IDFI welcomes the amendments introduced by the draft law of Georgia on Civil Service. The draft law includes important positive changes to the system of civil service in Georgia.
It should be highlighted that the draft legal act represents an important step forward in the process of implementing civil service reform adopted by the Government of Georgia.
Including state LEPLs under the scope of civil service by the law; introducing the term of professional civil servant; developing the system of certification for ensuring equal access to civil service; implementing uniform system of civil servant assessment and introducing in detailed regulations of civil servant legal protection should be assessed positively. These amendments guarantee the implementation of career based civil service and the development of uniform system of civil service.
According to the draft law on Civil Service, number of issues are to be regulated by government decrees, rather than by the law itself. E.g: Defining ranks and class ranks of civil servants, rules and provisions of assessing civil servants, issues of remuneration, mobility of public servants. Due to the following reasons it is advisable for the above-mentioned issues to be regulated by the law on Civil Service and not by a secondary legislation adopted by the Government of Georgia: (a) Government decree will not cover all public servants in three branches of power. Considering the importance of legislative and judiciary branches and the purpose of creating unified system of public service these issues should be regulated by the law and not by the government decree. (b) Government decree might not succeed to implement stabile civil service as a decree can easily be amended by following simple steps and procedures.
With the aim of further improving the law on Civil Service and harmonizing the draft law with thr best international standards we find it crucial for the following recommendations to be taken into consideration:
1. The issues of defining ranks and class ranks of civil servants, rules and provisions of civil servant assessment and mobility issues of public servants are to be regulated by the Law on Civil Service.
2. Rules of civil servant remuneration, inter alia overall amount of salary supplements, types of incentives, the maximum amount of bonuses and salary supplements in relation with the ranks of civil servants should be regulated by the law on Civil Service.
3. Public Service Council competences, rights and duties, decision making procedures as well as the powers of the council to monitor the work of Civil Service Bureau should be regulated in detail.
4. Chairperson of Civil Service Bureau should be appointment and dismissed based on the decision of Public Service Council. This will guarantee that non biased objective decisions are made and will create more guarantees of the independence of Civil Service Bureau Chairperson.
5. Probation period of Civil Servants should not exceed 6 months;
6. Promotion to higher posts should only be possible from those public servants already appointed at civil service, excluding the possibility of promoting persons employed based on a contract.
7. The possibility of appointing the heads of LEPLs and state sub-entities without following civil service recruitment procedures should be excluded. Hence the draft law should contain statement according to which persons appointed based on employment contracts do not undergo civil service recruitment procedures, except for the heads of LEPLs and state sub-entities. Professional civil servant guarantees enshrined in the law on Civil Service should also be applicable for the heads of LEPLs and state sub-entities.
8. Light and heavy disciplinary measures must be defined in detail, taking into consideration professional duties and responsibilities of civil servants;
9. Activities carried out by a civil servant outside work hours and not linked with their official positions can not be the basis for imposing disciplinary sanctions on them;
10. Citizen shall have the right to file complaints against public servant, requesting to launch disciplinary proceedings. Civil servants should at every stage be informed that disciplinary proceedings are launched against them’
11. Terms of disciplinary proceedings must be defined by providing limits of terms to public servant.
12. Types of responsibility for disciplinary misconducts must be regulated in detail by the law.
IDFI welcomes the amendments introduced by the draft law of Georgia on Civil Service. The draft law includes important positive changes to the system of civil service in Georgia. Nevertheless we find that additional step should be taken in order to improve the draft law on Civil Service and guarantee that it is harmonized with best international practice. Please find our recommendations in the full text of the legal analysis.
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