Gov’t assumes responsibility for law on agency restructuring

The Government on Tuesday assumed responsibility before a joint session of Parliament for a draft law concerning the reorganisation of certain public institutions and authorities operating under the authority of the Government.

The draft mandates heads of public authorities and institutions to curb staff expenses by an average 15.5 percent October – December 2009, irrespective of their financing.

Under the draft, the cuts should be performed by implementing one of the following measures: sending the employees on a 10-day unpaid leave, irrespective of their status, or reducing the work hours, or mandating another measure that will combine these two measures with another one of similar effect.

At the end of the restructuring process initiated by the Government, the 112 governmental agencies left standing will have 33,900 posts, compared with 43,268 as of August 1, 2009, without counting the posts with 50 commercial companies operating under the authority of the Economy Ministry that will also be restructured.

Thus, 7,800 employees working with governmental agencies will be laid off by the end of the year in the restructuring process.
Out of the total number of agencies at the beginning of the process, 223, 112 will be left standing, 33 of which are regulated under agreements concluded by the Romanian Government with the European Commission.

The draft also provides that the vacation benefits for 2009 shall be paid to the public employees by January 31, 2010, irrespective of the date when they have been requested.

At the same time, the draft law allows for retired people that are also drawing a wage to continue working, provided that their pension is smaller than the average industrial gross wage.

The retirees whose pension exceeds the average industrial gross wage will have to decide in writing, within 15 days counted from the coming into force of the law, whether they continue to draw a wage and have their pensions suspended or continue to draw a pension and terminate their employment.

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