What is happening with public administration reform?

Last week, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine takes important steps to complete public administration reform.

Step 1. Reduce the number of civil servants by 10%

Step 2. Draft law on reforming the system of remuneration of civil servants based on job classification. At the same time, the concept of wage reform was approved by the Government in 2020.

We have been following this reform from the beginning and have prepared several reports. Reforming the remuneration system was indeed one of the recommendations included in the Public Administration Reform Strategy, but the issue of personnel is somewhat more difficult.

The main problems in implementing public administration reform are, rather, not the number of civil servants, but the training system that does not meet the needs of the time and the real tasks. Changes in this direction are happening but too slow. In our latest report in 2019, we emphasized that professionals who had no experience in the civil service assessed the training programs as relatively useful. However, even basic training is delayed (6-8 months). This often undermined the educational value of training because professionals have already acquired the necessary knowledge in the workplace. Experienced civil servants, in turn, were critical of both the teachers and the content of the trainings.

In addition, there is a problem of “staff shortages” in the market of civil servants. Although it is worth noting the positive changes. National Agency of Ukraine for Civil Service Affairs managed to ensure transparent and professional competitions for certain positions, which created a social elevator in the ministries. National Agency of Ukraine for Civil Service has also started to develop unique training programs for civil servants and even launched an online course, “Personnel Management in the Civil Service”, at Prometheus.

Therefore, it is important to create a system and programs for in-service training of civil servants and reduce, and better yet completely close, the gap between existing programs and the real needs of public administration and civil service.

Reducing the number of civil servants is also an important step, but at the same time, it is necessary to accelerate the changes related to the training of “old” staff and increase the attractiveness of the civil service for the “new”.

And here, you can read our latest report on the assessment of public administration reform.