The State of the Public Service

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Author(s):
OECD
27 Nov 2008
Pages:
96
ISBN:
9789264047990 (PDF) ;9789264055940(print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264047990-en

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Over the past 20 years, the management of the public service has changed tremendously in most OECD countries. First, governments have tried to reduce the size of their public employment to decrease the costs of producing government services, either directly or indirectly by contracting out the production of services to the private sector under the assumption that it would be more efficient. Second, in many cases, governments have tried to apply general good management principles to the management of public employees. As a consequence, many areas of public employment have lost their uniqueness and have become quite similar to the general employment system in the different countries. This book takes stock of the main changes in the management of public services across OECD countries. It also examines how countries manage to find a balance between, on the one hand, attention to fundamental values such as fairness, equity, justice and social cohesion to maintain political confidence in the government system as a whole and, on the other hand, a focus on efficiency, productivity and effectiveness.
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  • Introduction
    The management of public servants is a highly sensitive issue in most OECD countries. Views about how public servants should be managed differ widely depending on the economic and social context, cultural values, and history. In general, however, governments tend to establish employment frameworks that are very ambitious. They would like systems that, on the one hand, guarantee attention to fundamental values such as fairness, equity, justice and social cohesion to maintain political confidence in the government system as a whole and, on the other hand, that ensure a focus on efficiency, productivity and effectiveness. 
  • Employment Numbers and Compensation Costs
    This chapter draws on data gathered in the 2006 OECD survey entitled Comparison of Employment in the Public Domain (CEPD). The CEPD survey aimed at providing data on government employment that are comparable across countries and consistent with the classification of the General Government sector of the Systems of national Accounts, and at putting employment data in the perspectives of the wider production costs of goods and services in the public domain (that include goods and services funded by General Government and produced either by General Government or private entities). The full description of the methodology and of the data is available in a publication issued in 2008 as part of the series of OECD Working Papers on Public Governance: "Employment in Government in the Perspective of the Production Costs of Goods and Services in the Public Domain".
  • Towards Employment Conditions in Central Governments that Are Closer to General Employment Rules
    This chapter focuses on staffing issues in a small, but crucial, component of the public sector. For those staff groups for which data are available, "government" refers to a subset of general government that is concerned with public administration (primarily tasks of regulation and policy making that exclude for example teachers and doctors), defence and compulsory social security. In responding to questions on the survey of Strategic Human Resources Management in Government, governments have used their own definition of the core public service, and in some cases this is larger than "government" as defined here. However, "government" as defined here is always covered by the responses. 
  • The Delegation of Human Resource Management in the Public Service of Central Governments
    This chapter focuses on staffing issues in a small, but crucial, component of the public sector. For those staff groups for which data are available, "government" refers to a subset of general government that is concerned with public administration (primarily tasks of regulation and policy making that exclude for example teachers and doctors), defence and compulsory social security. In responding to questions on the survey of Strategic Human Resources Management in Government, governments have used their own definition of the core public service, and in some cases this is larger than "government" as defined here. However, "government" as defined here is always covered by the responses. 
  • Managing the Performance of Employees in Central Governments
    This chapter focuses on staffing issues in a small, but crucial, component of the public sector. For those staff groups for which data are available, "government" refers to a subset of general government that is concerned with public administration (primarily tasks of regulation and policy making that exclude for example teachers and doctors), defence and compulsory social security. In responding to questions on the survey of Strategic Human Resources Management in Government, governments have used their own definition of the core public service, and in some cases this is larger than "government" as defined here. However, "government" as defined here is always covered by the responses 
  • The Delegation and Individualisation of Pay for Employees of Central Governments
    This chapter focuses on staffing issues in a small, but crucial, component of the public sector. For those staff groups for which data are available, "government" refers to a subset of general government that is concerned with public administration (primarily tasks of regulation and policy making that exclude for example teachers and doctors), defence and compulsory social security. In responding to questions on the survey of Strategic Human Resources Management in Government, governments have used their own definition of the core public service, and in some cases this is larger than "government" as defined here. However, "government" as defined here is always covered by the responses. 
  • The Senior Management in the Public Service of Central Governments
    This chapter focuses on staffing issues in a small, but crucial, component of the public sector. For those staff groups for which data are available, "government" refers to a subset of general government that is concerned with public administration (primarily tasks of regulation and policy making that exclude for example teachers and doctors), defence and compulsory social security. In responding to questions on the survey of Strategic Human Resources Management in Government, governments have used their own definition of the core public service, and in some cases this is larger than "government" as defined here. However, "government" as defined here is always covered by the responses. 
  • Annex - HRM Composite Indicators
    Building composite indicators is a challenging task. There are important rules for the development of meaningful indicators including having a clear theoretical framework, respecting clear rules and proceeding with caution. The HRM composites presented in this document follow the steps identified in the Handbook on Constructing Composite Indicators (OECD and European Commission, 2008) that are necessary for building meaningful composite or synthetic indicators. 
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