The acting civil servants won vast majority of competitions held by central government institutions
The report published by Transparency International Georgia evaluates the results of competitions for civil service positions held by the central government institutions during the period from March 1, 2013 till January 1, 2014.
According to the information obtained from central government institutions, over the reporting period 1779 employees were appointed through competition in 24 public institutions, of whom 187 employees were appointed to the positions that remained vacant up until the competition, while the remaining 1592 positions subject to competitive appointment were held by acting public servants. 1376 of the above 1592 acting public servants won the competition for the same position, meaning that 86.5 % of the acting public servants participating in the competitions managed to retain their positions. This figure is very high in light of the fact that each public service vacancy announced athr.gov.ge during this period had an average of 62 submitted applications, and the number of applicants for certain positions at some Ministries was as big as several hundred.
From the list of ministries we would like to single out:
- The Ministry of Defense in which 76 positions were occupied by acting officials, all of whom won in the competitions held for those positions.
- 100 % of the acting public servants won the relevant competitions in the President’s Administration. Interestingly, all competitions in the President’s Administration were announced under president Saakashvili prior to the 2013 presidential elections and all competition stages had assumedly been finalized before the inauguration of the new president.
- The percentage of the acting public servants winning competitions was also large (99,4 %) at the Ministry of Finance, where 193 of the 194 acting public servants retained their positions after competitions.
- 72 of the 73 acting public servants won the relevant competitions at the Ministry of Justice (98.6 %) while on average 180 applications were submitted per each competitive position at this agency.
- 161 of the 166 acting public servants won competitions at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development (96,9%). A significant number of applications – an average of 160 – for each vacancy were submitted at this agency as well.
- 48 of the 49 acting servicemen (97,9%) were announced winners in the competitions held at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.
- The Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection, 33 of the 34 competition winners were acting public servants (97%).
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the most prominent in terms of new appointments: only 6 of 18 employees (33%) appointed through competition were acting officials.
- The Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia also showed better results (65 %) than the majority of the agencies. In 345 competitions the acting civil servants maintained their positions only in 227 cases.
Establishment of the advanced system of competition is the essential part of the public service reform and the personnel management. Selection of the qualified public servants through the transparent competition on the one hand will ensure fighting nepotism and on the other hand the effective functioning of the public service. For the improvement of the public service competition system following recommendations need to be taken into account:
- Develop maximally uniform standards and principles for oral and written tests in the public service (for instance, the unified competition for all public servants including one compulsory part for every public servant and the second part based on the specialization of the public servant) which will be mandatory for all public agencies;
- Develop very clear-cut, measurable competition criteria in order to minimize the risk of bias;
- Develop transparent and efficient recruitment procedures for staffing the Competition Commission;
- Ensure greater transparency of the competition process, as well as its results and justification and enhance the accessibility of the information to stakeholders.
The report was prepared with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The views expressed in the report not necessarily coincide with those of the donor, therefore Sida is not responsible for the report’s content.