Without reducing staff, it is impossible to restructure the budget

(VCN) - In the context of limited budget, reducing staff and restructuring the budget is necessary, on the one hand to reduce recurrent expenditure, on the other hand to restructure the state apparatus, towards the objective of simplification and effectiveness.
without reducing staff it is impossible to restructure the budget
At the moment, there are about 4 million people in the country getting salaries and salary-like allowances. Photo: Thuy Linh.

More than 4 million people are paid

At the newly promulgated anti-waste program, the Government has requested that in 2018 the whole country will strive to reduce about 2.5% of public service delivery units (PSDUs); 1.7% of civil servants; 2.5% of the non-business payrolls in comparison with the number allocated in 2015.

The reason why staff downsizing has become a hot issue and has been pushed by the government currently, is that apart from the police and army, there are around 4 million people in the whole country getting salaries and salary-like allowances, of which about 2.5 million officers are working in 58,000 PSDUs. Suggesting this issue to the National Assembly, Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung said that in the context of limited budget, there is no other way but to save money, promote regular expenditures and rearrange the organization and cut down workforce. Without reducing staff, it is impossible to restructure the budget.

According to many experts, saving money from streamlining the system in the past is a meaningful task, especially because the goal of salary improvement has not been reformed for many years. As long as the reform of the machinery and streamlining the payroll has not been done yet, the salary also cannot be reformed. Budget savings can be deployed more actively if the streamlining of the apparatus and the payroll are conducted more synchronously and drastically.

According to Mr. Dinh Duy Hoa, senior expert, former Director of the Department of Public Administrative Reform, Ministry of Home Affairs, to solve the problem of downsizing workforce, it must be analyzed in a different view. From the employment perspective, being a subject of streamline payroll means that for the State in general, each state agency in particular has calculated with the ability to save and retain that person in state agencies and organizations to continue working, but it failed, forcing to take that person out of the apparatus. This issue is clearly defined in Clause 2, Article 3 of the Government's Decree No. 108/2014/ND-CP dated November 20, 2014 on downsizing policies. And next is from the policy perspective, i.e. resolving policies for redundant workers. These policies are stipulated in the Decree No. 108/2014/ND-CP, notably the pre-retirement policy and the severance policy.

"It is important to emphasize the significance of these policies, in that the State spends a substantial amount of money to create some initial advantages to motivate redundant people when being out of the apparatus, so they can find another suitable job. This reflects the humanity of our State", stated Mr. Dinh Duy Hoa.

Renewal mechanism of identification and staffing

In order to reduce the workforce effectively, many argue that firstly the management of civil servants and public officials based on their positions must be done very clearly.

According to Mr. Dinh Duy Hoa, it is necessary to properly evaluate officers and civil servants. To do so, first of all, the assessment should be renovated to avoid general evaluation. Evaluation should focus on the monthly performance of the civil servants with clear criteria. Moreover, the heads of agencies and organizations must take responsibility in evaluating their civil servants so that they can avoid cursory evaluations.

"This is not an easy issue. The mechanism for taking votes of confidence in the planning of civil servants in a new appointment or reappointment... is affecting the responsibility of the head who conducts the assessment of civil servants. They also identify who will be cut off from the system. With kindness, everyone is considered a good person, which is relatively popular in the assessment of public officials at the end of the year in public agencies", said Mr. Dinh Duy Hoa.

Mr. Nguyen Truong Giang, Deputy Director of the Department of Public Expenditure, Ministry of Finance also noted that in order to manage the payrolls, the State only assigns payrolls to the PSDUs serving the state management tasks to determine the number, demand and classify officers by their position. In addition, it is necessary to renew the mechanism of identification and assignment of payrolls in the direction of closely managing and supervising the payrolls of PSDUs, which are fully funded by the state budget or part of regular expenditures.

"First of all, legal provisions on classification criteria, conditions for establishment, merger, consolidation and dissolution of PSDUs by sector and field should be finalized. Based on that, it should be reorganized the PSDUs by sector and field according to the principle of specialized law, which does not stipulate the establishment of the organizational apparatus of the PSDUs. In cases where it is necessary to set up a new PSDU, the unit must fully finance itself (except for cases where it is necessary to set up a new one to provide basic and essential public services)", proposed Mr. Nguyen Truong Giang.

A representative of the Department of Public Expenditure also said that a PSDU can provide many same-type public services in order to reduce the clue and overlap functions. Restructuring or dissolving of poorly performing PSDUs is also required. Along with that, socialization should be promoted, transferred qualified economic and other non-business units into joint-stock companies.

As long as the reform of the machinery and streamlining the payroll has not been done yet, the salary also cannot be reformed. Budget savings can be deployed more actively if the streamlining of the apparatus and the payroll are deployed more synchronously and drastically.

By Thuy Linh/Ha Thanh

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