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Inefficient State staff face the axe

Update: December, 01/2014 - 09:27

If the head of a public sector office fails to perform assigned duties, he/she may be transferred to another position, Tran Anh Tuan, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs tells Nguoi Lao dong (The Labourer).

What are the new points in Government Decree 108/CP on streamlining the public sector compared with the previous Decree 132/CP issued in 2007?

Decree 108/CP is a continuation of Decree 132. However, it focuses more on the scope and people who will be affected. Under Decree 108, the proposed personnel reductions will include civil servants, employees at State agencies with labour contracts of indefinite terms, officials of State-owned, one-member, limited-liability companies, and association staff at all levels from central down to communal levels.

An objective of the downsizing is to reduce the heavy financial burden on the State budget; to improve the work quality and efficiency of civil servants and public employees; and to recruit newcomers of higher quality.

Decree 108 also states clearly that Government offices or agencies can dismiss as many incompetent workers as they like, but can only hire half as many competent workers to do the job. This is the difference between Decree 108 and Decree 132.

Some people have pointed out that education and healthcare have the most people on the Government pay-roll. Is this true?

I agree that in recent years the number of public employees has increased greatly. It is high time to lay off employees with poor work performance. However, in education and health, we cannot wantonly slash jobs as these sectors are important in terms of "cultivating people" and "taking care of the people"

That's why when we talk about slashing jobs in these two sectors we must ensure having sufficient staff to perform the jobs. This means we must encourage State organisations to diversify their income sources by trying to earn extra money from outside the Stated budget - or "socialisation" as it is termed in Vietnamese. I am confident that this will help reduce the number of public employees on the Government pay-roll. This is an effective way to enable us reform the salary system.

Many people have expressed concern that the policy will stay on paper while the list of people on Government pay-rolls lengthens. What do you think?

To solve this problem, it is imperative to spell out who takes responsibility for the downsizing of the staff in an office or organisation. Many bosses treat some employees too kindly or are prepared to accept bribes to keep them on the job.

This time, if Decree 108 is strictly implemented, I'm confident that we will be successful in laying off poor performers.

Under Decree 108, office or agency bosses are asked to develop a plan to downsize staff. Then they submit their plan to their superiors for approval. Once the plan is approved, it is time to put it into practice.

How many jobs are expected to be slashed under Decree 108?

The decree does not spell out what the percentage will be, but it emphasises staff quality and better performances. And finally, the new decree will ease the financial burden on the State budget while promoting the socialisation policy within the public sectors.

I should say the Decree 108 has given "a sword" to heads of offices. It is time for them to use it correctly and effectively.

Do you think if the head of an office will be dismissed if he/she fails to perform their duty?

If he/she fails to perform their duty, I think they will be transferred to other position. But if, in the following two years, they continue to be rated poorly, of course, they will be dismissed in accordance to the Law on Cadres and Civil Servants. — VNS

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