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Friday, March 5, 2021

DIANEOsis: Public administration and local government in the post-covid era


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What are the most important problems that the central public administration and the local self-government still face in our country? What structural changes could make a decisive contribution to tackling their chronic problems?

DiANEOsis publishes two new policy texts for exactly these issues. In the first, the professor at EKPA Dimitris A. Sotiropoulos analyzes the problems of public administration and their significant consequences. It presents "good practices" based on the experience of foreign countries and formulates seven specific policy proposals, on the occasion of the outbreak of the pandemic and the need to restart.

On our secondly, the professor at EKPA Nikolaos Komninos Chlepas, since highlights the five most important problems of local government and makes a brief review of the most important "good practices" from other European countries, develops three alternative scenarios for the future of local government in our country and presents ten specific policy proposals for a radical redesign.

See the main problems that the texts highlight

For Public Administration

  • Excessive -even for southern European data- partisanship.
  • Customer trends in recruitment temporary, seasonal and other civil servants and transferees.
  • Hyper-centralism in terms of decision making.
  • Very traditional, slow and often ineffective methods organization of work.
  • Polynomial and malignancy.
  • Deep gap between settings adopted and practices followed in a number of areas ("implementation gap").
  • Misuse of human resources (inappropriate employees in inappropriate positions).
  • In places widespread corruption.

For the Local Government

  • Restrictions on political competition and under-representation of women.
  • System malfunctions local / regional government.
  • Limited and problematic functional field (mainly responsibility for bureaucratic, processing procedures, cleanliness, some infrastructure issues).
  • Serious deficits of legality and transparency despite multiple controls and procedures.
  • Fiscal centralism and dependence from government grants.

What needs to change

Both texts conclude with specific policy proposals, which are summarized below.

Proposals for the restructuring of the Greek Public Administration:

1. Digitization of more public administration services to citizens and businesses.
2. More effective integration of the graduates of the National School of Public Administration and Local Government (ESDDA) in the high-ranking positions of the administration.
3. Expanding the already attempted flexibility of the public administration and extending the telework to the State.
4. Establishment of permanent cooperation networks between civil servants, representatives of the social partners and experts.
5. Collection and analysis of data on the one hand for the response of employees to the challenges created by the pandemic in their work and on the other hand for the experience, attitudes and perceptions of the employees themselves during the pandemic.
6. Review the size of surplus and missing staff and further facilitate the horizontal movement of employees.
7. Limitation of pluralism by implementing the new relevant regulations that have been voted for good legislation (Law 4622/2019, replacing Law 4048/2012).

Proposals for the reconstruction of the Greek Local Government:

1. Liberalization of political competition and strengthening of democratic legitimacy.
2. Encouragement of collaborations and consents in the local authorities.
3. Promoting women's representation.
4. Reform of the governance system.
5. Differentiation of the governance system into specific categories of local authorities.
6. Depoliticization and modernization of the administrative mechanism.
7. Transfer of important social services to local authorities.
8. Upgrading the role of local authorities in the context of urban and spatial planning, as well as in terms of environmental protection.
9. Simplification of the control system and modernization of the supervisory system.
10. Ensuring the financial independence of local authorities as well as transparency in terms of management.

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