GLPS held a Press Conference on the topic: “Draftlaw on Salaries and the Law on Public Officials: shortcomings and uncertainties”

October 22, 2022

On October 22, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) held a Press Conference on the topic: “Draftlaw on Salaries and the Law on Public Officials: shortcomings and uncertainties”, held in Prishtina. As a think-tank specialized in the field of public administration and one that has systematically monitored the PAR-related issues, GLPS has provided regular legislative and policy-based recommendation in regards to the legislative framework, as is the case with the Draftlaw on Salaries and the Law on Public Officials (LPO).

 GLPS has voiced up the need for a fundamental public administration reform, and has regularly emphasized the importance of this reform toward a better and a well-functioning public administration. “GLPS calls upon the Government of Kosovo and the Assembly to react carefully when designing the amendments on the LPO, so that those are in full compliance with the Constitutional Court’s Decision No. KO203, while being evidence-based and well justified”, said Ms. Loxha Stublla, the Executive Director of GLPS.

According to GLPS’ assessment, amendments presented via the public consultation platform are unclear and concerning to the level that is risking to change the whole concept of the civil service by replacing the existing career development system with a position-based system, through 4-year fixed-term contracts at the managerial level

Our assessment of the changes made through this draft law is that they are quite serious and in fact completely change the concept of the civil service through: replacing the career development system with a position system, and establishing fixed-term contracts of 4 years for positions management. “Proposals such as continuation of acting heads, demotion procedures, and waiting lists are some of the regulations that might hamper the overall system and provide governments’ with means non-meritocratic transfers and employments”, said Mr. Shamolli, Senior Research Fellow at GLPS. The proposed changes are against SIGMA/OECD principles, and practically, will allow for the politics to intervene in the civil service, and ultimately, undermine the sustainability and functionality of the public administration itself. “All relevant institutions should focus and put real efforts in the implementation of the LPO, and should avoid proposing short-term solutions which may harm the civil service and the entire public administration in the long run”, he concluded.

On the other hand, another crucial law that is key to a well-functioning public administration and a fair and transparent wage system, is the Draftlaw on Salaries, given that the actual legislative framework is highly fragmented with around 58 different legal acts that have led to huge salary gaps and inequalities within the public sector. The new draft law fails to fundamentally address the issues defined in the Decision No. KO219/19 of the Constitutional Court.

During the conference, Ms. Loxha Stublla pointed out some of the main shortcomings identifies, including the incomplete scope of the law (employees of Kosovo Intelligence Agency have been again excluded), artificial and abstract criteria for determining the salary (type of institution and qualifications), violation of the principle of transparency (the value of the coefficient is missing) so the draftlaw is not addressing the issue of equal salary for the same job, decreased salaries within the independent institutions, etc.

Similarly, this draftlaw must be fully compliant with the conclusions and recommendations provided by the Constitutional Court back in 2020, and should establish standards and rules which are based on the principle of equal pay for equal work.

Both of these draft laws are crucial for the proper regulation and functioning of the public administration, and for this reason, they should be designed to address all the main issues, avoiding any ambiguities or/and loopholes.

GLPS inputs for both laws can be found here andhere.

Ms. Arbëresha Loxha Stublla – Executive Director, GLPS.

Mr. Naser Shamolli – Senior Research Fellow, GLPS.

Venue: GLPS Offices, Str. Rexhep Luci, 16/1, 10000 Prishtina, Kosovo.

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