IN SHORT

Minister explains regional office shutdown

INTERIOR Minister Robert Kaliňák told MPs that closing the central government's regional offices is the government's first step in a planned simplification of state administration.

Kaliňák presented an analysis of the development and the current state of the public administration and proposed draft measures in parliament on March 20.

The ministry's report proposes cancelling specialized regional offices. The first to be scrapped are school offices. Also on the chopping block are regional offices for environment, road traffic and ground communications, regional construction offices, and the upper military administration in Banská Bystrica, the ministry said. Further offices would be merged.

For now, the ministry is proposing to keep the regional veterinary and food administration offices, land registration offices, regional fire and rescue corps directorates, customs and tax directorates, district mining offices, regional offices of public health care and labour offices.

Kaliňák expects the closures to bring considerable savings, by cancelling excessive jobs and cutting costs for administering immovable assets. He said it is a move in the right direction, as the last reform increased the number of civil servants and failed to bring more effectiveness.

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