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Czech Republic

Implementing the Civil Service Act (CZ0016)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Czech Republic Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of the Interior

Support Institution(s): Civil service authorities

Policy Areas

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

IRM Review

IRM Report: Czech Republic End-of-Term Report 2016–2018, Czech Republic Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

STATE AND DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM TO BE ADDRESSED BY MAKING THE COMMITMENT The adoption of Act No. 234/2014 Coll., on civil service, as amended, (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”), ensuring the depoliticization, professionalization and stabilization of public administration, was a very important commitment for the Czech Republic and was based both on the OGP values and key challenges and on the Action Plan, or the Second Action Plan, and on the Programme Declaration promulgated by the Government and government anti-corruption documents (Government Anti-Corruption Conception for the Years 2015 to 2017 and The Anti-Corruption Action Plan for 2015). The Act was promulgated on 6 November 2014, when some of its provisions also became effective. The Act became fully effective on 1 January 2015. Since then the Act has been put into practice, especially by subsequently systemizing civil service posts and work posts, separating clearly political and non-political (white-collar) posts, running the Civil Service Information System, etc. The overwhelming majority of its legal regulations have also been adopted and promulgated in connection with adopting this Act. Since 1 July 2015 fundamental changes in the civil service have been started based on the transitional provisions of the Act in connection with the first systemization of civil service posts and work posts, employing existing employees as civil servants in civil service employment based on their applications, transferring existing chief employees to the positions of senior civil servants in civil service employment, and subsequently announcing new competitive hiring procedures for all the posts of deputies and directors of sections.‘ Although the commitment was assessed as substantially completed in 2016, implementing the Act cannot be understood as a one-off event. It must continue with the implementation of the basic institutes of the Act; for example, completing the hiring procedures for the posts of senior civil servants (Department and Unit Directors) according to the transitional provisions of the Act, ensuring that the civil servants concerned take a civil service examination, preparing the last legal regulation – Decree defining a service badge specimen, starting controls, monitoring how measures about whistleblowing are accepted, monitoring how civil servants observe civil service discipline and how ethical standards are met, and developing further the Civil Service Information System. MAIN OBJECTIVE Ensuring the depoliticization, professionalization and stabilization of state administration. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF COMMITMENT • Depoliticization – transparent competitive hiring, the term of civil service employment not dependent on political changes (e.g. changes in the composition of the Government), and setting up a more rigid process for changing the organization of a civil service authority. The approval of the systemization of civil service posts guarantees that ad hoc organizational changes are more difficult. • Stabilization – systemization, changes in systemization and defined types of changes in civil service status. • Professionalization – a civil service examination, civil service assessment and civil service discipline, and education of civil servants.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

4.1.1 Implementing the Civil Service Act

Commitment Text:

The adoption of Act No. 234/2014 Coll., on civil service, as amended, ensuring the depoliticization, professionalization and stabilization of public administration, was a very important commitment for the Czech Republic. The Act was promulgated on 6 November 2014, when some of its provisions also became effective. The Act became fully effective on 1 January 2015. Since then the Act has been put into practice, especially by subsequently systemizing civil service posts and work posts, separating clearly political and non-political (white-collar) posts, running the Civil Service Information System, etc. The overwhelming majority of its legal regulations have also been adopted and promulgated in connection with adopting this Act.

Since 1 July 2015 fundamental changes in the civil service have been started based on the transitional provisions of the Act in connection with the first systemization of civil service posts and work posts, employing existing employees as civil servants in civil service employment based on their applications, transferring existing chief employees to the positions of senior civil servants in civil service employment, and subsequently announcing new competitive hiring procedures for all the posts of deputies and directors of sections.‘ Although the commitment was assessed as substantially completed in 2016, implementing the Act cannot be understood as a one-off event. It must continue with the implementation of the basic institutes of the Act.

Main Objective: Ensuring the depoliticization, professionalization and stabilization of state administration. Depoliticization – transparent competitive hiring, the term of civil service employment not dependent on political changes (e.g. changes in the composition of the Government), and setting up a more rigid process for changing the organization of a civil service authority. The approval of the systemization of civil service posts guarantees that ad hoc organizational changes are more difficult. Stabilization – systemization, changes in systemization and defined types of changes in civil service status. Professionalization – a civil service examination, civil service assessment/appraisal and civil service discipline, and education of civil servants.

Milestones:

1. Completing the legislative process for the regulations implementing the Civil Service Act – Decree defining a service badge specimen

2. Ensuring competitive hiring for the posts of Directors of Departments and Units – appointment of Directors of Departments and Units

3. Controls resulting from the Act (civil service employment of civil servants, evaluation of the observance of the systemization of civil service posts, control of creating a work and life balance of civil servants – the number of controls carried out at civil service authorities

4. Meeting the requirement that newly hired civil servants take a civil service examination – the portion of newly hired civil servants in the period under consideration and meeting the requirement that a civil service examination is taken

5. Civil service bodies recognising the equality of examinations – the number of civil service examinations recognized based on equality for the period under consideration

6. Investigating whistleblowing – the total number of claims; the number of claims handed over to another investigator for investigation, to an investigative, prosecuting and adjudicating body or to an administrative body competent to hear an administrative delict and the number of completed investigations in the period under consideration

7. Exercise of disciplinary authority in a civil service authority – the number of disciplinary actions and disciplinary measures imposed

8. Developing and extending the Civil Service Information System to include other supporting functions – improving user comfort and creating additional functions supporting the exercise of acts under the Civil Service Act – the number of newly created modules and functions

9. Producing annual reports on implementing the Civil Service Act (regular annual task) and submitting the reports to the Government – the number of reports

Responsible institution: Ministry of the Interior

Supporting institution(s): N/A

Start date: 2014 End date: 2018

Context and Objectives

Adoption and implementation of the new civil service legislation dates back to the late 1990s when a Civil Service Act was discussed as a condition for joining the EU. The Czech Republic joined the European Union in 2004 but the Civil Service Act (Act No. 234/2014 Coll.) did not enter force until 2015: this legislation replaced the first Civil Service Act that was adopted in 2002 (Act No. 218/2002 Coll.) though which never legally entered into force. The lack of such legislation governing the modern, professional, and independent public administration was criticized by stakeholders and civil society as one of the most negative features hindering an open and transparent public service. Absence of this law allowed opacity and perpetuation of old methods in public service, including extensive political interference and corruption. The Civil Service Act's implementation is a long process that requires relentless effort for improvement and good political support.

Adoption and implementation of the Civil Service Act was a commitment in the second OGP action plan and was carried over to this plan. As in the second plan, the main objective is depoliticization, professionalization, and stabilization of public administration. By completing the legislative framework for the law's implementation and the competitive hiring of civil servants (partly Milestones 1 and 2), the commitment is increasing resistance of the civil service to political interference and allows for public scrutiny via media and civil society.

Professionalization and stabilization of the civil service is addressed in Milestones 2–7. These actions concern competitive hiring, civil service appraisals, controls from the Civil Service Act, examinations, internal whistleblowing, and disciplinary actions in civil service authorities. Milestone 2 seeks to complete the selection process for the posts of Directors and Deputies of Departments and Units. Currently, the selection is according to the Administrative Code but there is no public information available on the applicants or selectees. Service performance appraisals are not specified in the milestones but are mentioned in the brief description of the commitment and in the self-assessment report. Per the self-assessment report, in the first quarter of 2016, a service performance appraisal was carried out for the first time for employees who had been civil servants for more than two months by 2015. This applied to 60 percent of civil servants.[Note60: Office of the Government of the Czech Republic Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation, 'Czech Republic 2017, Mid-Term Self-Assessment Open Government Partnership Action Plan Report of the Czech Republic for 2016–2018' (Aug. 2017), 10, http://www.korupce.cz/assets/partnerstvi-pro-otevrene-vladnuti/Mid-Term-Self-Assessment-Open-Government-Partnership-Action-Plan-Report-of-the-Czech-Republic-2016-2018.pdf.] According to this appraisal[Note61: 'Newsletter Statni sluzba' (Ministry of the Interior), December 2016, http://www.mvcr.cz/sluzba/clanek/newsletter-statni-sluzba.aspx.] and from the 2016 annual report on public service,[Note62: Vyrocni Zprava o Statni Sluzbe (2016), http://www.mvcr.cz/sluzba/soubor/vyrocni-zprava-o-statni-sluzbe-za-rok-2016-pdf.aspx.] the performance of over 80 percent of directors or deputy directors was 'equal to excellence.' There is no information available on the evaluation methods as it is not standardized but rather determined by the relevant authority to suit its individual needs and operating environment. However, a comparative analysis on effective service across public administration was written and published by the Civil Service Section in both 2016 and 2017.

The controls (Milestone 3) are checking implementation of the law within a civil service authority and can include evaluating the systemization within a civil service post, inspection of civil servants' work-life balance, and service performance appraisal. They are measured by the number of internal inspections performed during a defined period. The result of Milestone 3 is a protocol on service relations within a civil service authority. The protocol can be requested under the Right to Information Act and can be shared publicly in compliance with personal data protection legislation. Results from Milestone 3 can be summarized and communicated by the Section for the Civil Service of the Ministry of the Interior (the coordination and supervision body) to other civil service authorities.

Milestone 4 seeks compliance with the law requiring newly hired civil servants to successfully pass examinations. Lists of successful candidates who passed examinations (both current and newly hired officials) are public and contain candidates' names, evidence numbers, fields, and the composition of the committee. This public, searchable database is part of the Civil Service Information System (ISoSS).[Note63: 'Pro verejnost,' (Civil Service Information System, 17 Aug. 2016), https://portal.isoss.cz/irj/portal/anonymous/dokument?cd=home.] The preparatory materials and test questions are accessible on the portal of the Ministry of the Interior.[Note64: 'Statni Sluzbe – Exam,' (Ministry of the Interior, 2018), http://www.mvcr.cz/sluzba/urednicka-zkouska.aspx.] However, contents of the exam, the success rate, and a list of unsuccessful candidates are not publicly accessible. A civil servant responsible for this milestone stated that the anonymized statistics are not published regularly on the portal but annual statistics, including the success rate, can be found in the annual civil service reports.[Note65: Vyrocni Zprava o Statni Sluzbe (2016).] The statistics are also presented during the internal methodical meetings of the Section for the Civil Service and consequently published.[Note66: 'Odbor vzdelavani a mezinarodni spoluprace ve statni sluzbe' (Benesov: Ministry of the Interior, 28 Nov. 2017), http://www.mvcr.cz/sluzba/soubor/prezentace-ovms-benesov-28-11-2017-pdf.aspx. ] Since the system is new, it is unclear as to how this information will be useful. In addition, lack of information limits public ability to assess whether the new examinations are established and serve as a good tool to select qualified civil servants. However, the annual report on civil service is accessible on the website of the Ministry of Interior.

Milestone 5 seeks equal recognition of examinations by the civil service. Through regulation no. 136/2015 Coll., certain qualification examinations like tax advisor certification or auditor licensing are recognized. As written in the action plan, this milestone has low relevance to OGP values as it focuses on the number of internally recognized exams instead of opening the civil service to the public.

Investigating whistleblowing within public administration (Milestone 6) seeks to determine the number of notifications of suspicious behavior committed during public service and the resulting investigations. Every service authority appoints an investigator responsible for assessing notifications. All service authorities should establish a system allowing for anonymous submission of notifications, as required under the regulation. The self-assessment report stated that whistleblowing mechanisms are not widely used by civil servants but there is no analysis as to why; data from 2015 and 2016 is insufficient to establish a trend. One explanation might be the newness of these mechanisms and that whistleblowing remains a new concept in both civil service and in society in general. Additionally, there is no bill protecting whistleblowers. In a government survey of 2,056 civil servants in December 2015, 84 percent of respondents agreed the legal framework for protection of whistleblowing has to be improved.[Note67: Office of the Government, https://www.vlada.cz/assets/urad-vlady/poskytovani-informaci/poskytnute-informace-na-zadost/Priloha-c--3---Vyhodnoceni-vysledku-dotaznikoveho-pruzkumu.pdf] In the same survey, 16 percent of respondents stated that corrupt behavior occurs at their workplace, 7 percent witnessed someone committing an offence, and 9 percent were encourage to take part in an offence.[Note68: 'Oddeleni boje s korupci' (Office of the Government), https://www.vlada.cz/assets/urad-vlady/poskytovani-informaci/poskytnute-informace-na-zadost/Priloha-c--3---Vyhodnoceni-vysledku-dotaznikoveho-pruzkumu.pdf. ] A civil society representative stated that the system of anonymous notification via email or publicly accessible boxes does not provide sufficient protection to whistleblowers as the boxes are often located in areas under surveillance. On the other hand, only a minority of notifications are submitted anonymously. Data on the number of submissions and investigations is available on an annual basis, every March of the following year and is published in the annual report on civil service.[Note69: Ministry of the Interior and European Union, Verejna sprava v Ceske republice v roce (2016), http://www.mvcr.cz/soubor/verejna-sprava-v-cr-v-roce-2015.aspx.]

Milestone 7 seeks to determine the number of disciplinary actions and disciplinary measures imposed. After investigating complaints, disciplinary measures may be imposed by the authority's first-level disciplinary board or the disciplinary board within the Civil Service Section of the Ministry of the Interior. By publishing the statistics and the disciplinary measures, the civil service signals to the public that rectification of wrongdoing is important. Information on the disciplinary actions is published in the annual report on civil service.

Milestone 8 seeks to extend the functionality and facilitate access to information on the other milestones via new features of the Civil Service Information System. However, there is no target-number of new modules or functions and datasets have not been specified.

Milestone 9 aims to produce annual reports on implementing the Civil Service Act and submitting the reports to the government. The reports would summarize the annual statistics, activities, and implementation. The reports may be downloaded from the Section for Civil Service website and are mentioned during Civil Service Section meetings with other civil service authorities. However, they are not advertised to the general public.

The commitment and milestones overall do not contain specific benchmarks but rather general indicators that cannot be checked against performance; for this reason, the specificity is considered moderate. The commitment and milestones as defined are relevant to access to information as they seek to open new, publicly available information on civil service performance; add new abilities of the Civil Service Information System (ISoSS) to increase transparency and accountability; and support public accountability by publishing whistleblowing information. Although all the reports can be downloaded from the Section for Civil Service website, the underlying data and statistics are not easily accessible or available to civil servants only. Also, the transparency and public-facing element of this commitment is not evident. The targets within the milestones are measurable but often lack information to assess their impact; rather, they document procedures introduced in accordance to existing legislation. For these reasons, the potential impact is considered moderate.

Completion

The completion of individual milestones is difficult to determine as the end dates are set generally for 2018 with one exception (Milestone 2, which is 30 July 2017). In the self-assessment report, the government declared six milestones (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8) completed and three ongoing (1, 2, 9). However, by the time of this report, there was no evidence of completion for Milestones 3, 4, 6 and 7. Furthermore, there is no data available to verify completion of Milestone 5. For Milestone 8, there is no clear target for completion or further steps determined by the nature of the activity.

Milestone 3: Implementing the Civil Service Act – civil service employment

In 2016, three inspections were carried out in total; they began in the last quarter of 2016 and were completed in early 2017. The subject of the inspection was the systemization and organizational structure of a service authority, requests for appointment to civil service processed by the authority in accordance with the temporary provisions of the Civil Service Act, selection processes, service performance appraisals, and implementation of the civil service examination. Details can be found in the annual report on civil service for 2016.[Note70: Vyrocni Zprava o Statni Sluzbe (2016).] The data for 2017, as stated in the self-assessment report, cannot be verified as the annual report is unavailable. It is, however, evident procedures are in place and controls are ongoing. The milestone is considered completed.

Milestone 4: Civil service examination

In the self-assessment report, the lead implementing agency states that from the available results between July 2016 and May 2017, the pass-rate for civil servants required to take a civil service exam was 67 percent. Data on the overall number of examinees in 2016 is found in the annual report on civil service for 2016.[Note71: Id.] Data for 2017 was not available at the time of writing, nor was the overall number of civil servants required to take the exam. The stated percentage thus cannot be verified. It is, however, evident that the procedure is in place and exams are ongoing. The milestone is considered completed.

Milestone 5: Civil service bodies recognizing additional examinations

In the self-assessment report, the lead implementing agency recognized 164 examinations between July 2016 and May 2017. However, this cannot be verified due to a lack of data in the 2016 civil service report or elsewhere. The report covering 2017 is not yet available.

Milestone 6: Investigating whistleblowing

In the self-assessment report, the lead implementing agency declared 110 notifications in compliance with the Government Resolution No. 145/2015 Coll. In 2016, 76 notifications were submitted to public authorities, 61 notifications were investigated, and two notifications were forwarded to the criminal proceedings authorities. This data is verified in the annual civil service reports for 2015 and 2016.[Note72: Id.] It is evident the procedure is in place and investigations are ongoing. This milestone is considered completed.

Milestone 7: Disciplinary authority in civil service authorities

The second-level disciplinary board established within the Ministry of the Interior held no disciplinary proceedings in 2016. According to the 2016 civil service report,[Note73: Id.] 21 disciplinary proceedings were held at first-level disciplinary boards established at any public authority with at least 25 civil servants employed. Conclusions of the self-assessment report cannot be verified as 2017 data was not yet released. However, the process is in place and disciplinary proceedings are ongoing. This milestone is considered completed.

Milestone 8: Developing and extending the Civil Service Information System

According to the self-assessment report, over the course of 2016 the processes for submitting, assessing, and approving proposals for organizational structures and systemizations of service authorities and work posts (OSYS) was developed within the Civil Service Information System (ISoSS). As of December 2017, information on vacant civil service positions and open competitions is published in open data format on ISoSS.[Note74: 'Open Data' (Civil Service Information System), https://portal.isoss.cz/irj/portal/anonymous/dokument?cd=EOSM/open_data&src=EOSM.] As the milestone does not determine the number of modules and functions to be developed, the milestone can be considered completed.

Milestones 1, 2 and 9 are declared ongoing in the self-assessment report.

Milestone 1: Regulations implementing the Civil Service Act

According to the self-assessment report, preparatory work started on the decree determining the model of the service badge as envisaged in 2017.

Milestone 2: Ensuring competitive hiring for Directors

The selection process for service posts and department directors and deputies is ongoing and should be finalized by 30 June 2017.

Milestone 9: Producing annual reports on implementing the Civil Service Act

The 2016 annual civil service report was completed in June 2017. Submission to the government was planned for the end of the third quarter of 2017. The report is available online.[Note75: Vyrocni Zprava o Statni Sluzbe (2016).]

Early Results

As the evidence above shows, the internal governance and practices within the civil service have been changing in line with the implementation of the Civil Service Act. Internal processes are established and civil servants have a framework for career development. CSOs[Note76: Transparency International Czech Republic and the Anticorruption Endowment] working with several official consultation bodies under the Government Anti-Corruption Council contributed to shaping these changes. In order to support the Civil Service Act, the Advisory Board of the Deputy Minister of the Interior for Civil Service on the Civil Service Act began started working April 2016.[Note77: 'Advisory Board of the Deputy MV for the Civil Service' (Ministry of the Interior, 16 Mar. 2018), http://www.mvcr.cz/sluzba/clanek/poradni-sbor-namestka-mv-pro-statni-sluzbu.aspx.] This board includes twenty representatives of service authorities, experts, and academia, however, its exact representation is unknown. Several journalists requested information concerning these milestones, like the disciplinary authority. Due to these and other requests, the annual civil service reports are now regularly published.

An important result is the solution for submitting, assessing, and approving proposals for organizational structure and the systemization of service authorities and work posts (OSYS) developed within the Civil Service Information System (ISoSS). OSYS is a new tool for systemization of work posts where individual service authorities submit their organizational charts and all work posts. A workshop for service authority managers and IT workers was conducted 12 April 2016 and its presentation is available online.[Note78: 'Publication of a presentation from the workshop to the OSOS ISoSS module of April 12, 2016' (Ministry of the Interior, 12 Apr. 2016), http://www.mvcr.cz/sluzba/clanek/publikace-prezentace-z-workshopu-k-modulu-osys-isoss-ze-dne-12-4-2016.aspx.] Use of OSYS is internal within the public administration. According to a civil society representative, public access to complex data from OSYS is unlikely because it is politically sensitive information, though the basic systemization data, approved by the government, is accessible. Press releases and information are also available on the Section for Civil Service website.[Note79: 'Vyjadreni ke zmene systemizace sluzebnich a pracovnich mist s ucinnosti od 1. 4. 2018,' (Ministry of the Interior), http://www.mvcr.cz/sluzba/clanek/vyjadreni-ke-zmene-systemizace-sluzebnich-a-pracovnich-mist-s-ucinnosti-od-1-4-2018.aspx.]

In connection to the Commitment 4.2.1., the lead implementing agency started publishing data from the database of vacant work posts in civil service and open competitions in open data format on ISoSS. Since this data was only available beginning December 2017,[Note80: 'Open Data' (Civil Service Information System).] there was no available feedback on its public use. There is a possibility that the data in open format can be used by the private sector, for example the online job portals.

As stated in the self-assessment report, at the end of 2016, a project promoting professionalism and quality of civil service and public administration was approved, funded from the Operational Programme Employment (EU funds and state budget). This project will be implemented by service authorities, managed by the Civil Service Section, and will run until 2021 with a comparative component of Czech practices relative to other EU member states.

Next Steps

During 2016, seven amendments to the Civil Service Act were adopted. Furthermore, additional issues were addressed in an extensive amendment to the law in 2017 (Act No. 144/2017 Coll., amending the Act No. 234/2014 Coll. on Civil Service), resolving issues such as the simplification of the admission process to the civil service.[Note81: Given the specificities of the Foreign Service, Act No. 150/2017 Coll. on foreign service was adopted as a lex specialis to the Civil Service Act. ] In October 2017, before the general elections, the front-runner and leader of ANO movement, Andrej Babiš, announced planned amendments to the Civil Service Act.[Note82: Michal Kamaryt, 'ANO chce novelizovat sluzebni zakon, zmenit jednaci rad Snemovny' (Ceske noviny, 10 Oct. 2017), http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/zpravy/ano-chce-novelizovat-sluzebni-zakon-zmenit-jednaci-rad-snemovny/1536679.] He considered the current procedures established under the law too bureaucratic and rigid, and argued for making the rules, namely for hiring senior positions, more flexible.

This commitment should be taken forward in the next action plan but should be modified to include clearly worded, relevant milestones. The public and stakeholders are still awaiting a thorough and deep evaluation of the Civil Service Act. The OGP process could contribute substantially to this analysis. In the next action plan, this commitment should focus on transparency and active involvement of citizens, as well as further efforts to publish available data in open format. The milestones and targets should be clearly defined and allow for qualitative assessment. The following priorities can be suggested:

· To include a specific commitment on the service performance appraisal, creating a standardized performance evaluation that would be public and controllable. The appraisal is a tool for discharging underperforming employees, and given that the performance of top civil servants is often a target for political interference, a clear methodology and verifiable benchmarks could protect the service from unjustified political pressure;

· To analyze the underuse of internal whistleblowing measures and mitigate concerns of civil servants. Another survey similar to the 2015 polling might be conducted to learn employees' concerns and address them accordingly (e.g., awareness-raising). A functioning internal whistleblowing mechanism is a necessary element of public accountability for the civil service; and

· To further develop the Code of Ethics for civil service in cooperation with civil society and other stakeholders, which can be prioritized outside the framework of OGP.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

4.1.1. Implementing the Civil Service Act

Commitment Text:

The adoption of Act No. 234/2014 Coll., on civil service, as amended, ensuring the depoliticization, professionalization and stabilization of public administration, was a very important commitment for the Czech Republic. The Act was promulgated on 6 November 2014, when some of its provisions also became effective. The Act became fully effective on 1 January 2015. Since then the Act has been put into practice, especially by subsequently systemizing civil service posts and work posts, separating clearly political and non-political (white-collar) posts, running the Civil Service Information System, etc. The overwhelming majority of its legal regulations have also been adopted and promulgated in connection with adopting this Act.

Since 1 July 2015 fundamental changes in the civil service have been started based on the transitional provisions of the Act in connection with the first systemization of civil service posts and work posts, employing existing employees as civil servants in civil service employment based on their applications, transferring existing chief employees to the positions of senior civil servants in civil service employment, and subsequently announcing new competitive hiring procedures for all the posts of deputies and directors of sections.‘

Although the commitment was assessed as substantially completed in 2016, implementing the Act cannot be understood as a one-off event. It must continue with the implementation of the basic institutes of the Act.

Main Objective: Ensuring the depoliticization, professionalization and stabilization of state administration.

Brief Description of Commitment:

  • Depoliticization – transparent competitive hiring, the term of civil service employment not dependent on political changes (e.g. changes in the composition of the Government) and setting up a more rigid process for changing the organization of a civil service authority. The approval of the systemization of civil service posts guarantees that ad hoc organizational changes are more difficult.
  • Stabilization – systemization, changes in systemization and defined types of changes in civil service status.
  • Professionalization – a civil service examination, civil service assessment/appraisal and civil service discipline, and education of civil servants.

Milestones:

  1. Completing the legislative process for the regulations implementing the Civil Service Act – Decree defining a service badge specimen
  2. Ensuring competitive hiring for the posts of Directors of Departments and Units – appointment of Directors of Departments and Units
  3. Controls resulting from the Act (civil service employment of civil servants, evaluation of the observance of the systemization of civil service posts, control of creating a work and life balance of civil servants) – the number of controls carried out at civil service authorities
  4. Meeting the requirement that newly hired civil servants take a civil service examination – the portion of newly hired civil servants in the period under consideration and meeting the requirement that a civil service examination is taken
  5. Civil service bodies recognising the equality of examinations – the number of civil service examinations recognized based on equality for the period under consideration
  6. Investigating whistleblowing – the total number of claims; the number of claims handed over to another investigator for investigation, to an investigative, prosecuting and adjudicating body or to an administrative body competent to hear an administrative delict and the number of completed investigations in the period under consideration
  7. Exercise of disciplinary authority in a civil service authority – the number of disciplinary actions and disciplinary measures imposed
  8. Developing and extending the Civil Service Information System to include other supporting functions – improving user comfort and creating additional functions supporting the exercise of acts under the Civil Service Act – the number of newly created modules and functions
  9. Producing annual reports on implementing the Civil Service Act (regular annual task) and submitting the reports to the Government – the number of reports

Responsible institution: Ministry of the Interior

Supporting institution(s): N/A

Start date: 2014                                                                                       End date: 2018

Commitment Aim:

The Civil Service Act aimed to depoliticize and professionalize the Czech Republic’s public administration. Following the Act’s entry into force in July 2015, this commitment aimed to complete the legislative framework for implementation, introduce competitive hiring in civil service, investigate internal whistleblowing, and exercise disciplinary actions in civil service authorities, among other activities.

Status

Midterm: Substantial

The completion of individual milestones at the midterm was difficult to determine as the end dates were generally set for 2018 with the exception of milestone 2 (which was 30 July 2017). In the self-assessment report, the government declared six milestones (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8) completed. In 2016, the government carried out three inspections on the systemization and organizational structure of civil service authority (milestone 3) and reported that the pass-rate for civil servants required to take a civil service exam was 67 percent (milestone 4). The lead implementing agency recognized 164 examinations between July 2016 and May 2017 (milestone 5) and declared 110 notifications in compliance with the Government Resolution No. 145/2015 Coll (milestone 6). Additionally, the government reported that 21 disciplinary proceedings were held at public authorities with at least 25 civil servants (milestone 7), and the processes for submitting, assessing, and approving proposals for organizational structures posts (milestone 8) were developed within the Civil Service Information System (ISoSS).

Several milestones had no clear targets for completion or further steps determined by the nature of the activities. Furthermore, although most of the planned processes (e.g., inspections, examinations, notifications from whistleblowers, or disciplinary proceedings) were established, the specific targets were either not set or were set in general terms. For details, please refer to the IRM Progress Report.

End-of-Term: Complete

The commitment is complete, as all outlined targets in the action plan were implemented.

Milestone 1: Regulations implementing the Civil Service Act

The decree No. 388/2017 Coll. [1] determining the model of the service badge to serve as identification for civil servants was adopted and came into force on 1 January 2018. All service badges should be issued by the end of December 2019.

Milestone 2: Ensuring competitive hiring for Directors

Most of the selection processes for service posts and department directors and deputies were completed, but there are still a small number of selections to be made. [2]

Milestone 3: Civil service employment controls

In addition to the three inspections carried out in 2016, four more inspections were initiated in 2017, and one was concluded. The three remaining inspections were carried over to 2018. [3]

These inspections looked into the systemization and organizational structure of a service authority, requests for appointment to civil service processed by the authority in accordance with the temporary provisions of the Civil Service Act, selection processes, service performance appraisals, and implementation of the civil service examination. The annual report on civil service for both 2016 and 2017 [4] details the procedures in place and number of controls.

Milestone 4: Civil service examination

In the final self-assessment report, the lead implementing agency stated that between July 2017 and June 2018, 54 percent of currently serving civil servants required to take a civil service exam in this period attended the tests. The stated percentage cannot be verified, but the procedure is in place and exams are ongoing. The overall data on civil service examinations are published in the annual report on civil service and information about the exam is published on the ISoSS portal. [5]

Milestone 5: Civil service bodies recognizing additional examinations

Between July 2016 and May 2017, the Ministry of the Interior recognized 164 examinations as equivalent civil service examinations. According to the government’s final self-assessment report, 169 examinations were recognized between July 2017 and June 2018.

Milestone 6: Investigating whistleblowing

In 2017, 991 notifications were submitted via email and notification boxes. Out of these notifications, 71 were related to whistleblowing in compliance with the Government Resolution No. 145/2015 Coll., and 39 investigations were closed internally. In six cases, the investigation concluded with a suspicion of a crime committed, and one case had already been forwarded to the criminal proceeding authorities. [6]

Milestone 7: Disciplinary authority in civil service authorities

In 2017, the second-level disciplinary board, the highest disciplinary body established within the Ministry of Interior, decided on 21 disciplinary proceedings; one decision was challenged at the court. The first-level boards established at each service authority initiated 47 disciplinary proceedings. The process is in place and disciplinary proceedings are ongoing.

Milestone 8: Developing and extending the Civil Service Information System

As of December 2017, information on vacant civil service positions and open competitions is published in open data format on ISoSS. [7] In 2017, a new functionality generating the number of service badges was introduced (milestone 1). Implementation of ELTES system, which is designed for conducting civil service exams remotely, has started. A number of new functionalities have been developed and, since the target is defined only in general terms, the milestone is completed.

Milestone 9: Producing annual reports on implementing the Civil Service Act

The 2017 annual civil service report was completed in July 2018 and can be found online. [8] The annual report on civil service for 2018 is expected to be published in the second half of 2019.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Marginal

This commitment aligned with the implementation of the Civil Service Act. It marginally changed the established government practice by publishing information on open competition in open data format. It also led to the sharing of information on the evaluation of the new procedures (appraisals, exams, disciplinary authority, whistleblowing) via the annual reports on civil service and in the civil service newsletter. The quality of information provided to the public has improved but there are still areas where greater transparency could be introduced. For example, the Ministry of the Interior started publishing data from the database of vacant work posts in civil service and open competitions in open data format on ISoSS. The module for submitting, assessing, and approving proposals for organizational structure and systemisation of service authorities and work posts (titled OSYS), developed within the ISoSS, allows individual service authorities to submit their organizational charts and all work posts. However, use of OSYS is internal within the public administration. According to an interviewed civil society representative, public access to complex data from OSYS is unlikely because it is politically sensitive information, though the basic systemization data, approved by the government, is accessible on the Section for Civil Service website. [10]

Carried Forward?

The commitment has not been carried forward to the next action plan. [11] However, there is a commitment on quality management in the public administration, which focuses on the introduction of quality management principles in service authorities.

[1] Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic, Legal documents related to the implementation of the Civil Service Act including the service badge template, https://www.mvcr.cz/sluzba/clanek/pravni-predpisy.aspx ;

[2] Annual Civil Service Report 2017, pg. 37-39, https://www.google.be/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwiA4d6ej7LjAhWXEMAKHRb3AkQQFjAAegQIABAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mvcr.cz%2Fsluzba%2Fsoubor%2Fvyrocni-zprava-o-statni-sluzbe-za-rok-2017.aspx&usg=AOvVaw1_VyAa9HEoxuwbA6yySTw7; https://www.mvcr.cz/sluzba/clanek/ostatni-dokumenty.aspx?q=Y2hudW09Mw%3d%3d;

[3] Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic, Annual Civil Service Report 2017, pg.19, file:///C:/Users/lukas/Downloads/Vyrocni_zprava_o_statni_sluzbe_za_rok_2017_-_rev_4.pdf

[4] Vyrocni zprava o Statni Sluzbe (2016), http://www.mvcr.cz/sluzba/soubor/vyrocni-zprava-o-statni-sluzbe-za-rok-2016-pdf.aspx; and Vyrocni zprava o Statni Sluzbe (2017), https://www.google.be/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwj9xNW73v_fAhXSwAIHHQzJAisQFjAAegQIBxAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mvcr.cz%2Fsluzba%2Fsoubor%2Fvyrocni-zprava-o-statni-sluzbe-za-rok-2017.aspx&usg=AOvVaw1_VyAa9HEoxuwbA6yySTw7

[5] Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic, https://www.mvcr.cz/sluzba/urednicka-zkouska.aspx

[6] Vyrocni zprava o Statni Sluzbe (2017), Annual Civil Service Report, https://www.google.be/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwj9xNW73v_fAhXSwAIHHQzJAisQFjAAegQIBxAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mvcr.cz%2Fsluzba%2Fsoubor%2Fvyrocni-zprava-o-statni-sluzbe-za-rok-2017.aspx&usg=AOvVaw1_VyAa9HEoxuwbA6yySTw7

[7] "Open Data" (Civil Service Information System), https://portal.isoss.cz/irj/portal/anonymous/dokument?cd=EOSM/open_data&src=EOSM

[8] Vyrocni zprava o Statni Sluzbe (2017), Annual Civil Service Report, https://www.google.be/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwj9xNW73v_fAhXSwAIHHQzJAisQFjAAegQIBxAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mvcr.cz%2Fsluzba%2Fsoubor%2Fvyrocni-zprava-o-statni-sluzbe-za-rok-2017.aspx&usg=AOvVaw1_VyAa9HEoxuwbA6yySTw7

[9] Civil servant from the Ministry of Interior, interview, 13 February 2018.

[10] Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic, Vyjádření ke změně systemizace služebních a pracovních míst s účinností od 1. 4. 2018, http://www.mvcr.cz/sluzba/clanek/vyjadreni-ke-zmene-systemizace-sluzebnich-a-pracovnich-mist-s-ucinnosti-od-1-4-2018.aspx.

[11] The Office of Government of the Czech Republic, Action Plan of the Czech Republic Open Government Partnership for 2018-2020, http://www.korupce.cz/assets/dokumenty/aktuality/The-Czech-Republic_s-Open-Government-Partnership-Action-Plan-2018-2020.pdf


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. Identification and Removal of Legal and Technical Obstacles

    CZ0003, 2012, Open Data

  27. Creation of an Open Data Infrastructure in the Public Procurement Sector

    CZ0004, 2012, Open Contracting and Procurement

  28. Converting the Most Important Data Sources to Open Data Standards

    CZ0005, 2012, Open Data

  29. Creation of a Catalogue of Public Administration Data

    CZ0006, 2012, Open Data