Czech govt to implement civil service law despite obstructions-PM


17.07.2014 11:37

Prague - The Civil Service General Directorate will be introduced in the Czech Republic as from January 2015 in spite of the obstructions which the opposition plans to prevent the government´s civil service bill from being passed in time, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said today.


Premiér Bohuslav Sobotka (na snímku) navrhl 7. července na setkání s filmovými producenty v Karlových Varech navázat příjmy Státního fondu kinematografie (SFK) na výběr některé daně, aby fond získal pravidelný roční příjem. ČTK Němeček Pavel

Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) spoke to journalists after visiting the office of Jiri Dienstbier (CSSD), minister for human rights, legislation and equal opportunities, within his recent tour aimed to assess individual ministries´ performance.

The civil service bill, meant to depoliticise the state administration and make it more effective, is being discussed by the Chamber of Deputies at its ongoing session. On Wednesday, the Chamber discussed it in second reading, rejecting the opposition´s proposal that it be returned to parliamentary committees for a new discussion.

The introduction of the Civil Service General Directorate is the bill´s provision that the opposition criticises most of all.

The opposition TOP 09 and Civic Democrats (ODS) plan obstructions to block the bill´s passage in final reading until the government meets their demands. They mainly demand that the General Directorate be deleted from the bill.

The opposition says the bill would enable the government to fill the General Directorate with its people who would be "unremovable" by a possible new government.

Sobotka said "one can hardly imagine the General Directorate being scrapped without the bill falling apart."

He said the state civil service general director is to play a crucial role. The term of his mandate is not identical with that of the government. His task is to "deflect political pressures" and be an obstacle to "politically motivated personnel reshuffles," Sobotka said.

He said the government wants to debate its proposals with the opposition but it would not allow itself to be blackmailed.

Sobotka emphasised that the civil service bill, whose original version was passed in the past and which introduces the General Directorate, is sure of taking effect as of next year.

It is only certain amendments to the law whose passage the opposition might delay with its obstructions, he pointed out.

"They cannot prevent the introduction of the General Directorate," he added.

Dienstbier said the government insists on the civil service bill, whose absence could threaten the Czech Republic´s reputation, economic interests as well as its drawing of EU subsidies.

The person of the director general will be a foundation stone and an instrument to depoliticise the state administration, Dienstbier, whose office prepared the civil service bill, said.

Referring to his other plans as a minister, he said he is going to propose an extension of the ombudsman´s powers so that the ombudsman, public protector of citizens´ rights, be empowered to propose the abolition of laws to the Constitutional Court (US), if he found them at variance with the constitution.

He is also preparing a social housing bill as a "system to ensure people´s right to housing." It is to be completed in two years, he said.

Later this year, Dienstbier is to submit a general referendum bill and a bill on political parties´ financing, which is a part of planned anti-corruption steps.

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