Outgoing Czech govt opposed to amendment to civil service law


08.01.2014 19:11

Zidlochovice - The outgoing Czech government expressed a negative stance on a draft amendment to the civil service law prepared by the Social Democrats (CSSD), which is a key issue for the appointment of a new cabinet, outgoing PM Jiri Rusnok told reporters today.


Zleva ministr práce a sociálních věcí v demisi František Koníček, premiér v demisi Jiří Rusnok a ministr školství v demisi Dalibor Štys vystoupili 8. ledna na tiskové konferenci po jednání vlády na zámku v Židlochovicích. ČTK Zehl Igor

The cabinet will approve its own amendment to the civil service law next week.

The draft legislation is basically inapplicable and some of its points are probably at variance with the constitution as far as the employees' rights are concerned, Rusnok said.

The Social Democrats, who are to form a new coalition government with the ANO movement and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), do not agree with the outgoing cabinet's stance.

"I do not agree with the government's opinion. The amendment was carefully prepared and discussed. I believe that the Chamber of Deputies will pass it," CSSD chairman and potential future PM Bohuslav Sobotka wrote to CTK, adding that his party was prepared to debate proposed changes to the amendment.

CSSD deputy Jeronym Tejc, who submitted the amendment, rejected Rusnok´s statement that the legislation would be in contradiction with the constitution.

The outgoing caretaker cabinet was to deal with the draft amendment by January 22, but it debated the draft today so that it could be submitted to the lower house earlier.

"We know that there is a great political will and interest in speeding up the process maximally," Rusnok said.

He hinted at the fact that the future government coalition would like to push through the bill on civil service also because its approval in first reading is President Milos Zeman's condition for the appointment of the ANO chairman, food and medial tycoon Andrej Babis, to the government without a clean lustration (screening) certificate that would refute his suspected collaboration with former communist secret police StB.

The new civil service legislation would not require a lustration certificate for the government members.

Babis is registered as an informer and later an agent of the StB in its files that are preserved in Slovakia. He, however, denies any cooperation with it, claiming that the documents were fabricated.

The service law is to enhance the effectiveness, professionalism and stability of the Czech civil service and depoliticise it. Its adoption is one of the conditions for the Czech Republic to continue drawing EU subsidies.

The Czech Republic is the only EU country without an effective law defining the position of civil servants.

Czech parliament passed a civil service law in 2002 but a large part of it has never come into force. Its introduction was postponed five times, last time until January 2015.

Before Christmas, the CSSD submitted a draft amendment to the civil service law.

The CSSD's draft abolishes contractual pay and introduces 16 pay brackets instead of the present 12. It markedly raises the fines for wrong steps of civil servants and abolishes some advantages they enjoy.

The draft withdraws the government's authorisation to change the office's organisational structure, which should be only up to the civil service's director general with a six-year tenure.

If passed, the bill should take effect as of next year.

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