Source: Vientiane Times
The government plans to recruit 2,000 new civil servants in 2020, up from 1,500 new recruits this year.
The figure is based on the number of officials leaving their posts in 2019.
Deputy Prime Minister Mr Somdy Duangdy told the National Assembly on Thursday that about 4,000 officials are expected to retire, according to statistics from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The State has to make plans to ensure there are sufficient officials to meet the country’s future needs.
Mr Somdy, who is also Minister of Finance, on Thursday called on National Assembly members to approve the government’s plan. He said the government had already prepared a budget for this number of civil servants next year.
This year, the government recruited 1,500 new civil servants, a 50 percent decrease in the number hired in 2018.
The reason given for the cut was that there were more civil servants than were required. At the same time, the government was attempting to restructure state organisations and increase officials’ responsibilities. The reasoning was that if one person can do more and better work it reduces state expenditure.
Currently, the number of civil servants stands at about 184,000, equal to 2.8 percent of the population, which is more than is necessary.
This year’s civil servant quota was much smaller than the number of officials who retired in 2018. Almost 4,000 officials retired last year, according to the Civil Servant Management Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Even though the government plans to recruit more civil servants next year, the intention is still to reduce numbers in the future.
The Ministry of Home Affairs’ records show that 184,000 civil servants are employed across the country, according to figures submitted by state organisations. However, the ministry is taking steps to prove the true figure by issuing ID cards to ensure that this is in fact the number of people still holding government jobs.
Every government employee must have an ID card, so that the actual number of civil servants can be ascertained. Clarification of this figure enables the government to set a budget to cover the cost of its employees.
At the end of October, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism and the Ministry of Home Affairs distributed ID cards to some officials from the Ministry of Information, Culture
Besides identifying them as civil servants, the cards can be used for other purposes such as withdrawing salaries from ATMs and for health insurance.
Officials have to receive the cards in person, without exception. The cards cannot be given to family members working in the same department or to a representative of their office.
Anyone who is absent is required to get the card from the Ministry of Home Affairs within 90 days after the initial distribution. People who are studying overseas for a long period of time will not be issued a card.
This strict measure is aimed at preventing the existence of so-called “ghost” officials. These are persons whose name is listed by a government body as drawing a salary or benefiting in other ways but who do not in fact work for that office.
If the Ministry of Home Affairs finds any “ghost” civil servants, it will cancel the payment of salary into their bank accounts.
The home affairs ministry has distributed the new ID cards to 37 central state agencies as part of the process to double-check the true number of civil servants.
The ministry plans to distribute ID cards to nine other central state agencies and complete the distribution of ID cards to civil servants in the provinces in 2020.