Bill to allow govt to fire officials for poor performance

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A proposed bill regulating the state apparatus would allow the government to fire poorly performing civil servants after four years, a deputy minister has said.

Deputy Administrative Reforms Minister Eko Prasojo said on Thursday that civil servants would receive warnings if they failed their annual performance assessments for three consecutive years.“If they still fail in the fourth year, they will face dismissal.”The 1999 Law on State Employment does not allow civil servants to be fired for poor performance or for failing to meet minimum competency standards.

Firing a civil servant, under the current law, can only be done under “extraordinary” circumstances, such as for certain felony convictions, physical or mental problems and for skipping work for more than six months without explanation.“Currently, we cannot just fire a civil servant because he or she has been performing poorly. Thus, we need to reform the mechanism to improve bureaucratic performance and boost public service,” Eko said.The deputy minister said that he hoped that the bill would end lax behavior, especially in small offices or in regional administrations, such as playing computer games in the office or arriving late and leaving early.

The bill would also introduce performance-based pay, Eko said. “There will be a grading mechanism based on performance assessments. Grades will determine the size of the salary that a civil servant deserves,” he said.Other factors to be considered in remuneration would be a job’s risk level and workload.“In this sense, secretaries-general of different state bodies could have different grades, and hence, different salaries,” Eko said.Previously, Administrative Reforms Minister Azwar Abubakar said that the bill would introduce a promotion scheme for ministry directors-general and directors resembling the open call introduced by Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.High-ranking officials, under the proposed scheme, would be limited to five years in their posts and would have to reapply, competing with other applicants, to be reappointed.

According to Eko, a special unit would be set up to monitor and assess civil servants.The bill, which has been circulated as a draft for almost two years, would be handed over to lawmakers at the House of Representatives for deliberation in July, Eko said.

Agun Gunanjar, the lawmaker who heads House Commission II overseeing state apparatuses, said that he welcomed the govern-ment’s plan.However, the Golkar Party politician said that he was disappointed, because the government had delayed forwarding the bill to the House for more than a year.“The government has just asked for another postponement.

We are deeply concerned about this because the government looks to be not serous about reforming the country’s poor bureaucracy,” Agun said.The lawmaker said that he hoped that the bill could be passed into before the 2014 general election.


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