Lao Economy

Govt To Accept Only 5,000 New Employees In 2017

Source: Vientiane Times

The government has announced that it will recruit only 5,000 new employees in 2017 in line with the country’s development needs.

The new quota of civil servants has been allocated based on the financial capacity of the government to pay officials’ salaries.

The quota was approved at the government monthly meeting held in Vientiane recently.

Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office and Government Spokesman Dr Chaleun Yiapaoher told media the new quota was designed mainly to offset the number of officials who retire or die, as well as respond to the needs of particular localities.

“I think there are about 3,000 officials who retire or die every year and the new quota will consist of 2,000 officials,” he said.

Dr Chaleun reiterated that when selecting new officials under the quota, priority will be given to those working in newly established districts and provinces.

“We will allocate a smaller quota for those who work in ministries and provinces, particularly those working in administrative affairs,” he said.

Dr Chaleun called on government bodies to follow the various procedures required, including administering exams, before accepting new civil servants to ensure that new recruits are sufficiently qualified to carry out the duties required by their sector.

Since 2014, the government has granted permission for only 5,000 new officials to be taken on due to budget constraints and the fact that Laos has more officials than other countries in the region.

In fiscal year 2012-13, the government approved an intake of 12,550 officials, which was 2,790 fewer than in 2011-12. In 2013-14, over 10,000 people were given work in government before the figure declined further to just 5,000 people in 2014-15.

Currently, over 150,000 civil servants work for ministries, government agencies and local authorities in Laos, accounting for more than 2 percent of the country’s population. Of this number, more than half have lower or intermediate level diplomas.

This means the government employs 2.5 people out of every 100 citizens while in most countries the figure is less than two public servants per 100 citizens.

The problem is that many people in Laos prefer government jobs due to the security of their tenure despite the low salaries they earn, while officials who reach retirement age are declining to leave their posts. The Ministry of Home Affairs recently said the prompt retirement of civil servants would be one of the main criteria when considering the allocation of new officials to government offices.

The announcement came after many government officials who were beyond the official retirement age (55 for women and 60 for men) continued to work, particularly those in important positions.

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Mr Khammoune Viphongxay told Vientiane Times that if officials who reached retirement age did not leave their posts, it would be very difficult for the government to allocate new civil servants to replace them.