Pricing out corruption Civil service shake-up in May designed to improve skills, pay
Revolutionary change The new civil service law, which comes into force on May 1, promises to revolutionize the way Ukraine is governed, Sheyko said.
“I think this law is progressive, but the problem is not that simple,” she said. It will take time to see results, she said. The new law sets out competitive hiring procedures for the civil service, among other innovations.
It is expected to improve skill levels, said Sheyko. She recalled a recently conducted re-certification of civil servants who work at management positions in Justice Ministry agencies. Most weren’t even able to switch on a computer.
After further tests of the civil servants’ knowledge of laws and bylaws, 60 percent of them were dismissed.
“Competitive selection will lead to civil servants being more progressive,” Sheyko said.
Money problems Employees of the new, leaner and ideally better-skilled civil service should enjoy better working conditions, higher salaries and better prospects for promotion and other benefits.
However, the civil service law doesn’t stipulate that money saved on salaries of former employees should automatically go into the wage fund to pay higher salaries to the remaining workers, Sheyko said.
Deputy Prosecutor General Davit Sakvarelidze expected to be able to reallocated salaries of fired prosecutors to the remaining ones. "That didn’t happen,” Sheyko said, referring to the Prosecutor General’s Office, which still has up to 18,000 prosecutors at all levels in the nation. Those who remained in Sakvarelidze’s office continue working for a salary of Hr 1,500 ($57) per month.
While the government recognizes the need to increase wages, Sheyko said the proposed increases aren’t high enough. A civil servant should earn enough “to not be tempted to take a bribe,” she said.
One of the co-authors of the civil service law, human resources specialist Denis Brodsky, told the Kyiv Post that the wage issue is a cornerstone of civil service reform.