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Czech Republic

Implementing legislation for the new act on civil service (CZ0008)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Czech Republic, Second Action Plan, 2014-2016

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Interior

Support Institution(s): The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the Office of the Government

Policy Areas

Anti-Corruption Institutions, Capacity Building, Labor, Legislation & Regulation, Public Service Delivery, Whistleblower Protections

IRM Review

IRM Report: Czech Republic End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Czech Republic IRM Progress Report 2014-2015

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Not Relevant

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

During implementation of this priority the Czech Republic undertakes to realize in particular the following measures: ● to adopt an implementing instruction for selection procedure and appointment of a deputy of the Section for public service and of state secretaries, ● to amend the Government Decree No 85/2003 Coll., defining areas of the state service, and Government Decree No 328/2013 Coll., on setting the extent and manner of providing data into the Informational System on Wages, ● to prepare a government decree on a catalogue of administrative activities and a government decree on wage conditions of state employees, ● to create necessary implementing regulations to ensure implementation of the Act, particularly in the area of personal and managerial administration of the administrative authorities, in order that the following requirements are met: ● unambiguous definition of a boundary between the positions controlled by political parties and the apolitical bureaucratic positions, which will be occupied on the basis of open selection procedures, ● setting rules for depoliticisation, professionalisation and stabilisation of the state administration, ● setting a transparent and fair system of remuneration, ● securing a special protection of whistleblowers of unlawful conduct of employer, ● a system of obligatory training involving beside others the issue of combatting corruption. Milestones: ● Submitting for information of the Government members a detailed timetable for preparation of implementing legal regulations and other measures to perform the new Act on Civil Servants; ● “Revision,” analysis and proposal for further use (for legislation or for preparation of acts of administrative bodies) of the present (in preparation) implementation measures and drafts of service regulations in continuity with the approved version of the Act; ● Preparing, discuss and publish relevant implementing legislation. Completion of the legislation process of implementing legislation to the Act. Responsible Institution: The Ministry of Interior Supporting Institution(s): The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the Office of the Government Start Date: None Specified End Date: 1 July 2015

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 2. Implementing legislation for the new Act on Civil Service

Commitment Text:

During implementation of this priority the Czech Republic undertakes to realize in particular the following measures:

  • to adopt an implementing instruction for selection procedure and appointment of a deputy of the Section for public service and of state secretaries,
  • to amend the Government Decree No 85/2003 Coll., defining areas of the state service, and Government Decree No 328/2013 Coll., on setting the extent and manner of providing data into the Informational System on Wages,
  • to prepare a government decree on a catalogue of administrative activities and a government decree on wage conditions of state employees,
  • to create necessary implementing regulations to ensure implementation of the Act, particularly in the area of personal and managerial administration of the administrative authorities, in order that the following requirements are met:
  • unambiguous definition of a boundary between the positions controlled by political parties and the apolitical bureaucratic positions, which will be occupied on the basis of open selection procedures,
  • setting rules for depoliticisation, professionalisation and stabilisation of the state administration,
  • setting a transparent and fair system of remuneration,
  •  securing a special protection of whistleblowers of unlawful conduct of employer,
  • a system of obligatory training involving beside others the issue of combatting corruption.       

Milestones:

2.1 Submitting for information of the Government members a detailed timetable for preparation of implementing legal regulations and other measures to perform the new Act on Civil Servants;

2.2  “Revision,” analysis and proposal for further use (for legislation or for preparation of acts of administrative bodies) of the present (in preparation) implementation measures and drafts of service regulations in continuity with the approved version of the Act;

2.3 Preparing, discuss and publish relevant implementing legislation. Completion of the legislation process of implementing legislation to the Act.

Editorial Note: The milestones describe the phases of the implementation process, while the Commitment measures describe what steps are necessary for the accomplishment of the requirements. The first two milestones are prerequisites for the third. The evaluation of the third milestone is therefore much more detailed. Specificity, measurability and relevance can be evaluated jointly for the whole commitment.

Responsible Institution: The Ministry of Interior

Supporting Institution(s): The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the Office of the Government

Start date: Not specified                                                                           End date: 1 July 2015

Commitment Aim:

The general rules and principles included in the new Act on Civil Service need to be specifically defined in published implementation legislation. These laws should provide the legal and institutional infrastructure for successfully enforcing the new Act, including the rules for civil servants’ selection, remuneration, education, and examination requirements. In addition, these laws would ensure protection of whistleblowers from retaliation. Prior to the adoption of the new Act on Civil Service, the absence of specific rules pertaining to hiring and retaining civil servants, together with an undeveloped political culture, low attractiveness of the public sector for well educated individuals and the absence of impartial bureaucracy contributed to weakening the impartiality, professionalism and stability of public service sector.

Status

Mid-term: Substantial

The Czech Parliament began discussing the new Civil Service Act before the second action plan was adopted, which allowed implementation of the Act to begin on 1 January 2015.

On 12 November 2014, the same day the second action plan was adopted, the Ministry of Interior presented a schedule for the implementation of the Act on Civil Service, including necessary legal regulations for the new Act (Milestone 2.1) to the government.[Note 3: A complete version of this checklist was published online, but is no longer available; a summary version can now be found as a part of the Plan of Legislative Work for Year 2015: Government of the Czech Republic, Plan of the Legislative Work for Year 2015, [Czech] http://www.vlada.cz/assets/media-centrum/dulezite-dokumenty/Priloha-c--1_Plan-legislativnich-praci_2015.pdf, 28.]

Revision, analysis, and proposals for further uses of the implementation regulations (Milestone 2.2) is partially complete. The government has already adopted several decrees related to implementing the Act, accompanied with analyses describing the reasoning for their adoption. However, the government has not conducted, presented, or published a comprehensive analysis defining the remaining necessary secondary legislation.

Legislation required for implementing the Act was adopted (Milestone 2.3), and was substantially completed, but some implementation rules were not expected to enter into force until 1 June 2017. The Mid-Term Self-Assessment OGP Action Plan Report of the Czech Republic 2014-2016 includes a list of the implementing legislation adopted before July 2015.[Note 4: Government of the Czech Republic, Mid-Term Self-Assessment OGP Action Plan Report of the Czech Republic 2014-2016 [Czech], Appendix, https://www.korupce.cz/assets/partnerstvi-pro-otevrene-vladnuti/OGP-Prubezna-sebehodnotici-zprava-CR-2014-2016.pdf, 20.]

End of term: Substantial

Milestone 2.1 (Time schedule of preparatory works) was complete at the midterm.

According to the End of Term Self-Assessment Report, the government has completed a comprehensive analysis of remaining secondary legislation required for the Civil Service Act (Milestone 2.2).[Note 5: End of term Self-Assessment OGP Action Plan Report of the Czech Republic 2014-2016; Government of the Czech Republic, End of term Self-Assessment OGP Action Plan Report of the Czech Republic 2014-2016 [Czech], https://www.korupce.cz/assets/dokumenty/tiskove-zpravy/Zaverecna-sebehodnotici-zprava-Akcniho-planu-Ceske-republiky-Partnerstvi-pro-otevrene-vladnuti-na-obdobi-let-2014-az-2016.pdf, 11.] However, this report does not cite a document containing the reported analysis. The IRM researchers did not find documentation, either public or internal, to verify this activity. Therefore, IRM researchers determine that this milestone remains substantially completed, as there is no further evidence of progress since the midterm report.

The Government has adopted new decrees since the midterm report that are necessary for implementing the Act (Milestone 2.3). These include a decree regulating diplomatic and consular positions, changes of the remuneration system for civil servants, establishment of a new examination body for the civil service, and releasing details of civil service examinations. According to the Czech government’s Self-Assessment Report, only one decree remains to be adopted: a decree defining a service badge.[Note 6: Ibid.]

Although the government established legislative framework for implementation, it is expected that the government will adopt additional legislation and the existing decrees will be subject to amendments. For example, the new remuneration system for civil servants is scheduled to come into force on 1 January 2017. This timeframe seems unrealistically brief to apply the changes prescribed by the law. Additionally, the financial demands of salary settlements will probably prevent a comprehensive solution for all civil servants.[Note 7: Government Council for Information Society, “Minutes No. 1/2016 of the Meeting on 11 March 2016” [Czech], http://www.mvcr.cz/clanek/rada-vlady-pro-informacni-spolecnost.aspx?q=Y2hudW09Mg%3d%3d.] Another example of impending regulation is whistleblower protection.

As for implementation of the civil service examinations, there has been progress concerning the Civil Service Information System. Since 1 August 2015, the Civil Service Information System contains a publicly accessible overview of their terms of examination, and a list of the exams taken. Since 22 August 2015, the public can also find a list of vacant civil service positions.[Note 8: Section for Civil Service [Czech], http://konference.klub-personalistu.cz/files/5616cab664bad-Dosavadni-implementace-zakona-o-statni-sluzbe.pdf, 12.]

Did it open government?
Access to information: Marginal
Civic Participation: Did not change
Public accountability: Did not change

Establishing the legal framework needed to implement the new Civil Service Act represents an important step in making the Czech civil service apolitical. However, some stakeholders have criticized the implementation legislation and feel it lacks necessary aspects to depoliticize the process. Edvard Outrata, a former senator and head of the Czech Statistical Office, has stated that the distinction between political and apolitical appointments does not have any increased protection, such as anchoring appointments to the basic principle of separation of powers stated in the Constitution.[Note 9: Edvard Outrata, interview by the IRM researchers, 11 September 2015.] IRM researchers have not detected any significant changes since the midterm report, in which they recommended prohibiting (at minimum) the heads of public offices (namely “apolitical” deputy ministers and personnel directors) from occupying any positions in a political party. On the contrary, membership in a political party and candidacy in elections is not prohibited for any civil servants under the current application of §80 of the Act on Civil Service.[Note 10: Available at [Czech] http://www.mvcr.cz/sluzba/clanek/stanovisko-k-aplikaci-80-zakona-c-234-2014-sb-o-statni-sluzbe.aspx. ]

Some stakeholders have also expressed doubts about the rules governing transparency in the Civil Service selection process, citing that present civil servants are exempt from the new regulations establishing hiring standards based on qualifying education and civil service exam scores.

CSOs including Transparency International-Czech Republic have raised concerns about vague or absent regulations for protecting whistleblowers. Decree No. 145/2015 Coll. details rights for whistleblowers in the civil service, and came into effect on 1 July 2016. However, its scope has been criticized as being limited.[1] For example, under the current regulations, rules are missing or ambiguous regarding whistleblowers who accuse private entities of corruption. There are also missing protocols for protecting a whistleblower’s IP address, protecting their right to report unlawful behaviour without breaching confidentiality agreements, and protection from retaliation. According to Transparency, regulations are still needed for an appeals process where whistleblowers can seek recourse if they are not satisfied with the results of an investigation or with the adopted corrective measures.[Note 11: Transparency International-Czech Republic, Position to the Draft of a Government Decree on the Regulation of Whistleblowing in Public Administration [Czech], https://www.transparency.cz/wp-content/uploads/2015-04-29-Stanovisko-k-na%C5%99%C3%ADzen%C3%AD-vl%C3%A1dy_WB.pdf. ]

The IRM researchers believe this commitment, despite the deficiencies listed above, has been a positive step toward more transparent and professional public administration. Additionally, the new legislation introduced a change in the disclosure of qualification requirements for civil service positions. Currently, the public has user-friendly, online access to new requirements. Previous requirements were also made public, however their access was not systematic. In this regard, although the commitment was written with a focus on internal changes without clear relevance to OGP values, as implemented, it produced a marginal change in government practice toward releasing information.

Carried forward?

The new action plan includes a commitment called Implementing the Adopted Civil Service Act, Putting Depoliticization, Professionalization and Stabilization of Public Administration, into Practice, which follows the commitments concerning the New Act on Civil Service from the second OGP plan. Its aims include:

  • Completing hiring procedures for senior civil servants posts;
  • Ensuring that certain civil servants take a civil service examination;
  • Preparing the remaining implementing legislation for the Act;
  • Monitoring the acceptance of whistleblowing measures;
  • Monitoring civil servants’ observation of civil service discipline and their fulfilment of ethical standards; and
  • Furthering and developing the Civil Service Information System.

Czech Republic's Commitments

  1. quality management in service authorities

    CZ0022, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  2. judiciary annual report

    CZ0023, 2018, E-Government

  3. publishing lower court decision

    CZ0024, 2018, E-Government

  4. raising awareness about whistle-blowers

    CZ0025, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. open education data

    CZ0026, 2018, E-Government

  6. inspIS information system

    CZ0027, 2018, E-Government

  7. open data from school inspector

    CZ0028, 2018, E-Government

  8. publication of education information on creative commons

    CZ0029, 2018, E-Government

  9. Implementing the Civil Service Act

    CZ0016, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  10. Priority Data Sets of Public Administration

    CZ0017, 2016, E-Government

  11. Public Administration of the Czech Republic’s Open Data Ecosystem

    CZ0018, 2016, Capacity Building

  12. National Open Access to Scientific Information Strategy

    CZ0019, 2016, Legislation & Regulation

  13. Supporting Volunteering

    CZ0020, 2016, Civic Space

  14. Improving Local Level Safety

    CZ0021, 2016, E-Government

  15. Adoption of the new act on Civil Service

    CZ0007, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  16. Implementing legislation for the new act on civil service

    CZ0008, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  17. Institutional measures to implement the new act on civil service

    CZ0009, 2014, Capacity Building

  18. Selection, recruitment, and appointment of civil servants/high-ranking civil servants

    CZ0010, 2014, Capacity Building

  19. Systematization of service positions and service authorities

    CZ0011, 2014, Labor

  20. Streamline the free access to information system

    CZ0012, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  21. Support for open data publishing

    CZ0013, 2014, Capacity Building

  22. Open data catalogue

    CZ0014, 2014, E-Government

  23. Open data legal framework

    CZ0015, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  24. Adoption of an Act on Civil Servants

    CZ0001, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  25. Amendments of the Free Access to Information Act

    CZ0002, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  26. Reaching the Open Data Standards : Identification and removal of legal and technical obstacles

    CZ0003, 2012, Open Data

  27. Reaching the Open Data Standards : Creation of an open data infrastructure in the public procurement sector

    CZ0004, 2012, Open Contracting and Procurement

  28. Reaching the Open Data Standards : Converting the most important data sources to open data standards

    CZ0005, 2012, Open Data

  29. Reaching the Open Data Standards : Creation of a catalogue of public administration data

    CZ0006, 2012, Open Data