OECD Reviews of Human Resource Management in Government

2074-3327 (online)
2074-3335 (print)
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This series of country reviews examines the design and implementation of government HRM policies within the context of larger government values. These values are usually at least partially context specific. The reports focus on assessing: whether governments are managing the size, skills, and competencies of their workforce in a sustainable manner; whether HRM systems in governments are performance oriented; whether there is a balance between the flexibility and consistency of HRM rules within and across governments; and finally, whether the values promoted by government are consistent with the management rules and practices.

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OECD Reviews of Human Resource Management in Government: Brazil 2010

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OECD Reviews of Human Resource Management in Government: Brazil 2010

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20 May 2010
9789264082229 (PDF) ;9789264082212(print)

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This review of human resource management (HRM) in the federal government of Brazil provides a detailed diagnosis of the management of government employees, and solutions for improving it. The assessments and the recommendations are based on the lessons learned from the experience of OECD member countries. 

This review assesses whether: the federal government is managing the size, skills, and competencies of its workforce in a sustainable manner; the HRM system in government is strategic and performance oriented; there is a balance between the flexibility and consistency of HRM practices; the values promoted by the government are consistent with management rules and practices.

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  • Executive Summary
    Brazil has recently delivered a remarkable performance in economic, social and financial terms. However, Brazil still faces a number of challenges if the path to growth and prosperity is to be consolidated. The Brazilian public sector has played a crucial role in promoting stability and setting up the conditions for economic and social development, even more during the two successive Lula administrations. In trying to assess the state of its public employment at the federal level of government (executive branch), Brazil shows its commitment to a modern and dynamic human resource management system that underpins national economic and social development. The OECD Review of HRM in the Federal Government of Brazil aims at contributing to the design of the future workforce management reforms by the federal government. Its conclusions are drawn from a systematic comparison of the situation in Brazil with the experience of the 31 OECD member countries, with a specific emphasis on examples that are the most relevant to Brazil considering the size, constitutional and cultural basis, and values underpinning the HR system. The review is based on concrete case studies, and experiences throughout the report can inspire Brazil on its path to reform.
  • Synthèse (French only)
    La récente réussite du Brésil est remarquable en termes économique, financier et social. Néanmoins, le Brésil doit encore relever plusieurs défis s’il souhaite pérenniser sa croissance et sa prospérité. Le secteur public a joué un rôle déterminant pour favoriser la stabilité et instaurer les conditions indispensables au développement économique et social, et ce de manière encore plus marquée lors des deux mandats successifs du Président Lula. En évaluant la situation de l’emploi public dans l’administration fédérale (pouvoir exécutif), le Brésil montre son engagement à moderniser et dynamiser son système de gestion des ressources humaines (GRH), qui est essentiel pour asseoir les fondements du développement économique et social sur le plan national. L’examen de l’OCDE sur la gestion des ressources humaines dans l’administration fédérale brésilienne a pour objectif de contribuer à l’élaboration des prochaines réformes de la gestion des ressources humaines. Ses conclusions s’appuient sur une comparaison systématique de la situation observée au Brésil et de celles rencontrées dans les 31 pays membres de l’OCDE, avec un accent particulier mis sur les examples les plus intéressants pour le Brésil en termes de taille et de valeurs constitutionnelles et culturelles. Des études de cas et des expériences concrètes sont proposées tout au long du rapport, afin de guider le Brésil dans ses efforts de réforme.
  • Assessment and recommendations
    In Brazil, total government employment (federal, state and municipality) accounts for a relatively limited percentage of total employment.1 In 2008, it represented approximately 10-11% of total employment2 compared to about 20% for the OECD average.3 When taking state-owned enterprises into account, the percentage increases slightly to about 11-12%,4 compared to an OECD average of about 22%. These percentages are small in comparison to other Latin American countries such as Argentina and Chile.
  • Introduction
    Brazil is South America’s most influential country, an emerging economic giant, and one of Latin America’s biggest democracies. Although Brazil has not been able to avoid the global financial and economic crisis, it has weathered its effects reasonably well owing to continuing macroeconomic consolidation, an improved external liability position and an adequate short-term policy response (OECD, 2009b). The improvement in fiscal stability since the economic stabilisation of the mid-1990s has made it possible to use the budget and financial management system as an instrument of managerial control.
  • Workforce planning and management
    Good workforce planning is a characteristic of modern and dynamic human resource management. This chapter analyses the main strengths and windows of opportunity of workforce planning in the Brazilian federal government, in the light of the experience of OECD countries. The discussion includes: the size and costs of the workforce in the federal government; the accounting methodology of public employees and their costs; the challenges for proper strategic workforce planning; the promotion of a whole-ofgovernment approach for increasing efficiency and reducing the costs of the public workforce; the pay-setting process as part of the cost management strategy; the role of the unions in setting employment conditions; the need to adjust the public service to an ageing society and workforce; the modernisation of the public service pension system; and the promotion of diversity as a strategy to ensure the right competences and skills in the public service.
  • Strengthening government capacity
    Governments from OECD member and non-member countries need to improve the capacity, competency and efficiency of the public administration and public services if citizens’ expectations of good service and value for money are to be met. This chapter reviews the strategy of the Brazilian federal government to strengthen capacity. In the light of the experience of OECD countries, the chapter focuses on the management of competencies as a basis for integrating human resource management policies and practices into the government’s goals and performance. It also examines the structure and management of job categories and career paths and their implications for workforce flexibility and cost effectiveness, the employment arrangements to acquire human capacity and talent, and the training and development of staff strategies.
  • Enhancing performance orientation and building leadership
    A constant challenge for governments is the efficient delivery of services and operation of programmes. This chapter analyses the strategies implemented by the Brazilian federal government to enhance performance and build leadership in the federal public administration. Taking into consideration the experience of OECD countries, the chapter analyses a number of elements and activities which form the set of drivers of performance in the Brazilian federal government: budget management, staff performance management, the remuneration system, and individual performance assessment. The management of senior managers is seen as a critical element for reinforcing the performance orientation of public governance and public management, and for enhancing the delegation of responsibilities for human resource management.
  • Strengthening human resource management reform in the Brazilian federal government
    In order to design and implement human resource management reforms successfully, governments must analyse a number of structural conditions. Considering the experience of OECD countries, this chapter discusses three elements that will have an impact on the success of the Brazilian civil service reforms: ensuring consistency between traditional values and the values embedded in the legislation and human resource management (HRM) tools; adapting the capacity of the central HRM department to empower it to conduct strategic human resource management and have a clear division of responsibilities between the central HRM department and the HRM units in ministries and agencies; and making HRM reforms consistent with other government reforms like budgeting and strategic organisational management.
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