicles and drivers can be only to save money, versus the would-be-cost of paying diets or taxis, or the wage-hour-cost when traveling by bus. (As it happens now). Idle drivers waiting all the day in case you (CEO) need the car for anything, sometimes personal, while the rest of the staff incurs in extra transport costs, is simply absurd.||13|
|The public competitions to become “funcionario” will be conducted in two phases following the model of the European Commission, which will be asked to help in the implementation of the system. A general phase, with different contents for each group of profiles (“bodies”, like general administration, financial one, audit, teachers, doctors…) will be necessary for both for the first access to basic positions as to internal promotion or PLDs access processes. A second phase, job-specific, will be needed to fill a vacancy. The general phase will be based on psychometric tests and general legal and professional knowledge needed for the body. That information will be based on the common elements of concrete descriptions of the positions comprehended in that “body”. That common contents will be made and published by the Institute for Public Administration´s staff. When a vacancy ought to be filled, the position description published in a fixed date will be the basis of a specific exam. That is the job-description that is the target of other reform measures, and that is periodically updated under the scrutiny of the DGCS, linked to the goal of quality and transparency in the administration.||Public competitions are right now the realm of arbitrariness, private academies, and random courts decisions. Not to mention short exams leaked to some candidates.And are a rite of passage, as well, whose content is forgotten as soon as the exam is passed, and has no relationship whatsoever with the real work. When properly done, the current system guarantees that no “connected” person access to the Public Service, but do not provide it with adequate staff and is a huge waste of time and effort for the solicitors. The managers should edit handbooks for the staff that will also be the basis for the accession system. A better version of the “Guías de la Intervención” (Internal Audit Handbooks) would make it.
These general and specific, theoretical and practical exams for each body and position, will make the process transparent and also relevant for our future work. And will take advantage of the quality accreditations.
|The IAAP will cease providing free training courses for the already enrolled staff. These resources will be allocated to the development and updating of the curricula of access to different bodies, or will de diverter to strengthen the DGCS staffs, that will overview the concrete positions descriptions. The IAAP will organize paid courses based on materials from the curricula.||General training quality and utility is often dubious and can be used to reward connected people giving them a plus as teachers. The best way to really improve it is to stop financing it, and demand that knowledge to thrive in the administration and offer clear examining criteria and materials. The staff will get their training by their own means, or will get that knowledge from the administration if it deserves it. This way we also eliminate the bias in favor of the already enrolled, that damages the public interest.||15|
|The qualifying examinations will take place at the same time for external staff and for officials. The list of people passing will not reserve “quotas” for none of both. Will be a 100% common process. The ratings will expire after two years, be it for outsiders looking for their first position, or for already enrolled people looking for promotion. To participate in entrance exams or job-based internal promotion you will have to have a valid Qualification. To consolidate personal grade you will need to have a valid Qualification..||It will encourage (force) the staff to remain updated if they want to thrive, be it consolidating the personal grade, or promoting to technical or PLDs positions. It will be a real update of their general knowledge, which will result in better service to citizens. It will also serve as an additional filter to avoid cronyism in the access to specific posts.||16|
|When a person should abandon a position of technical responsibility and fails to gain another by internal promotion, it will be reassigned to a basic position. The salary of the technicians will improve each year they came closer to the 5 years limit, thus encouraging them to stay until the last minute, compensating the risk taken, and rewarding expertise.||It will encourage the officers to take the qualification examinations, which will maintain updated their basic skills. This gives value to training, focusing (as other measures) salary increases and promotion to “having proved knowledge” rather than “having courses´ accreditations”.||17|
|Leaves with granted readmission will be reduced to cases of forced leave. The re-entry from a non-active status will take place in a basic position. In fact, “reentry” from a leave situation will cease being a privilege and will only imply that if the person passes the entrance exams, his/her experience and personal consolidated grade will be recognized.||The reinstatement in case of forced leave is enough benefit for working for the public administration. But a technical position of high responsibility can´t be (as is now) subject to the will or luck of a certain person. Moreover when the readmission is more dependent on “connections” than on public needs and personal rights. In any case, the new accession system makes it easier to leave and enter into the public administration.||18|
|Except for the personnel with customer service, for “external”, “face off customers”, will be flexible. It will start with the current opening hours of each building, usually from Monday to Friday, from 7:30 to 23:00, and Saturdays from 7:30 to 15:00 to the extent that access control systems allow it. The economic feasibility of introducing Saturday afternoons, Sundays and Nights, and telecommuting, will be studied and implemented as soon as possible.||Flexibility favors conciliation without charging the public administration with extra costs. It will allow many people to give up the reduction in working hours, and especially the weekends will provide extra time to conciliate during the working week. This (besides increased working-hours control measures) will allow to suppress undue advantages as leaves to go to the doctor, to go to training sessions, to go to have breakfast or lunch… Flexi-time is a simpler and fairer system. The current complexity of permissions, exceptions, etc. will be reserved to the staff with customers´ service.||19|
|The staff with flexi-time will lose the time for breakfast, most of the current paid leaves or absences from work, and the reduced hours during summer and Christmas. Except for special situations, such as your own hospitalization, or chronic illnesses. The exceptional situations when you keep the right to perceive part of your salary during a sickness will depend on a medical board that will have resources enough to move to the personnel home.||This kind of measures will damage more to the people that has legal or illegal leaves more frequently. A deep reform instead of the patch work of linearly increasing the hours for all the staff. In practice, achievers have increased their time at work while defaulters will remain more or less the same. It is a quid-pro-quo and it should be explained this way. And the long term leaves due to medical reasons should not damage to the employer and benefit mainly to people at work, but be a part of the State´s general policy.||20|
|The departments with flexi-time will not be allowed to pay for working overtime (I’m thinking about the DG. Budget). Only public service departments will, and always on a transitory basis, have overtime payments.||There are many departments with working-peaks and lows that can be foreseen. The flexibility allows organizing the time. The jobs description allows sharing staff for the peaks, instead of hiring new one. Overtime is mainly caused by poor organization (and not for unexpected increases in public demand) and are an abuse of public funds.||21|
|Till a fully functional job description and quality procedures exists, there will be a minimum and maximum number of working hours a week, and hours a month into the departments with flexi-time. In weekly or monthly computation, workers will do more or less hours than average. On annual basis, only less. The salary will be charged monthly upon the hours actually worked. The time-debt will be drag to the next or following annuities, but in case of change of position, the the-facto extra hours will be charged at the lower salary.||Once quality accreditation becomes fully functional, the departments with flexi-time may approve its own schedules, with their own minimum hours depending on their workload. Until that day arrives, a minimum of 110 hours per month (5h/day on average), and a maximum of 198 hours per month (9h/day), plus the extra hours linked to exclusivity, would be a good starting point.This and making the evolution of wages dependent of the fiscal deficit, and not of political whim (measure 24), will have savings-incentive and other interesting side effects..||22|
|Computer programs and forms used for European Funds Control will be adapted to be used by the “Intervención” (Internal Audit) for the functional control of the budget.||The tracking system to monitor the compliance with European Funds is a system for functional-control of the budget. As the Spanish main flaw is that our public administration is driven by means, and not by objectives, such a system, used without deception or restrictions (as the ones we have now), could make us go through the XIX century and reach the XX.||23|
|A temporary system of pay-revision for officers to make them dependent on the fulfillment of public objectives (lesser % of public incomes related to GDP) and on financial deficits-surplus, not of the will of politicians, should be established. Correct (downwards) PLD salaries, to adjust them at least to one of their unit´s staff.||Such a system would induce spending cuts suggestions from officers. To be anti-cyclical, in the short term, the increase of wages will not be for reducing the deficit, but for generating surplus. We must not forget that this system is temporary, because the ideal situation for public deficit is 0. Neither deficit, nor surplus.||24|
|In the long run, once the positions will be properly described, public salaries will be indexed (downwards) to the salaries of their peers in the private sector, modulated according to deficit-surplus in the public sector, to the budget weight in the GDP, and to the rank of the position.||I really do not know how to establish a “fair pay” in the public sector. While in the private sector, if you pay too much or too few, you suffer the consequences, in the public sector it´s always the citizen who suffers.Anyway, there has to be a system, and it has to take into account the different cost of living among cities and the evolution of public finances and wealth.||25|
|The law about public procurement will be obeyed. The Directive about public procurement will be incorporated banning the different kinds of contracts without real competition now allowed (Minor ones, verbal ones).||To make a contract just with a hands shake is fast and easy. It speed up management. If the money is yours, fine. But when the money belongs to another it’s an invitation to fraud or abuse. All the public contracts will be written and have enough competition. And of course there will be no more services-contracts disguised as grants.||26|
|The money and time spend photocopying and printing, using internet and the email, will be under control. The staff will receive online-reports of visited pages (as already happens in some centers) and calls made / received. They will have to mark if they are personal or professional activities into an online form. The professional ones will explain briefly ít´s purpose. Personal activities´ costs (calls, copies, pringting ,email and web) will be charged and deducted from the working time. We will have to study how could we measure the time spent in personal websites and the private use of corporate email. The “Professionaly” marked activities will be auditable by the Intervencion and subject, in general, to immediate publication to open consultation for a specified period. The procedures to mark and access to reserved or secret activities will have to be approved.||Conciliating work and family life would be easier is the public staff where allowed to engage in private activities during their journeys.(Except for staff with customers service)The logic solution is that the time spent on personal affairs has to be discounted from the working hours. And the resources involved in a private activity have to be charged to the employee.
This will save money, and will do it the right way, because (as happened with the proposed schedule flexibility against a mere linear increase in working hours), despite not being a punitive measure this will be a (greater) burden for those used to not working and to abuse of the public resources.
|The data about all the public or publicly funded activities will, especially in regard to the accounting by entities or persons concerned, except where it conflicts with the Data Protection Act, be of public access. To avoid these conflicts any person who receives public funds will sign in the aid application or contract concerned, a permission to publish the data, although only data related to the activity to be undertaken with public funds and to the conditions for compliance with the grant´s bases or contract´s terms.||On the one hand it facilitates the audit of public funds because it is open to the general public. It transforms the concealment of any document, be it private or public, related with a procedure, in the penal law via “forgery of public documents”.It´s not exactly a measure but an action line that requires a detailed development that should deal with unwanted effects such as the stigmatization of beneficiaries of aid, the voluntary exclusion of applicants, the abuse of data by individuals or companies, etc.
It could go into conflict with ECJ previous pronunciations about privacy and data protection.
|To cater to the needs of citizens and officials, communication departments will be created in all the DGs who lack them. Among others, they will join the Public TV staff that has neither been fired, not decided to leave the public sector. They will be the main contact for the DGCS in implementing quality policies.||The “Quality” (public or private), also called the “administration” in Castilian, or “bureaucracy” (sic) in French, is to control the processes inside an organization, to know why things happen. But this knowledge must flow. Bureaucracy without transparency is Donkey-cracy.As the 31 measure says, a Public Tv for entertainment makes no sense in Europe´s XXI century. The remains of the State Owned Radio and Tv will be part of the transparency policy of the administration.||29|
|New PLDs and technical will accept with its designation to undergo surveillance cameras open to internet during their working time. They may shut it down to protect their privacy, but that time will not count as working time. Tests will be conducted with PLD before spreading the system.||On the long run, as it happens in some private sector entities, human resources policy will combine objectives, incentives, and presence. And the only really effective presence-control is cameras. And someone has to endure the tests. Taking into account the legitimate questions about the right to privacy, it has to be a volunteer. The best, the top managers (PLDS).||30|
|Administrative tasks in hospitals, schools, and general administration will be performed by administrators, not teachers, doctors, nurses, and other technical staff.||It will reduce payroll. Having technicians doing administrative work is an absurd cost overrun. And besides, how often do these tasks while bad nobody makes their own. This explains, by the lack of a ruling class dedicated to the administration, the lack of coordination of the administration and the failure of the Central Services of the Departments.||31|
|Cuando haya que reincorporar a una persona con un puesto base por haber cesado, y no haya ninguno libre, se creará o dotará la plaza en a Administración de Justicia (Juzgados y tribunales), Sanitaria (hospitales, centros de especialidades, y centros de salud), Educativa (colegios, institutos, Inspección Educativa) . Lo mismo cuando se amortice un puesto base.||Al igual que con el SAE, o con Cultura, por ahora debemos asumir que los funcionarios no sobran sino que están mal asignados, ya que los servicios públicos esenciales (Justicia, Policía e Inspección), que aseguran la igualdad de los ciudadanos ante la ley, se encuentran en una situación calamitosa.||32|