NEWS IN SHORT

State admin reform 2.0 introduced

THE SECOND phase of the Interior Ministry’s public administration reform, entitled the “Effective, Reliable and Open State Administration”, also known as ESO, was introduced on April 18.

THE SECOND phase of the Interior Ministry’s public administration reform, entitled the “Effective, Reliable and Open State Administration”, also known as ESO, was introduced on April 18.

Within ESO 2.0, the ministry plans to formally eliminate 248 offices, which will be transferred under 72 district offices as of October. Although this step will cut only about 100 positions, Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák claims the reform will save state coffers €11.5 million per year, the Sme daily reported.

The next phase, ESO 3.0, will introduce more contact points for citizens so as to make communication with state administrations easier.

The ESO could save more than the originally anticipated €700 million by 2016, Kaliňák told a press conference on April 18.

The opposition has criticised the ESO, saying it will not contribute to better management and higher quality of public administration bodies. Instead, it will facilitate the minister’s ability to concentrate greater powers in his own hands, said Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) caucus chair Lucia Žitňanská, as reported by the TASR newswire.

While the major reform initiative is aimed at tackling the issue of the ineffectively large and costly system of public administration bodies, it could also involve expensive public procurements and the interference of politics in this sphere in terms of nominations and political control, she noted.

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