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Public Discussion on the Law on Senior Civil Service. Manchevski: The Law Anticipates Selection Criteria for Management Positions

Skopje, March 13th, 2019

The Ministry of Information Society and Administration organized a public discussion on the Draft-Law on Senior Civil Service. The event included speeches of the Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Manchevski, MISA's State Secretary, Jahi Jahija, and the Executive Director of the Center for Change Management, Neda Maleska Sachmaroska.

As Minister Manchevski noted, professional, non-partisan administration working for the benefit of citizens is the fundamental commitment of MISA and the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia. The new Law on Senior Civil Service provides a leap forward in the public administration reform, which is one of the key demands of both citizens and the European Union.

"The underlying aim of this reform is to set forth clearly defined standards and criteria, and to provide full transparency in selection and dismissal of managers in institutions in North Macedonia. In the past, senior civil servants were the mechanism for exerting pressure over administration employees. North Macedonia is the first country in the region to introduce clearly defined criteria for selection of professional managerial staff. The aim is to enhance application of the principles of merit, equal opportunities and equitable representation. This concept would help attain professionalization of the senior civil service" stressed Minister Manchevski.

The state secretary informed that the law anticipates multiple authorities in the selection process. Notably, a Commission on Senior Civil Service will be established as permanent collective authority tasked to implement the procedure for selection of senior managers. That commission is selected by the Commission for Election of Members as a temporary collective authority established by the Commission on Issues of Elections and Appointments in the Parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia. The process further includes establishment of a Board as temporary collective authority, established by the Commission on Senior Civil Service, tasked to implement an independent procedure for selection of senior managers.

Neda Maleska Sachmaroska focused on the importance of adoption of this Law for restoring citizens' trust in institutions.

"The Law clearly refers to certain values that need to be fostered in the upcoming period, that being distinction between the political and the professional level. We finally have a pivotal point that offers each citizen the opportunity to apply for such a position by means of open and competitive procedure. This suggests that the Government clearly states the need of the most competent and quality staff both from the administration and from the business sector, civil society, and all segments of society. This law also defines managerial responsibility and lines of accountability. The underlying message conveys the need of professional service that would work for the benefit of both the state and all citizens" said Maleska Sachmaroska. 

She also noted the importance of introducing assessment of managers, a practice that did not exist before. Up to this point, only the performance of administrative servants was assessed.

Many questions were raised during the discussion, and specific remarks and proposals were submitted for improvements in the text of the law. All attendees gave a general conclusion that, with this Law, the Republic of North Macedonia makes a major leap forward in professionalization and de-partisation of public administration.

 

Ministry of Information Society and Administration