Aides advise Gov’t against randomly downsizing public staff

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The major problem in the Romanian public sector is not the number of staff, which is not oversized in comparison with other European countries, but the quality of public services, shows a survey by business consultancy company A.T. Kearney, cited by Ziarul Financiar.

„Downsizing staff exclusively on the basis of budget constraints or political criteria and not based on a serious analysis will slow down the process of streamlining public administration and will result in lower service quality, which would be painful in the context of the current economic crisis….

Merely trimming the number of publicly-paid staff will not directly fix an organization’s mechanisms and neither change the system because the main problem is not about staff numbers,” says Michael Weiss, AT Kearney vice-president.

Consultant with audit and consultancy company KPMG Daniela Nemoianu Istocescu voiced the same opinion in a commentary recently published in daily Ziarul Financiar.
Istocescu remarked that staff redundancies do not make a solution, but quite the opposite, they can generate even worse isruptions.

Both KPMG and management consultancy firm AT Kearney provide consulting services to the public sector. omania has 80 public employees per thousand inhabitants, including employees of state-owned companies.

For comparison, in Italy this ratio is 61 per 1,000; in Bulgaria and Hungary it is 82 per 1,000 inhabitants; in Poland it is 95 per 1,000; n Slovenia 117 and in Norway 182 per 1,000 inhabitants.

„Romania has more public staff per thousand inhabitants than Italy or Spain, for there are still inefficient state-owned companies in transportation, the sector of utilities and manufacturing.

But if we look at those countries, we see they have more employees per thousand inhabitants working in public administration, defense and the system of social security contributions,” explains Weiss.

The AT Kearney study shows that the activity rate (the people of working age who are actually employed) for the population aged between 15 and 65 is much lower in Romania – 63 pct, compared to Sweden – 79 pct and Norway – 80 pct.

This is another explanation for Romania’s having fewer employees in the public sector than Nordic countries, associated with lower financial strength for supporting a massive public sector.

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