Career model of civil service

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

This page is a translated version of the page Model kariery służby cywilnej and the translation is 100% complete.

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CAREER MODEL OF CIVIL SERVICE – the basic criterion for admission to the → civil service is the examination of the candidate’s general ability to work in the public administration, rather than for a specific position. Exams – difficult and demanding – take place at least twice: on entry into service and after preparatory service. The model assumes a gradual bureaucratic career – from the entry positions to the highest in the service hierarchy. Only seniority in public administration matters for promotions. This model is characterized by a strong hierarchy – one cannot be promoted, bypass any level of careers, or start working on intermediate or managerial positions. The status of an official is governed by public law, which means that the official is employed by the state and not by the particular office. In this model, the education requirements for getting a job are strictly defined by law. The work process is more command-oriented than goal-oriented. A separate salary and pension systems for civil servants is defined in a statute by authorities who are not obliged to work out agreements with trade unions in these matters. There is a strong emphasis on conscientiousness, honesty and respect for the law by civil servants. This model emphasizes the importance of special disciplinary rules. Critics call it the “Mandarin” model or the “closed fortress” model, pointing out many disadvantages: hierarchy, low motivation of employees to generate new ideas and achieve maximum productivity and quality, ritualism, rigidity of behaviour, lack of flexibility, inability of officials to deal with extraordinary situations or non-standard tasks, routine engagement in work, aging of management, employees’ resistance to reform and change. The benefits of the system include stability of employment, sustainability, and the effect of functioning of the system in a form of limiting political influence on the administration by failing to fill the public administration with “our” people, eliminating the distribution of positions, arbitrary promotions and excessive pressure on politicians. The advantage is “institutional memory”, that is, memory about the functioning of the office, its procedures, precedents, possibilities and ways of handling matters, which contributes to the fact that the administration under the established procedures functions more smoothly and without unnecessary delay and also reduces the costs resulting from fluctuation of the staff. This model is characterized by loyalty to the office and a professional ethos, which leads to greater identification of the tasks performed with public interest. Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Spain, Northern Ireland, Luxembourg, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, Romania, Cyprus, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Turkey have adopted the career model, having preserved the national specificity [ J. Itrich-Drabarek ].

Literature: Ch. Demmke, Civil Services Between Tradition and Reform, EIPA, Maastricht 2004 ■ J. Itrich-Drabarek, Uwarunkowania, standardy i kierunki zmian służby cywilnej w Polsce na tle europejskim, Warszawa 2010 ■ J. Itrich-Drabarek, The Civil Service in Poland – Theory and Experience, Frankfurt am Main 2015.