Chapter 5. Building a professional and performance-driven civil service

This Chapter takes stock of recent efforts by the Government of Paraguay to professionalise its public workforce, to improve the efficiency and impact of public spending. The chapter situates recent reforms within the institutional and legal context of public employment in Paraguay, and discusses the use of technological solutions to make civil service employment and reform more transparent and meritorious. The chapter concludes with concrete recommendations to ensure that recent reforms are embedded in new ways of working, and suggests additional reforms in the areas of civil service recruitment, pay, strategic people management, and leadership.



A professional and skilled civil service is a basic building block for governmental efficiency. Having the right laws, regulations and structures in place to attract, recruit, develop and retain skilled civil servants is essential to make sure that the government can deliver on its priorities, be responsive and provide services to citizens. This implies first and foremost having in place a system where the best candidates are recruited based on merit. A transparent and merit-based recruitment system is a first step to building a skilled workforce and to ensuring that resources assigned to workforce management and planning are well spent. Transparent and merit based recruitment systems also promote trust on the part of civil society in the civil service and the public administration as a whole.

As stated in Paraguay’s National Development Plan (PND) 2030, an efficient and professional civil service is a foundational element for the successful implementation of the PND. Social development and poverty reduction, inclusive economic growth, and international integration cannot be achieved without a professional and efficient civil service, capable of providing citizens with the services they need.

A professional civil service starts with merit-based recruitment to bring the right competencies into the civil service; it is also the starting point for a culture of public service. When patronage or political influence affects the recruitment system, professionalism can no longer be ensured as loyalty is diverted from serving citizens. Political influence in the recruitment system leads to a reduction in citizens’ trust in the civil service and more broadly in the public administration. At the same time, political influence also affects civil-service capacity to recruit talent through regular channels, since potential candidates are deterred from applying through processes which lack credibility. This chapter discusses how concrete human resources (HR) practices and policies can support the government’s public governance reform agenda by looking at the challenges and opportunities faced by Paraguay’s civil service.

Paraguay ranks 123 out of 176 in the 2016 Corruption Perception Index1, and it scores amongst the lowest in the World Bank World Wide Governance Indicators: 17 percentile rank in the 2015 Government Effectiveness indicator and 16 percentile rank in the Control of Corruption indicator2. Up until recently, Paraguay was also amongst the Latin American countries with the lowest scores in terms of HR planning in the public sector3, of performance appraisals4 and compensation management5 (OECD 2016a). The weakness of basic planning instruments directly affects workforce quality and balance (OECD 2016a), even though Paraguay has recently made progress in terms of organisation of the HR function6 and civil-service merit7 through reforms implemented right before 2015 (OECD 2016a).

Although Paraguay’s constitution ensures equal access to civil service positions, in practice patronage had traditionally greatly influenced recruitment into the civil service. Political influence negatively affects the capacity of the civil service to recruit needed skills and deliver on government priorities in an environment in which individual loyalty lies with the “patron” instead of with civil-service values and serving the public interest.

As a result, for Paraguay, improving the professionalization of the civil service has become an imperative to create a more efficient and responsive civil service, and is one of the areas where Paraguay has made the greatest improvements. Paraguay is making efforts to professionalise its civil service by investing in merit-based recruitment, establishing a more transparent compensation system, and building a more effective performance system. Progressive investment in digital tools for recruitment and HR management is changing the way public institutions operate, making it more efficient, merit-based and transparent, acknowledged in IABD’s latest civil service diagnosis based on the Ibero-American Charter for the Public Service (Dumas 2017).

As the civil service is becoming more transparent and accountable, it also becomes more attractive. Since 2012, the number of candidates to civil servants’ positions has increased significantly. In 2012 there were 3 applicants for each vacancy; however in 2017 14 applicants were registered for each vacancy, suggesting a substantial increase in the civil service’s capacity to attract skilled candidates.

Fragmentation and the opacity of the compensation system created space to raise salaries arbitrarily for certain categories, multiply the creation of positions without institutional requirements, and use personal influence to obtain the right to accumulate multiple salaries. With a wage bill difficult to control, the Government has limited resources to allocate to PND priorities. In addition, salary increases based on subjective assessments affect the capacity of the civil service to maximise the benefits citizens receive from their taxes. Within such complex and hard to reform system, the Public Service Secretariat under the President of the Republic (Secretaría de la Función Publica - SFP) is working to increase the system’s transparency in order to raise awareness in civil society of the importance of a merit-based, professional civil service, and use public pressure to reduce manipulation of the system.

Professionalization of the civil service is also about strengthening merit throughout individual career paths, namely through the performance system. Individual performance is not only about having a performance management system in place; it includes providing civil servants with the right incentives, including through encouraging skills development, and enhancing manager’s capacity to engage civil servants and recognise good performance. Within Paraguay’s continuous training system, skills development initiatives are often fragmented and good practices in this area appear to be difficult to scale up.

Careful implementation of civil-service reforms will be essential for the professionalization and modernisation of the public sector in Paraguay over the coming years. This chapter shows that once implemented, these reforms can contribute to a more merit-based and competent civil service, capable of attracting and managing the right people with the right skills to deliver the PND priorities of social development and poverty reduction, inclusive economic growth and the integration of Paraguay into the international community.

Size and shape of public employment in Paraguay

Employment in Paraguay’s public sector accounted for slightly less than 10% of total employment in 2014, which reflects a small increase since 2009. On average, public sector employment tends to be higher in both LAC and OECD countries (12% and 21% respectively) (see Figure 5.1). In 2014 women accounted for around 50% of Paraguay’s public sector employment, which is in line with the LAC average (OECD 2016a).

Figure 5.1. Employment in public sector as a percentage of total employment, 2009 and 2014

Note: Data for Argentina are for 2010 rather than 2009. Data for Brazil are for 2011 rather than 2009. Data for Costa Rica are for 2010 and 2013, rather than 2009 and 2014. Data for Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru are for 2013 rather than 2014. Data for Barbados are not included in the LAC average. Data for Argentina refer to urban areas only. OECD average: data for Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Turkey and the United States are not available; data for Australia, Denmark, Finland, Korea, Latvia and Portugal are also not included in the average due to missing time-series. Published in OECD 2016a

Source: International Labour Organization (ILO) ILOSTAT (database)

Despite a relatively lower share of public employment, Paraguay was in 2014 the LAC country which spent the most on compensation of government employees (49.5% of government expenditures see Figure 5.2). In comparison, only 15.8% of total government expenditures were allocated to welfare (represented by social benefits8 in Figure 5.3). As expenditure on compensation of government employees tends to be relatively stable (i.e. it is unlikely that a government would be able to reduce it significantly from one year to the next), the Government has limited power to allocate meaningful financial resources from the national budget to, for example, the PND’s strategic axes of fighting poverty, social development or inclusive growth, given the size of the allocation to employee compensation.

Figure 5.2. Government expenditure by economic transaction as a share of total expenditures 2014

Note: Data for Peru and Paraguay are recorded on a cash basis. Data for Costa Rica and Jamaica for investment do not include consumption of fixed capital. Data for Jamaica are not included in the LAC average. Data for El Salvador and Mexico refer to 2013 rather than 2014

Source: IMF Government Finance Statistics (IMF GFS) database. Data for Mexico and the OECD average are based on the OECD National Accounts Statistics database. Published in Government at a Glance Latin America and the Caribbean 2017,

This relatively high level of spending on employee compensation has two conflicting implications. On the one hand, the relatively high expenditure on compensation means that closer attention should be paid to the quality of HR and productivity of the public sector to ensure value for money. For high levels of spending on public employment to result in better public services, there needs to be a competent and capable civil service. Value for money is even more relevant in a context where the fight against poverty is a national priority.

On the other hand, the investments required to manage HR effectively are unavailable due to their high levels of spending on wages and salaries. Like other sectors, Paraguay’s civil service reform has been highly dependent on foreign aid, especially for investments in the digitalisation of recruitment and capacity development of civil servants. Lack of flexibility in the budget allocation may hamper the success of the reforms if foreign aid is reduced and no funding is available from the national budget. These two implications will be further described throughout the chapter.

Institutional and legal context

Paraguay’s Central Public Administration9 human resources management (HRM) system includes the SFP10 mentioned above and the Personnel Management and Development Units (UGDP in their Spanish acronym) which are decentralised operational units in charge of HR, located in State agencies and entities. The National Institute for Public Administration (Instituto Nacional de Administracion Publica de Paraguay, INAPP)11 operates under the SFP. The SFP replaced the former Directorate General of Public Staff, and in 2003 it incorporated permanent positions of the former National Secretariat for the Reform and Modernization of the State (Secretaria nacional para la Reforma del Estado, SNRE).

The system works under the principles of “regulatory centralisation and operational decentralisation”12. This means that the SFP is mainly responsible for the formulation of HR policies and guidelines for the public sector13 while the UGDP are in charge of activities such as keeping individual career data records under the Centralized Integrated system for Administrative Career (Sistema Integrado Centralizado para la Carera Administrativa, SICCA)14, participating in selection commissions, or conducting performance assessments.

This kind of delegation arrangements is also relatively common in OECD countries. Delegation of HR responsibility to ministries usually requires some level of common standards and central oversight to prevent political interference in staffing or important distortions in terms of pay or employment conditions, which could negatively affect the capacity of some public institutions to attract civil servants (OECD 2017a).

In this context, the SFP plays an advisory role regarding implementation vis-à-vis the Central administration, decentralized entities, and departmental and municipal governments15. Other SFP responsibilities include regulating the recruitment and promotion of public officials, identifying training needs, developing a system for classification and description of functions, or developing criteria to formulate the remuneration policy for public officials16. SFP’s institutional strategic plan 2015-2019 (projected towards 2023) sets priorities in 5 areas, and they cover SFP and State Agencies (Box 5.1).

The division of institutional responsibilities is established in the Civil Service Law17 (the CSL), which also includes provisions about the structure of the civil service, employment, performance, compensation, training and development, and human relations (see Figure 5.3). Many public entities18 have filed precautionary measures against the CSL (Accion de Inconstitucionalidad) to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, but most have been solved and the Court has confirmed the applicability of the CSL.19

Box 5.1. The SFP’s Institutional Strategic Plan 2015-2019

The SFP’s institutional strategic plan 2015-2019 was developed in 2014 through a participatory process involving different areas of the institution, with support from UNDP. It is aligned with the government’s NDP 2030 (which calls for the improvement of merit-based recruitment and management methods) and takes into account the Iberoamerican Chart for Civil Service (Carta Iberoamericana de la Función Pública, CIFP).

The strategic plan outlines a strategy to achieve 5 medium-term challenges: (i) implementing a process-based management system; (ii) developing a strategic communication to obtain the necessary political and citizen support, with a view to achieving the objectives; (iii) having sufficient budgetary resources to support the development of internal capacities; (iv) improving the management of human talent within the Secretariat and to project it towards the entire public sector; and (v) adapting the regulation and implementation of policies, with an approach of rights and powers for monitoring and penalties of the SFP.

SFP’s institutional strategic map focuses on 5 key dimensions whose purpose is to increase SFP’s impact on the Paraguayan society: learning & growth, internal processes, financial sustainability, state agencies and entities and their civil servants, and creation of public value.

The final goal is to contribute to deliver a quality civil service, based on merit and professionalization, where public resources are used in a transparent and efficient way.

Source: Gobierno nacional (2014), Plan Estratégico Institucional2015 – 2019con proyección al 2023, available in

Public administrations can only do what is established by law, which would require heavy legal processes to get the civil service reform approved. In Paraguay, the legal system assigns an important role to decrees or regulations, the main tool used to implement the current wave of civil service reforms. The creation by decree of a centralised integrated system for the administrative career, the development of the single employment portal Paraguay Concursa to increase transparency of the recruitment system, and the creation of INAPP are but some of the examples of the use of decrees in advancing civil service reform.

Relying heavily on decrees and regulations is also one of the weaknesses of the system, since the efforts conducted so far can be erased with relative ease if there is a lack of political support in a subsequent government.

Figure 5.3. Legal map of the Public Service

Source: Public Service Secretariat

This system has resulted in a fragmented approach to key HR functions such as performance management, training, or salary determination, since each institution can decide on its own modus operandi.

The SFP has acknowledged these challenges: some progress has been made since 2013, particularly in public competitions and in reducing the number of pay categories. The SFP has been able to make tools available to other institutions to support the civil service career, such as performance evaluations, transparency policies, anti-corruption, and counselling on the application of the CSL. The SFP also aims to continue addressing these challenges through its institutional strategic plan, by:

  • Developing a strategic communication to obtain the necessary political and citizen support, with a view to achieving the objectives.

  • Having sufficient budgetary resources to support the development of internal capacities (infrastructure, personnel, equipment, logistics, technology, etc.).

  • Improving the management of human talent within the Secretariat and to project it towards the entire public sector.

Technology at the centre of civil service reform

The SICCA is one the major milestone initiatives implemented to support the efforts of professionalization of the public service. Launched in 201420, SICCA was developed by the SFP over 6 years with support from the IADB and later from USAID, in order to improve transparency in the HRM system. Inspired by the experience of Uruguay Concursa, SICCA consists of a web platform through which public institutions are expected to standardize their HR data and processes and make them transparent and open.

Figure 5.4. Integrated system for Administrative Career (SICCA)

Source: SFP

SICCA covers 9 subsystems (Figure 5.4) which, once implemented, should allow for the creation of a coherent HR system covering the whole public employment cycle: a) planning of job positions; b) selection (Portal Unico del Empleo Publico, PUEP) and admission; c) Labour mobility and promotion; d) performance evaluation; e) training; f) Digital file management; g) compensation; h) legal processes and i) contract termination. Besides improving transparency and HRM, SICCA also aims to become a central database with information on every civil servant.

SICCA is digital tool that aims to reduce administrative costs, improve workflow and increase process transparency, thereby extending the impact and reach of the SFP. SICCA complements SFP’s index of personnel management (IGP) where agencies can self-evaluate their performance against indicators organised into 8 subsystems (Box 5.2). Digitalisation with SICCA means that institutions can conduct the evaluation on their own under SFP supervision, and with automatic reporting through real time data analysis within the system. Likewise, if there's an administrative proceeding (in case of a complaint for example), one of SICCA’s subsystem will select a judge. Since all HR information needs to go through the system, processes become more transparent and digitalisation is at the service of transparency. In this framework, the UGDP or HR Directorates of ministries and agencies are responsible for operating the different units of the SICCA. As such, they ensure the transparency of the system by registering all the data on civil servants, from recruitment to termination, with the SFP providing support and quality control.

SICCA subsystems cover different HRM components. The SFP is taking a phased approach to implement them, starting with foundational issues such as planning, selection, remuneration and training. The implementation stage of the various subsystems is very heterogeneous, for example the remuneration system is being implemented in 352 institutions while the subsystem related to legal processes is only being implemented in one. The subsystems for planning and selection, which are the first steps before running a public competition, are being implemented in 32 institutions. To facilitate SICCA’s implementation, the SFP created a digital toolbox to support public institutions, which includes legal and administrative tools21. The SFP also created the Digital Personnel Management Index (Índice de Gestión de Personas, IGP), an online tool to self-evaluate the degree of development of the HRM system in public institutions (see box below).

Box 5.2. SFP's Personnel Management Index

The Personnel Management Index is an HR tool to evaluate the degree of development of the HR system in public institutions. It was developed in 2011 through a participatory process including the SFP, public Institutions and civil society organisations. The IGP is expected to promote good HRM and HRD practices across the civil service.

IGP includes over 100 indicators based on the analytical framework for institutional diagnosis of civil service system and the concepts established by SFP, in line with the National integrity plan and the Iberoamerican charts of civil service and quality in public management. The indicators are structured into 8 subsystems that form the Integrated System for People Management (Sistema Integrado de Gestion de Personas, SIGP):

  • HRM planning

  • Labour organisation

  • Employment management

  • Performance management

  • Compensation

  • Skills development

  • Relations between the institution and the staff

  • Organization and functioning of HRM

The IGP became an online tool in 2017 through the SFP resolution 0604/2017.

Source: SFP

SICCA is a dynamic tool and piloting modules by the SFP itself and in some Ministries is helping to further adapt the tool to institutions’ needs. The final system will likely be adjusted to take into consideration lessons learned from the piloting exercise. The system can also incorporate new HRM developments, for example, the performance evaluation subsystem had to take into account Resolution SFP No. 328/201322.

Many OECD countries also pilot new approaches in their HRM systems as it allows them to identify possible failures before large amounts of resources are invested (OECD 2017b):

  • In Canada for example the Common Human Resources Business Process (CHRBP) was tested in few departments which also helped raise interest in the tool across government;

  • The Netherlands gradually implemented its HRM shared service to manage payroll, personnel registration, management information, end-user support, or HR analytics (Box 5.3).

The SFP’s commendable efforts to develop and implement SICCA have led to multiple operational improvements and improvements in accountability. Digital transformation is changing the way Ministries and the SFP operate, as processes become standardised and transparent. Piloting of SICCA modules creates relevant learning opportunities which will be useful for the implementation of future modules. Digitalisation is helping to build links across organisations, and SFP is making efforts to develop more interoperability. Even though SICCA is not yet well linked with funding, the HR function is becoming more strategic as public institutions are gradually including SICCA in their strategic plans.

The transparency made possible through SICCA is also producing greater accountability towards citizens and in particular job candidates. The accessibility to government data through the open government portal23 (for example the appointment of civil servants) expected to contribute to increase trust in the recruitment into the civil service.

Transparency and communication about merit-based recruitment processes increases expectations and the number of possible candidates. Administrative data collected by the SFP24 suggest an increase in the number of applications, and in the number of complaints, which can suggest that candidates expect recruitment processes to be fair. SFP pursues its efforts to further improve accessibility of information, namely through a future mobile application, to reach for example people with disabilities.

While SICCA seems to be an effective tool to improve different areas of HR, its implementation faces numerous challenges. First, the development of SICCA subsystems was made possible through financial and human resources support from USAID (of the 20 people working in SFP, 10 are financed through USAID). As the funding is expected to end in March 2018, the future of SICCA is uncertain; foreign technical assistance is not a long-term funding solution. Having to deal with such concrete challenges as well as daily business prevents the SFP team from thinking in a more strategic way about future orientations.

Box 5.3. Piloting experiences in HR management system in Canada and The Netherlands

Canada. The main objective of the Common Human Resources Business Process (CHRBP) was to standardise, simplify and streamline how human resources business is conducted across the Government of Canada. It has been designed to bring consistency in the delivery of effective and efficient human resources services while at the same time maximising the use of existing and innovative methods and tools.

Prior to its endorsement as the Government of Canada standard, some departments (approximately 5) became early ‘adopters’ and acted as pioneers in implementing the Common Human Resources Business Process (CHRBP). During this initial phase, departments sought out ways to leverage the CHRBP to improve their current business and often came up with tools or strategies that eventually were re-worked or replaced. To demonstrate the benefits of the CHRBP, some departments also came up with some “quick wins” that helped to keep up the momentum and to garner interest from other organisations as well. Two of the main challenges were:

  • Capacity to understand and carry out the related activities to implement the CHRBP within an organisation has been a challenge due to competing priorities and various fiscal restraint exercises happening within. To mitigate this, a team of professional resources (consultants) was procured to support and facilitate implementation efforts within departments through individual “Letters of Agreement” with OCHRO.

  • Some organisations cited ‘technology’ issues or gaps through their CHRBP analysis-phase which could have led to significant investments in their HR systems on a piece-meal basis. That said, a parallel initiative is underway to develop an enterprise-wide HR system. As such, new business requirements and opportunities sought in the system are now being handled on an enterprise-scale, and organisations will soon be able to take advantage of this once the system development is complete and deployed.

The Netherlands. P-Direkt is a human resources management (HRM) shared-service that provides the ten Dutch ministries and their 120 000 end-users with a variety of administrative and informative HRM services in a standardised way, via a self-service portal and a contact centre. Services included on the portal include payroll, personnel registration, management information, end-user support, and HR analytics, among others. P-Direkt was built gradually:

  • In the first year the Agency of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations standardised the processes and built the first central personnel systems.

  • In the next year the Agency finished building the personnel systems and started with gradually implementing the systems and the new way of working in the different ministries.

  • In the third year the Agency built up - alongside five ministries - the biggest part of the shared service organisation, the contact centre, which in fact started working mid-2009 and was officially opened in January 2010. From that point, the Agency gradually rolled out the new way of working and all of the systems at the other five ministries, and the last ministry was connected in October 2011.

Source: OECD 2017b and OPSI platform

Second, the transparency and standardisation of SICCA’s processes may create resistance from public institutions. To begin with, using the system implies that institutions have less room to bypass HR rules, which may be perceived as a loss of power. In this regard, strategic communication within the public sector and towards the public (citizens, media) may be essential to raise awareness about the usefulness of the system in order to keep it open and transparent. More public visibility of the system may help increase awareness regarding its weaknesses; the publication of compensation data in the Paraguayan media led to a public backlash against compensation discrepancies, namely between qualified and non-qualified civil servants25.

Resistance may also come from lack of experience with digitalisation. Developing strategic communication around transparency and digitalisation could help to get buy-in from public institutions. Using plain language instead of IT technical jargon could help raise awareness. Finally, it is important to note that some institutions already have HR systems in place. This implies that they may be reluctant to abandon them but perhaps more importantly it implies that while SICCA is not fully operational, the SFP will need to consider some degree of interoperability between different systems to minimise duplication of efforts and increases in workload. For example, compensation of civil servants is processed through the Integrated System of State Resources Administration (SIARE, for its acronym in Spanish), managed by the Ministry of Finance. One of SIARE’s subsystems is used to register civil servants within the file system and used for payroll, and SIARE is not connected with SICCA, obliging public institutions to register in both systems.

Systems interoperability such as between SICCA and SIARE is an important concern in country digital transformation strategies. It is also a key element in the OECD’s Recommendation on Digital Government Strategies (OECD 2014). Lack of interoperability tends to constitute a barrier to collaboration and efforts to improve interoperability are an essential component in general e-government strategies:

  • In Chile for example, the Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency (Ministerio Secretaría General de la Presidencia, SEGPRES) has the power to establish technical regulations/standards, which include proposing to the President the need for new regulations to foster systems interoperability.

  • The United Kingdom Government Digital Service worked on interoperability of public systems and sharing of resources within the process of rethinking digital public services within and across levels of government (OECD 2016b).

  • Norway’s digital agenda prioritises the development of common solutions and foster their use in the central and local government and facilitate interoperability with European solutions (OECD 2017c).

To get buy-in from institutions, the SFP is trying to strengthen professional networks around HRM and digitalisation. The SFP organises regular meetings with stakeholders from cooperation agencies and HR leaders from various ministries to set and follow up on goals, which are reported back to the Ministry of Finance and the President’s office. The SFP expects that soon it will be possible to use these fora to share positive experiences in each of SICCA’s subsystem areas and to strengthen inter-agency cooperation in order to make agencies more responsive.

As technology is a major pillar of the ongoing HR reforms, the human dimension of the reform should not be overlooked. HR reforms are about more than regulations and involve a great deal of culture change within institutions, and civil servants should be at the centre of reforms.

Finally, while transparency has improved, the SFP still needs to measure the impact of the development of SICCA on the professionalization of the system and on citizens’ perceptions of it. Performance metrics should help the SFP understand the impact of the digitalisation of the HRM system on, for example, trust in government or on merit-based recruitment, to be able to measure (and communicate) SICCA’s impact on the system. The SFP should pursue efforts to review internal progress and consider impact, effectiveness of indicators, for example using “control panels” or “dashboards” to assess progress.

The following sections will discuss the main opportunities and challenges faced by Paraguay in implementing its civil service reform, closely linked with the implementation of SICCA, benchmarked against experience in OECD countries in strengthening merit throughout the employment cycle, moving towards a more transparent and sustainable compensation system, and developing skills for improved performance.

Box 5.4. Using HR networks to support the effectiveness of the civil service system in Poland

HRM in Poland is decentralized. The Head of the Civil Service administers HRM processes in the civil service and tasks are executed with assistance from Directors General (DGs)1. DGs and their representatives (mainly HR directors) are involved at the earliest possible stage of policy and law development in a context where division of powers and accountability seem to be crucial for the effectiveness of the civil-service system. A Forum of Directors General was created to improve cooperation between the Head of Civil Service and the DGs. It provided a framework for regular meetings to share information, discuss “hot issues”, elaborate drafts of solutions.

The role of the Head of the Civil Service in the field of HRM is inter alia to develop and reform the general framework of the system and to harmonize HRM tools (while preserving their diversity as regards details). To increase the acceptance for the improvements, or decrease resistance and generally take into account views and expertise of different actors, the Head of the Civil Service often establishes various working committees, as opinion or advisory bodies. In general these working teams were composed of representatives of academia, experts from the private sector, media, DGs and other civil service executives including HR managers. Such working groups support the Head of the Civil Service in diagnosing the situation and on this basis – in drafting new policies and/or different kind of legislation, guidance, training etc. Committees were established on: HRM standards; ethics and civil service rules, remuneration system, reform of the National School of Public Administration (KSAP), job description and evaluation of the higher positions in the civil service.

Network of ethics and integrity advisors

The function of the ethical advisors in the civil service is not obligatory but has functioned in many civil service offices since 2006. Their main purpose is to advise civil servants on how to solve possible ethical dilemmas and to support them in the proper understanding and application of the civil service rules and the ethical principles of the civil service corps. Additionally the advisor supports the head of the office in disseminating knowledge about the principles and as a result in promoting a culture of integrity in the office.

To build a culture of integrity in the civil service, the Head of Civil Service created a network of ethics and integrity advisors, inspired by the guidelines in the OECD 2017 Recommendation on public integrity. The network created a cooperation framework for civil servants facing similar ethical dilemmas and a forum to exchange knowledge, experience and good practices. The network is also consulted by the Head of Civil Service in all matters related to promoting and building a culture of integrity in the civil service, and increasing trust in the administration. A recent example is consultation of the network about the training programmes on ethics and ethical dilemmas included in the Recommendation of the Head of the Civil Service regarding the promotion of integrity culture in the civil service.

The draft Recommendation was consulted with the DGs and then presented to the network of the ethical advisors during one of its meetings. As a result, this group of stakeholders (key in the effective implementation of the Recommendation) became familiar with the Recommendation’s main goals and assumptions, and with their future tasks and. More importantly, they were involved at the early stage on the discussions about the training programs, which resulted in redrafting this tool, reflecting different backgrounds and opinions.

1. DGs are Senior Civil Servants with hiring responsibilities

Source: Polish peer

Strengthening merit in recruitment and promotions

Equal access to civil service positions is guaranteed in Paraguay26, including specific access by people with disabilities27. Institutions are expected to reach a 5% target of staff with disabilities. The administrative career is governed by the CSL28, which covers administrative officials29 from the 3 State branches (Legislative, Executive and Judicial) and of the 3 government levels (national, departmental and municipal) (Box 5.5).

Establishing meritocracy in the recruitment process has been one of the main challenges for the Paraguayan administration. Investment in meritocracy is a way of investing in the professionalization of the civil service, which is expected to result in better capacity in the medium term. As such, professionalization is a way of counterbalancing clientelism and private interests in favour of a public service for citizens. The SFP started to implement merit-based recruitment in 2009 in 20 institutions, although some institutions, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, already had some meritocratic policies in place (Box 5.6).

Box 5.5. Paraguay’s administrative career

Paraguay’s administrative career comprises over 65.000 people including administrative officials in the Central Government and officials in decentralized entities (17 Departmental Governments and over 254 municipalities), making it the second most important in the public sector, after the teaching career.

The administrative career is structured into positions and each position is assigned with a corresponding budgetary category1. Positions are structured into 7 hierarchical levels. The higher echelons comprise levels A-B and include political and high-level management, which tend to be elected or politically appointed positions like Directors and General Directors2. Levels C-E cover 3 categories of middle management3 and levels F-G cover administrative and technical support and ancillary services. Elected positions (either at national, departmental and municipal levels)4 are not considered civil servants.

Admission into the administrative career is done through a public competitive examination5 which provides access to a position funded by the General Budget of the Nation, and whose duties are inherent to the function of the agency of State entity.

By contrast, contractual staff and ancillary service staff are also part of the civil service but can be subject to the Labour Code. Contractual staff (about 17% of the public workforce according to SFP6) can be recruited through merit-based competition or through direct contracting. The share of people with disabilities is higher amongst contractual staff but the majority is hired on a permanent basis. To improve contractual staff labour conditions, in 2016 the government organised institutional competitions only open to them, to fill civil service positions under the General Budget. Ancillary service staff, which includes positions like cleaning staff or drivers, are recruited through a simplified selection regulation and their contracts are governed by the Labour Code.

1. Law 1626/00, Art. 31 and 32Law

2. Law N° 1626/00, article 8. In the Presidency of the Republic the four higher hierarchical levels correspond to politically appointed positions

3. High, administrative/technical and operational

4. Laws 977/96 and 2035/05. Elected positions at national level: President and Vice-President of the Republic, Members of Parliament and Senators); at departmental level: Governors and Departmental Councillors; at municipal level: Mayors and Municipal Councillors

5. Law N° 1626/2000

6. Source of data unavailable

Source: Decree n° 196/03 "Por el cual se establece el Sistema de Clasificación de Cargos Administrativos y se aprueba la Tabla de Categorías, Denominación de Cargos y Remuneraciones para Organismos de la Administración Central, Entidades Descentralizadas del Estado y del Poder Judicial", Art. 3

Box 5.6. National and Public Competition for induction into the Diplomatic Career in Paraguay

Law Nº 1335/1999 on the Diplomatic and Consular Service establishes that the only mechanism for induction into a diplomatic career is through a National Competition, which consists of a merit-based competition with a competitive and transparent written evaluation process.

Brief description of the process for incorporation:

  • Vacancies are established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

  • Procedural rules are approved by the authorities at the Ministry;

  • The National Competition is opened (public announcement on national newspapers with a large circulation, web link access available at the Ministry´s web page, massive media distribution, communication strategy and visits to different departments of the country, in order to facilitate participation of people who are not located at the capital);

  • Registration (candidates are given a personal code in order to ensure anonymity during the evaluation);

  • Registration is closed and documentary evaluation begins;

  • A report of the candidates is presented to the Admissions Committee;

  • A list of authorized candidates is published;

  • Written examinations begin: usually consists of the following subjects: Economy and International Trade, History of International Relations of Paraguay in the universal context; Economic Geography; a foreign language (English, French, Portuguese or German); Grammar and writing; History of Paraguay; Basic Notions of Public International Law. The subjects may vary according to institutional needs.

  • Examinations are eliminatory; candidates must obtain 60% of the total in order to sit for the next exam. After written examinations are over, candidates who passed all the exams must be subjected to psychological tests and a final Diplomatic Aptitude interview.

  • After all evaluations are over, final scores are determined, and only the candidates with the top 15 or top 10 scores are accepted, according to the established vacancies and the criteria in article 8 of Law 1335/1999.

Source: Provided by the Paraguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The biggest efforts to improve merit based recruitment have been made since 2013 through SICCA’s job position planning and selection subsystems, which are currently being implemented in 32 institutions. Within SICCA, job position planning allows for a classification of organisational units (CUO), Job positions (CTP) and other organisational units (CCE) Selection is managed through the portal Paraguay Concursa, which has been operational since 2013 and registers all information related to the recruitment procedures (Box 5.7).

Box 5.7. Recruitment process through the Paraguay Concursa

Job applicants register and apply for job positions. Job descriptions include minimum and additional qualifications related to professional experience, education and competencies (soft and technical). They also include a 1-10 grading system for working conditions (pressure, mobility requirements, environment and physical effort). The weight of the evaluation criteria depend on the position but usually include Academic training, Continuous training, Working experience, an Exam related to the position, performance evaluations, Psychometric testing, and Interview with the selection commission. Academic training and work experience tend to have the highest weight.

Job descriptions are established by the Selection committee and are analysed by the SFP to make sure that pay and expectations for the position line up. SFP also suggests which recruitment tools should be used and monitors the recruitment process accordingly. The stages of the selection process include:


Source: Paraguayan administration

Paraguay Concursa covers admission and promotion for the three types of competitions30 which fall under the responsibility of selection commissions (Box 5.8). Paraguay Concursa also establishes procedures to:

  • Create and set up of competitive examinations

  • Validate competitive examinations (SFP)

  • Publish the job position online and receive applications

  • Evaluate candidates

  • Publish competition results

  • Appoint or recruit people through contracts

In this framework, merit, performance and capacity are guiding criteria for admittance, career and other management and development policies of the people working in the public sector, and all agencies and entities of the State are expected to recruit and promote through the system.

Box 5.8. Selection commission for public competitions

Selection commissions are responsible for the public competitive examinations for appointments into the civil service; competitive examinations for promotions; and merit-based competitions for temporary contracting1.

These commissions are placed under the highest institutional authority of the agency organising the competitive examination; they communicate closely with the SFP throughout the selection process (lack of communication implies suspension of the recruitment process) (art.11). Members of the selection commission include a senior management official appointed by the highest institutional authority (e.g. Minister, Minister-Secretary or highest position in the institution) of the area in which the vacancy of the job position subject to the competitive examination was generated, the head of the UGDP or equivalent (to act as Commission secretariat). Commission observers (which include the head of the transparency and anti-corruption unit or equivalent, a representative of civil servants or of a workers’ organisation recognized by the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security) can formulate suggestions about the process and they supervise respect for the procedures (Art. 12). The selection committee may also establish a technical support team for specialized job positions (art. 9).

1. Article 5 and article 27 of Law 1626/2000

Source: Paraguayan authorities

Like Paraguay, most OECD countries also use public advertisement of all vacancies to ensure transparency of merit-based recruitment processes (Figure 5.5), which remain the bedrock of professional civil services despite very diverse approaches to recruitment across OECD countries. Overall, recruitment systems replacing the traditional career or position-based systems and becoming more flexible and mixed, with most OECD countries reporting that all or most posts are open to internal and external recruitment. In OECD countries, Germany and Ireland are the ones using the most merit-based recruitment methods (7), while Luxembourg and Slovenia focus on the transparency of the job advertisement process.

The SFP aims to use the portal to advertise all open civil servant positions, to make it as transparent and accessible as possible. The SFP is working to improve accessibility through a mobile application and larger use of open source data available to the public. By using the portal, the SFP also aims to standardise the competition examination process, and base it on merit. In this framework, applicants have the possibility to challenge decisions throughout the selection process, in which case the process needs to be audited.

Accessibility to information though the web portal is also particularly important to increase the number of candidates (and in fine civil servants with disabilities). As part of its plan to promote inclusive opportunities, the SFP has submitted to the Ministry of Finance a proposal to fine institutions for non-compliance with the 5% target regulation. Funds collected could be used to support civil society organisations that provide training of Persons with Disabilities (PwD).

In 12 OECD countries PwD have preferential rights for job interviews or preference in the selection process. Poland for example gives priority to PwD in the final stage of selection processes, and is conducting a project to increase civil service awareness about service delivery for PwD (Figure 5.5). 13 OECD countries have hiring targets for PwD. In Spain there is a 7% quota reserved to PwD in all selection processes of any rank, in France the hiring target is 6%.

Figure 5.5. Merit-based recruitment in the selection process

Note: Responses of OECD countries to the question: Q35. How merit-based recruitment at the entry-level is guaranteed in the selection process

Source: OECD (2016), Strategic Human Resources Management survey

As Paraguay Concursa is building an evidence-base on meritocratic recruitment, it also seems to be increasing awareness and trust in the recruitment system. Meritocratic statistics have been published for the first time in 2009 and allow making an analysis by sector or position. For example, in the Executive Branch about 57% of recruitments into the civil service are done through merit-based competitions, while in the Judicial or Legislative it can be about 35% (Dumas, 2017). Recruitment through SICCA also seems to be improving the civil service attractiveness, as the number of applicants has increased from 3 candidates per position before the introduction of SICCA to 14 applicants per position in 2016. This may reflect a greater trust in the system; if potential candidates expect recruitment to be ethical and merit-based they are more likely to apply than if they believe that recruitment will be based on personal or political connections.

Box 5.9. Promoting inclusive opportunities for people with disabilities in Poland

Increase in employment of persons with disabilities

Increasing the employment rates of people with disabilities (PwD) in the civil service corps is one of the priorities of the Head of Civil Service. Employment of this group of employees has raised from 2,6% in 2010 to ca. 4% of civil service corps members, and the goal is to attain a 6% reference rate. The increase in employment of PwD in 2010-2016 took place in a context of general decrease in employment, which may suggest that the civil service is gradually becoming more open and willing to employ persons from this group.

The new law on civil service played an important role. Although general recruitment processes are decentralized, Directors General (DG) are responsible for ensuring respect for the overall recruitment principles (e.g. openness, transparency, equal access, competitiveness, the same tools and methods of evaluation etc.). At the end of the individual recruitment process, a recruitment commission proposes up to 5 best candidates and DG takes the hiring decision. PwD are given priority in the pool of 5 best candidates if in the hiring administration the rate of PwD is less than 6%, At the earlier stages of the recruitment process, all candidates participate and compete on equal terms.

Making public services accessible to citizens with disabilities

The project “Different needs, equal standards” is being implemented in 2017 in the Polish administration with support from the Norwegian funds and funds from the European Economic Area (EEA). It aims at raising awareness and enriching the knowledge of officials on how to design public services to take into account also the needs of people with disabilities; and exchanging of knowledge, experience and good practices in the field of accessibility policy in Poland and Norway. Different capacity building activities are planned for over 300 civil servants, including training, conferences, seminars and study visits.

Source: Department of Civil Service, Chancellery of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Polan

Recruitment through an automated system like SICCA also provides information about Paraguay’s challenges attracting qualified candidates for certain positions such as engineers. To improve certain skills levels and diversify skills profiles (many candidates are economists and lawyers), Paraguay has created a scholarship programme to send people abroad, which should help develop skills and begin developing a mind-set more open to diverse backgrounds and experiences. Some OECD countries also face challenges when recruiting certain categories of civil servants, especially professionals (Figure 5.6), namely for positions related to IT (ex: Austria, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands), health (ex: Belgium, Chile), law (ex: Ireland) or engineering (ex: Israel, Luxembourg). Difficulties attracting professionals from these areas are usually driven by private sector competition, but some OECD countries also report certain skills shortages in the overall labour market.

However, while Paraguay has made commendable efforts to improve merit-based recruitment, it is not yet used by all institutions, and the system does not cover all positions, like internal competitions (used in promotions) and specifically politically appointed positions which consist of approximately 15% of positions31. Hiring authorities have the discretion of appointing or opening a competition according to a competency profile. The creation of additional politically appointed positions can be rejected by the SFP on a technical basis, or by the Ministry of Finance on an economic basis.

Figure 5.6. Groups hard to attract into the civil service (OECD 35, 2016)

Source: OECD 2016 SHRM survey

Recruitment for middle management positions still tends to be paper-based and pursued outside SICCA (mostly for technical reasons). Whenever recruitment for promotions is managed through SICCA, merit is ensured through the use of evaluation by stage (curriculum, written or oral exams, test and interview), where approval in one stage is necessary to reach the next; and evaluation upon completing all evaluation stages. The competitive examination may be managed through the portal Paraguay Concursa to guarantee objectivity and a greater degree of transparency on the calls. It is also subject to audit processes. Lack of open advertisement for promotions is likely to reduce the number of potential and skilled candidates and lack of transparency can create an opportunity for patronage within career progression. In the medium to long term, it may also hamper career progression for civil servants who entered the civil service through the merit-based system.

Most OECD countries have mechanisms to strengthen merit and transparency of the promotion system:

  • In Greece for example promotions from one grade to the other are decided by each service board. Selection for the hierarchical level of head of Unit and Director is done through open call for applications. Selection to the hierarchical level of General Director is done through open call for applications and the decision is made by a single Central Special Board of Selections.

  • The Netherlands uses a mix of instruments, depending on the vacancy. In Poland, a list of up to 5 best candidates is prepared for on-senior positions.

  • In Portugal, career advancement is made through the change of the pay step as a result of performance assessment.

  • Finally, in the UK the Civil Service Competency Framework has provided a common standard of promotion across the Civil Service.

Figure 5.7. Merit and transparency of the promotion system (OECD 35, 2016)

Source: OECD (2016) SHRM survey

Likewise, although municipalities are regulated by the same CSL as the executive, they are not required to use the system. This is explained by the fact that municipal level represents a small share of public employment, and financial resources are not handled by the Ministry of Finance.

Yet meritocracy is but a first step to improve civil service capacity and professionalization of the civil service in the medium to long term. As the number of merit-based recruitments increase, the question is how the civil service will be able to retain qualified people and ensure that they work in a positive and constructive environment. Attention should be paid specifically to career management, performance (SFP indicates merit-based recruited civil servants tend to have higher performance evaluations) and working environment, to make sure that merit-based recruited civil servants remain motivated and engaged when they start working in the civil service.

It is expected that it will take a decade for the SICCA to establish a new way of working in the administration, and 2023 will be an important milestone in this path. As SICCA creates space for a better management of competitions and workforce planning, which are essential to deflect political pressure, some challenges are brought to light and need to be addressed if SICCA is to remain a trustworthy tool to improve civil service professionalization at the service of citizens. These challenges relate mainly to the institutional capacity of stakeholders (such as the SFP, HR units in ministries, selection committees) and general management capability and culture.

As with any change process, the recruitment reforms in general and SICCA in particular are introducing new ways of working along with additional responsibilities on top of existing ones. These challenges affect mainly the SFP and the decentralized UGDP, but also ad hoc committees like the competition selection committees which lack experience because the process is too recent.

The increase in the SFP’s workload without a proportional increase in human and financial resources may affect the smoothness of the recruitment processes and affect the system’s credibility. During the fact finding interviews, many interlocutors expressed concerns about the lengthiness of the process, even though they do not question the competition process’ rigour or the importance of avoiding political interference. The SFP still has a great deal of work to cross-check applications and verify profiles (only 3 people assigned in SFP responsible for verifying 415 institutions), making processes last at least 60 days, (but in some cases 8 months). Complaints can further slow recruitment processes down. Lengthy processes affect the system credibility but as important, they increase the risk of losing good candidates. Last but not least, lengthy processes may create incentives for institutions to bypass the merit based recruitment system. As the extension of SFP’s role is affecting its capacity to provide services efficiently, and considering SICCA’s positive impact in the merit-based recruitment, it becomes urgent that more resources are allocated to the SFP so that it can provide the quality control and support for the process in a timelier manner.

In parallel, as SICCA is changing the modus operandi of public institutions and UGDPs, they also face lack of capacity to administer competitions through SICCA, and some question the SFP’s authority to impose recruitment standards. Especially in institutions that had organised open competitions prior to the introduction of SICCA, the involvement of the SFP may appear as an additional – and unnecessary – level of bureaucracy. While in theory recruitment practices could be tailored to the capacity of each ministry, the system is not yet mature enough for this to work.

While for the moment the SICCA system does not have a feedback mechanism, the SFP works closely with UGDP’s to identify problems. SFP is also developing guidelines for institutions which should help them use of the system in a more autonomous way, while also contributing to reduce the SFP’s workload. The SFP could consider using the HR network mentioned above to discuss implementation issues and to further involve other institutions in designing and piloting SICCA’s recruitment submodule. Designing training modules to implement SICCA could also be an option. Reaching out to other government levels is also an additional challenge.

Capacity on the part of hiring managers to integrate merit-based recruitment also needs to be considered for the successful implementation of SICCA. The procedures and control throughout the SICCA recruitment process reflect some lack of trust in hiring managers. As many of them occupy politically appointed positions, their decisions tend to be considered subjective. Hiring managers also generally lack the experience of recruiting through selection committees. For example, in the application process, psychometric testing and interviews have a lower weight in the evaluation process as they are considered to be more subjective and as such are less trusted. However, elements such as educational attainment, which may be easier to measure objectively, tend to be weaker predictors of job performance. Given the current transition toward open merit-based staffing, this is likely ideal for this moment, but eventually the weighting should change so that educational attainment and experience are used for screening initial candidates, with the final decision based on the results of tests and interviews conducted by strong, values-driven managers. The Ministry of Finance is conducting training to improve the management capacity of Directors and Coordinators to deal with recruitment processes, and is now working with department mangers specifically to reinforce broader management competencies.

The progress and challenges highlighted above reflect a need to strengthen current capacity for execution but also the need to think carefully about long term impact. Lack of implementation capacity can jeopardize the smooth running of recruitment processes and the credibility of the system. In the medium to long term, the SFP needs to keep in mind that merit-based recruitment is only the first step for a professional civil service. Closer attention needs to be paid to the successful integration of the newly recruited civil servants within public institutions where the management culture may not always be ready to make the most out of the new competencies brought in by SICCA.

Ensuring transparency and merit in compensation

Ensuring that civil servants’ compensation is based on the work they do, the level of responsibility they hold and the skills they bring could help Paraguay further reinforce the merit principle within the public administration. Trends in OECD countries show that the most important factors to determine base salary are job content and education qualification, regardless of the hierarchical level (Figure 5.8). In the Netherlands, for example, salaries are associated with the job family system, which is related to job content and competencies needed. Japan is the only OECD country where salary is linked to age.

Figure 5.8. Key factors affecting base salary in OECD countries
Responses of 35 OECD countries to Survey Q114: What are the most important factors to determine the base salary for senior management position/middle management positions/professionals/secretarial positions/technical support? 2016

Note: Lines represent the number of OECD countries reporting the factor as of “key importance”

Source: OECD (2016a), “Survey on Strategic Human Resource Management in Central/Federal Governments of OECD Countries”, OECD, Paris

Strengthening the value citizens receive from the public service is a challenge for the Paraguayan administration. To achieve a more transparent and efficient compensation system, Paraguay’s current main challenges are trying to reduce salary spending, equalise pay for same work (namely by reducing salary categories), and reduce opportunities for manipulation and corruption of the salary system.

Box 5.10. Salary system in Paraguay

Quantity and type of job positions vary according to the State agency and are established every fiscal year in the State budget in a Staff annex, equivalent to the remuneration table. Creation of positions is approved by the Ministry of Finance, who also prepares a salary grid proposal after decision from the SFP (whose analyse includes for example the relevance of the position).

Proposals are submitted to the Congress for approval as part of the Nation’s General Budget.

Base salary is mainly determined by the education level (i.e. academic degree), the work content, the specific Ministry (which affects responsibility in the position) and seniority in the job position. In addition to base salary, civil servants can be entitled to different allowances (such as residence, subsistence, representation, or family), and bonuses (for academic degree, for seniority, for budgetary management, for responsibility in certain positions, for budgetary management, etc.).

Source: SFP

The salary system in Paraguay has, until recently, been highly fragmented and not reflective of the value of the work (e.g. level of responsibility, technical complexity, skills required, etc.), with high remuneration levels affecting the availability of resources for government priorities. Salary categories are determined separately for each agency32, and the Congress can increase individual salary categories and create job positions in the Staff Annex (equivalent to the remuneration table) of the General Budget of the Nation. This situation led, until 2014, to a proliferation of job positions where Paraguay’s public administration counted about 1700 different categories with different salaries. Likewise, in 2012 the Congress proposed and approved a 30% increase in the budget for public salaries33. Another important increase was proposed by the Congress for the 2017 budget34 as well as a number of appointments and creation of positions, which eventually led to the President vetoing the budget proposal.

As wage imbalances across the civil service also affect institutions’ capacity to recruit, the government started to simplify the salary structure by gradually reducing the number of salary categories and additional bonuses and allowances. A new salary matrix was approved in 2015 and salary categories were progressively reduced from around 1700 to 340 in 2016. The new matrix reflects different levels of responsibility, and civil servants are only entitled to one bonus related to their specific role. In this framework, remuneration consists of 70% of fixed salary, and 30% variable (i.e. bonuses and allowances). Before the introduction of the law, the situation was the opposite, and heads of entities had a large discretion on their decisions.

Another major recent improvement led by Paraguay’s administration relates to the accumulation of multiple salaries by civil servants. In principle civil servants cannot accumulate more than one paid activity within the civil service35 to avoid conflicts of interest or to dedicate themselves fulltime to their job. In practice, some officials, mainly retirees, can obtain court orders to allow re-employment. Likewise, the same Constitution allows more than one remuneration to teachers and researchers, and a law (700/2008) allows more than one job to health care professionals (e.g. some doctors that work in more than one hospital).

Within a system which is hard to reform, transparency became a powerful ally to expose the salary accumulation practice to the public. By publicly disclosing requests to receive multiple pay, with a major impact in national media, the SFP tries to prevent civil servants from requesting exceptions to the rule. Efforts in terms of remuneration are being supported by SICCA’s remuneration subsystem. Currently implemented in 352 institutions, it is one of the most advanced subsystems together with recruitment. For the time being, focus is on increasing transparency about remuneration, and some information (namely on salary levels and components) is made available through Paraguay’s open data portal36. Indeed, the payment system37 is still processed by the Integrated System of State Resources Administration (SIARE) managed by the Ministry of Finance. The interoperability of SICCA and SIARE would facilitate the workflow of public institutions, which for the moment need to register in both systems.

While HRM seems to be a top priority, wages as a proportion of the budget appear to have been reduced in recent years38 in an attempt to apply fiscal sustainability to the wage bill.

Progress in terms of transparency, remuneration rates and reducing the number of double employment contracts are commendable. Working towards a more structured, transparent and merit-based system is an important step to prevent manipulation of positions and salaries. Increases which are not based on an analysis of institutional and public service needs are likely to be redundant and reduce the availability of funds for government priorities. Yet, long term sustainability of current efforts is not yet guaranteed. Like in other HR areas, efforts are being achieved through decrees or regulations. The new salary grid does not have force of law and could therefore be abandoned by a successor government if civil service professionalization is no longer a priority for an incoming administration.

In this context, transparency about remuneration can help raising awareness about the need to get value for money from the public sector, and the importance of pursuing HR reforms to help achieve strategic PND objectives.

Motivating individual performance

A professional civil service starts with merit based recruitment and compensation, and continues with the creation of opportunities for civil servants and employees to use their skills. The performance management system is a way to assess the results from the use of skills and in many OECD countries it is also a way to incentivise better performance, for example through public recognition. A well-established theory of employment performance (Boxall and Purcell, 2011) highlights that to perform well, employees need abilities related to their job, motivation to do their job well, and opportunities to put their abilities and motivation to work on government priorities (Figure 5.9).

Managing the career of civil servants remains a big challenge in the Paraguayan administration. Although it may seem easier to focus on formal performance assessment systems, improving overall performance calls for a holistic approach which involves investing in merit-based recruitment, skills development, incentives to improve motivation and focusing on the role and competencies of middle managers to drive performance.

Figure 5.9. The ability, motivation and opportunity (AMO) model of performance

Source: OECD (2017b)

Incentivising performance in Paraguay’s civil service

Paraguay’s current performance assessment system39 gives the SFP a central regulatory role while the concrete implementation of the performance system is left to the discretion of individual institutions. Within the system, the SFP records performance evaluations through SICCA, provides guidelines to public institutions and approves their performance systems. Performance assessments are carried out by an Evaluation Commission within public institutions at least once a year and at the most twice a year. Like most OECD countries, performance assessment in Paraguay applies to almost all civil servants, including people in politically-appointed positions (for an exemption, the organisation must justify its decision to the SFP). Out of the 31 OECD countries that have a formal performance assessment system for all or almost all civil servants, 28 consider it an HRM priority. Canada and Ireland have recently implemented performance management systems; Canada has standardised a single system across the Core Public Administration, while Ireland has simplified their assessments to a two-point scale – satisfactory or not (OECD, 2017a).

Performance assessments look at employees’ work attitudes (behavioural orientations to work and to the public service) and capabilities (ability to team work, to maintain interpersonal relationships), as well as individual factors that may influence performance, knowledge, or attitudes. In Paraguay, evaluation results are used in decisions related to admission, promotions, and occasional performance rewards of civil servants. Definitive admission into the civil service depends on two performance evaluations before 2 years of seniority. Performance is also one of the criteria for promotion, in addition to technical expertise, academic credits obtained by the completion of formal courses or specialisations, and certification. Performance results are an input to develop improvement plans for civil servants and to identify health, welfare and work safety problems. Finally, poor performance results for two consecutive assessments may lead to contract termination40.

Improving performance is about creating the right incentives, which may or not include performance related pay (PRP). Indeed, PRP is not a necessary component of a high-performing civil service, and some high-performing countries such as Belgium do not use it. In Paraguay, PRP consists of occasional rewards “for services or tasks performed, for better or greater production and results of the administrative and financial management or other institutional management indicators during the fiscal year”. Bonuses are occasional and do not constitute monthly supplementary remuneration. They are allocated according to budget availability (PRP is established in the annual budget law), and depend on each public institutions’ internal regulations.

Improving Paraguay’s performance management system is likely to be one of the civil service’s main challenges, because it is not just about creating regulations, but it implies a shift in the management culture. Taking into account the Abilities-Motivation-Opportunities framework above, a performance management system should be about creating conditions that enable performance, and not seen as a tool to punish or reward. In this context, while integrating performance within the broader SICCA system seems necessary to address disparities across institutions, further involving middle and senior managers in improving actual performance will be a key issue.

Developing skills across the civil service

Skills are dynamic and change with time. Digitalisation for example requires civil servants constantly to update certain skills. Lifetime and policy can influence the proficiency or loss of certain skills over time (OECD 2016c), and skills may also depreciate due to a lack of use (Desjardins and Warnke 2012). Maintaining a professional and skilled civil service requires the capacity to train and develop civil servants at different stages in their careers.

In OECD countries the oversight of learning and training in the central public administration tends to be under the responsibility of the executive institution responsible for HRM in the civil service (21 OECD countries). While OECD countries have different approaches to learning in the public sector, schools of government are often in charge of delivering at least some training for civil servants.

  • The Finnish Institute of Public Management (HAUS) trains civil servants and supports organisations in the field of training. Some agencies in Finland offer joint training programmes and institutions like the Office for the Government, and the State Treasury play a horizontal role.

  • In Portugal, the Directorate General for Qualification of Employees in Public Functions (former National Institute for Administration) promotes competency development and qualification of employees in the civil service, but there are also other public and private organisations that administer learning to public employees.

Like many OECD countries, INAPP is Paraguay’s main continuous training provider for civil servants and has been a key stakeholder in improving civil servants’ qualifications. An important step in this direction was the creation of partnerships with universities in 2013 to help over 3000 civil servants earn academic degrees through lower tuition fees. In parallel, INAPP also develops its own continuous training programmes (and trains around 350 civil servants per year), advises public institutions and assesses their institutional training plans. INAPP is in charge of implementing SICCA’s training subsystem, which includes the above-mentioned scholarships for civil servants in addition to short-term continuous training courses.

Within this framework Paraguay shares common civil-service training priorities with many OECD countries. INAPP’s continuous training programmes cover a wide range of topics, including IT and digital skills, but also organizational and motivational leadership. In addition, INAPP trains civil servants on the SICCA system and provides technical training for specific jobs, such as accounting or public procurement. Training needs are identified through assessments against the indicators from the Personnel Management Index and through the results of performance assessments. While in OECD countries performance assessments are also often used to identify skills gaps, these methods tend to look at training as a remedy for poor performance, instead of taking into account current and future skills priorities.

Figure 5.10. Training priorities in OECD countries

Source: OECD (2016) SHRM survey

Induction training upon entrance in Paraguay’s civil service remains under the responsibility of each public institution. Delivering some kind of induction training could be useful for Paraguay to strengthen connections between civil servants; in particular those recruited through SICCA’s merit-based processes. Some OECD countries provide common indication training to all civil servants as a way to strengthen a whole-of-government perspective, instil civil-service values and strengthen loyalty towards the broad public administration and serving the public interest. Most OECD countries (28) report having some kind of initial training for civil servants. In most cases it tends to be to some public servants only, Switzerland for example has induction training for HR managers. Eight OECD countries differentiate training according to seniority level; in Korea for instance newly-recruited grade 5 officials should take 16 week induction training. Training for lower grades (7 and 9) training is at the discretion of each Ministry41.

The professionalization of Paraguay’s civil service through training faces important challenges despite INAPP’s efforts in terms of training development and delivery. As with other areas of civil service reform, the main challenges relate to funding and capacity for implementation: INAPP is run by only 5 civil servants and it has no budget from the government with the exception of criteria that fall under the national budget. These constraints limit the possibilities for INAPP to improve its training offer and to provide effective support to public institutions (in particular considering its role under SICCA). Another difficulty is the impossibility for INAPP to receive funds from Paraguayan public institutions, even though they all have a training budget. International support helps fund immediate training needs but INAPP’s dependence on donors limits its strategic capacity. To organise and deliver its training programmes, every year INAPP presents proposals to different donors (mainly international organisations and bilateral cooperation mechanisms), who decide on which programmes will be funded. Accountability requirements change from one cooperating agency to the other, which also increases INAPP’s workload to comply with evaluations and overall procedures. INAPP could consider setting up a donor co-ordination structure to facilitate inclusive and continuous dialogue.

To strengthen its delivery capacity, INAPP is involved in international networks, partnerships with universities and develops of on-line courses (about 50% of the training offer). Some leadership courses for example are developed at the Ibero-American level, and INAPP is part of Latin American working groups who share pedagogical material on common training themes. While the development of an on-line training offer is essential to reach wider audiences, uneven access to internet may limit the ability of all civil servants to benefit from this possibility.

Collaboration with universities tends to focus on the need to base the courses design on experience in the civil service and academic knowledge; trainers in INAPP are usually required to have a status of educator and civil servant. OECD Schools of government have different approaches to recruit trainers. In France (Ecole nationaled’administration, ENA), Portugal (Direção Geral da Qualificação dos Trabalhadores em Funções Públicas, INA) or Spain, for example, trainers tend to be practitioners working in the civil service, but in other countries, they may have an academic background.

Considering INAPP’s challenges, the civil service could consider using additional mechanisms to develop civil servants skills, such as mobility programmes. While only 11 OECD countries report having specific programmes to encourage mobility in the civil service, in 2016, most countries (27) reported plans to increase internal mobility within their public administration. Mobility programmes tend to be used for professional development of civil servants (Figure 5.11).

Figure 5.11. Objectives of mobility programmes (OECD 35, 2016)

Source: OECD (2016) SHRM survey

Mobility is one of SICCA’s submodules currently under development. It is expected to facilitate and encourage mobility within the public administration as part of the civil service career. Currently, mobility is not yet encouraged but a civil servant may be transferred for reasons of service within the same body or entity, or to different ones, and within or outside the municipality of residence of the official42. Mobility regulation43 is based on the need to reassign duties to public servants for a better organization and to meet institutional needs to provide a better service.

Managers’ skills for a better management culture

Many OECD countries have a special employment framework to take into account the specificities and constraints of public managers, in particular Senior Civil Servants (SCS) (Figure 5.12). Indeed, SCS are expected to manage their teams while also being experts, they need to implement top-down decisions while taking a citizen-responsive approach; they need to manage change while ensuring continuity of operations.

Managerial positions are particularly relevant for civil-service performance. Within their institutions, the SCS influence the organisational culture and values, and under the right conditions they can have a positive effect on the performance, motivation and satisfaction of their teams (Orazi et al., 2013). As such the SCS should be equipped to develop and support their teams to achieve organizational objectives and to align the organisation with its environment (Van Wart, 2013). SCS influence the way organisations are structured, they select employees, align resources, open doors and remove barriers for their teams. Without the support and commitment of top leadership, public sector innovation cannot take hold (OECD 2017).

Figure 5.12. Differences between the employment framework for senior managers and other civil servants

Source: OECD (2016) SHRM survey

Although leadership is not considered in the SICCA system, it is a particularly challenging area in Paraguay where the highest hierarchical levels tend to be politically appointed positions. In the institutions under the Presidency of the Republic there are more political appointments than in other State agencies (see Figure 5.13). When a big part of public managers is composed of politically-appointed individuals, their loyalty tends to be partisan, focusing on serving their politicians rather than the public interest and the professionalization of the civil service. Political appointments are also an important source of instability, since they serve at pleasure and are discretionary, and the end-of-term of a political appointment does not translate into a responsibility to leave a legacy for the administration44. In Paraguay merit-based selection mechanism can be used to recruit for politically appointed positions but are neither compulsory nor controlled by the SFP.

About half OECD countries have mechanisms to ensure merit in political appointments which could be inspiring experiences for Paraguay. The most common is the identification of merit-based criteria that are matched to the candidate in a transparent manner. In some countries an independent organisation prepares a shortlist based on merit from which the political appointment is made; sometimes the appointment needs to be confirmed through the legislature (Figure 5.14).

In Canada for example the Clerk of the Privy Council plays a key role in the selection of deputy ministers, based on short lists proposed by COSO (the cross-government Committee of Senior Officials), and Senior Personnel administer the process.

Figure 5.13. Classification of the highest hierarchical positions

Source: SFP

Figure 5.14. Ensuring merit in political appointments of civil servants

Source: OECD (2016), Survey on Strategic Human Resources Management in Central/Federal Governments of OECD Countries

Despite large numbers of politically appointed positions among senior managers, Paraguay has a centrally-defined skills profile for senior managers: the Classifier of Job positions – Requirements’ Map45. These requirements include work experience, formal education and continuous training, and a list of competencies and skills, including those identified in the 2016 dictionary of competencies for Ibero-American public servants (Guía Referencial Iberoamericana de Competencias Laborales en el Sector Público)46.

Considering the important role of the SCS, many OECD countries are reviewing the leadership competencies needed to select and develop top level leaders. The Netherlands’ new leadership vision emphasises reflection, co-operation and integrity. In Australia, the New South Wales’ civil service has also identified leadership “derailers” – aspects of leaders’ approach/behaviour that may work against their effectiveness in certain situations, and how to be aware and manage for these. Estonia is looking at areas such as innovation and strategic agility. Chile created a central senior civil service system to establish a professional senior management (Box 5.11).

Paraguay’s senior and middle managers have the right to continuous training47 and once a year they can attend training related to the work programme of their agencies. Longer training periods are subject to hierarchical approval and an opinion from the SFP. However discussions with interlocutors suggest that managers lack training in key areas for civil service performance such as motivational leadership, decision-making or risk management. Scrutiny from citizens and media can be a source of paralysis and lead to strong risk aversion from managers. Skills development and more transparent planning and management systems could help overcome blockages.

In light of these challenges, the SFP is currently working on the professionalization of the top management inspired and in partnership with Chile’s National Civil Service Direction of Chile (DNSC). This triangular cooperation (USAID / SFP / DNSC), is developing tools which can permit improvement in fields such as performance evaluation, induction and competition eligibility standards and procedures for addressing cases of sexual and employment-based harassment and discrimination in public administration cases.

Individual performance and skills (in particular managers’) are necessary to support professionalization in the civil service, but in order to contribute to better services for citizens they need to be linked with national and institutional objectives. For example, discussions with interlocutors suggest that institutions and civil servants remain widely unaware of the PND. Ideally, individual performance objectives should align with broader objectives. In 11 OECD countries SCS are accountable for performance improvement of the civil service as a whole, and not only the performance of their departments.

Ireland established in 2014 a Civil Service Management Board (CSMB) to bring together all Secretaries General and Heads of major offices and is chaired by the Secretary General to the Government. Its role is to strengthen the collective leadership of the Civil Service and ensure that the Government has the support of a cohesive executive management team to manage the delivery of whole-of-Government priorities and outcomes. To provide oversight on accountability and performance across the Civil Service system, Ireland established in 2015 an Accountability Board with members from different ministries48 and high ranking civil servants and external members.

Box 5.11. Senior Civil Service Recruitment and Selection in Chile: Sistema de Alta Dirección Pública

In 2003, the Chilean government, with the agreement of all political actors (opposition political parties, non-governmental organizations, civil society), created the Sistema de Alta Dirección Pública (ADP), a central senior civil service system. The aim of the ADP was to establish a professional senior management. Following the reform, there are three distinct groups:

  • The most senior positions which are filled by direct designation by the government (1,000 positions out of 2 million in central government)

  • The ADP, for which recruitment is based on public competition (1,000 positions in central government). There are two levels within the ADP: approximately 1% at the first hierarchical level (heads of service, directors general), and the remainder at the second hierarchical level (regional directors, heads of division)

  • Middle management positions (2,000 positions in central government) at the third hierarchical level, which form part of the career civil service

The ADP system has been implemented gradually by recruiting by open competition whenever a post falls vacant and by expanding it over time to additional groups. For example, it has been expended to include 3,600 Municipal Education Directors and 2,800 new senior management posts in municipalities.

Most of the selection process for the ADP is contracted out to specialised recruitment agencies. The National Civil Service Directorate (DNSC) is responsible for management of the ADP. However, the Senior Public Management Council (Consejo de Alta Dirección Pública) is in charge of guaranteeing the transparency, confidentiality and absence of discrimination of the selection process. It is chaired by the director of the DNSC and has four members proposed by the President of Chile and approved by the Senate. The selection process, which takes about four months, begins with the publication of the vacancy in the media. A specialised enterprise commissioned by the Council analyses the curricula vitae of the different candidates and prepares a shortlist for the Council or a selection committee (under the Council’s supervision). Professional competence, integrity and probity are some of the criteria used in the selection process. Subsequently, the Council or the committee selects the best candidates for interview and prepares a final shortlist for the competent authority for the final appointment.

The ADP system was based on international experience. In particular, the experience of OECD countries such as Australia and New Zealand strongly influenced the Chilean model. The system is considered one of the main achievements of the modernisation of Chile’s public management. One effect has been the decline in the number of political appointees in the central government; they currently represent only 0.5% of the total public workforce. It is also argued that the presence of women in senior positions has increased under the system; they occupy 32% of positions, compared to 15% in the Chilean private sector.

Sources: Weber, Alejandro (2012) ‘Alta Dirección Pública’, presentation given at the seminar Fortaleciendo la Capacidad del Empleo Público Colombiano, Bogota, 27 July 2012.

Final considerations

As the civil service pursues the implementation of HR reforms, attention should be paid to the sustainability of HR reforms. First and foremost, political resistance or change may reduce the scope for action of the SFP. The SFP has a small team and small budget, and needs capacity to be able to engage other public stakeholders in the reform process. Second, the SFP should keep in mind the long term vision for the civil service while building a strong professional foundation for the civil service.

Further strengthening transparency and public visibility of HR processes should continue to build broad support and exert pressure for pursuing reforms. Citizen pressure for a more professional civil service and for a more efficient use of the HR budget may be an effective counterbalance to an eventual political resistance. Institutional performance metrics should help getting evidence for greater support to the different HR initiatives.

Comparison with civil service trends in OECD countries shows that SICCA has the potential to strengthen professionalization of the civil service. Yet, it depends on its successful implementation and its resilience, not a foregone conclusion in Paraguay:

  • First, many of these changes were introduced through decrees and regulations that can be easily removed once another government takes office. For this reason, it’s important that the SFP can make the case for the relevance of the different civil service reforms to get political buy in from different political parties, and increase the chances of sustainability. The current efforts in terms of transparency may provide leverage to the SFP because the media and the citizens can help make the case for a more professional civil service.

  • Second, budget constraints may affect SFP’s capacity to implement its work programme. Most of the programmes implemented so far have been supported by international donors, including training or performance management systems. Political support to the civil service professionalization should be reflected through a better alignment between the role of the SFP and the resources available to it. In this regard, reforming the compensation system may help achieve this goal.

  • Third, while the SFP is to be commended for the work it has developed in recent years, it has limited human and financial capacity. In parallel with reinforcing the SFP’s capacity, HR reforms should involve other institutions and civil servants as much as possible (for example through HR networks), to get institutional buy-in and increase the chances of success and sustainability over time.


In light of the assessment above, Paraguay should continue efforts to implement a transparent and merit based civil service, and reduce political influence in the HR system. Professionalization is a way of counterbalancing clientelism and private interests in favour of a public service for citizens. Paraguay has made commendable efforts to professionalise its civil service and this beginning to show in terms of better attraction and performance. There is still much work to be done as funding for the open recruitment and merit systems remain unstable, and the decrees which enact them can easily be undone under a change in political priorities.

To achieve this, it is essential that Paraguay continue its efforts in this area and find resources to ensure the systems are implemented effectively. Until now, Paraguay’s civil service reform has been highly dependent on foreign aid, especially for investments in the digitalisation of recruitment and capacity development of civil servants. In addition, as the extension of SFP’s role is affecting its capacity to provide services efficiently, and considering SICCA’s positive impact in the merit-based recruitment, it becomes urgent that more resources are allocated to the SFP so that it can provide the quality control and support for the process in a timelier manner.

Additionally, the SFP has a small team and small budget, and needs additional resources to be able to engage other public stakeholders in the reform process. Strategic communication within the public sector may be essential to raise awareness about the usefulness of the system in order to keep it open and transparent. Digitalisation is helping to build links across organisations, and SFP is making efforts to develop more interoperability. HR reforms should involve other institutions and civil servants as much as possible (for example through HR networks), to get institutional buy-in and increase the chances of success and sustainability over time. To this end, Paraguay could:

  • Promote wider use of transparent and standardised recruitment procedures across the public administration, especially for managers and extend this to internal competitions. This should also be extended to other HR process, through SICCA to make processes more standardised and transparent;

  • Make efforts to speed up recruitment processes so as to avoid creating long delays due to complaints and approval procedures. At the moment SFP appears to be under-resourced for all of the functions it is expected to provide. Additional resources and/or collaboration with other HR departments could help;

  • Develop a communications strategy to build awareness and commitment for the open and transparent systems. This may include collecting and disseminating meritocratic statistics data and institutional performance metrics to help build the evidence-base for greater support to the different HR initiatives. This should also include developing HR networks across the different civil service institutions to create a coalition that can help to build a movement around an open and merit based civil service.

  • Ensure that all implicated bodies are appropriately resourced to carry out these functions in a timely and effective manner.

Increase the transparency of the compensation system in order to limit opportunities for manipulation and promote merit in compensation. Public scrutiny of the system can help to decrease risks of manipulation, such as arbitrary salary increases, or multiplication of positions without institutional requirements. This can have an overall positive benefit to Paraguay’s public budget. To this end, Paraguay could:

  • Continue efforts to clean up the salary system by reducing salary categories and developing standardised pay bands. This should be done in a way that ensures sustainability in the long term, under the force of law.

  • Assess pay discrepancies in the public sector and take necessary steps to equalise pay for same work.

  • Reduce opportunities for manipulation and corruption of the salary system by increasing transparency through online systems.

Pursue efforts to develop a culture of public service and performance. HR reforms are not only about regulations. They also require a great deal of culture change within institutions, and civil servants should be at the centre of reforms. The question is how the civil service will be able to attract and retain qualified people and ensure that they work in a positive and constructive environment. Merit-based recruitment is only the beginning. Once hired, civil servants need to remain motivated and engaged when they start working in the civil service. They also need to upgrade their skills. However, within Paraguay’s continuous training system, skills development initiatives are often fragmented and good practices in this area appear to be difficult to scale up. To this end, Paraguay could consider:

  • Delivering induction training to strengthen connections between civil servants; in particular those recruited through SICCA’s merit-based processes.

  • Enhancing attractive individual career paths, including through encouraging skills development and enhancing manager’s capacity to engage civil servants and promote good performance.

  • Setting up a more stable funding stream according to the availability of resources (either from the national budget, from payments by ministries and agencies, and/or through a donor co-ordination structure) to support a coherent approach to training and development.

Leadership/Senior Civil Service. Although leadership is not considered in the SICCA system, it is a particularly challenging area in Paraguay where the highest hierarchical levels tend to be politically appointed positions. While these highest levels remain outside the scope of the laws requiring meritocratic recruitment, Paraguay could implement some minimum standards to ensure that senior positions are filled by people with the right skills and competencies for the job and not only the right loyalty to ruling party. To this end Paraguay could consider:

  • Developing training for senior managers in key areas for civil service performance such as motivational leadership, decision-making or risk management.

  • Using merit-based selection mechanisms to recruit top management positions following the example of Chile (Box 5.11).


CLAD (2016), Guía Referencial Iberoamericana de Competencias Laborales en el Sector Público,

Desjardins, R. and A. Warnke (2012), “Ageing and Skills:A Review and Analysis of Skill Gain and Skill Loss Overthe Lifespan and Over Time”, OECD Education WorkingPapers, No. 72, OECD Publishing.

Gobierno Nacional (2014), Plan Nacional de Desarrollo Paraguay 2030,

Dumas, Victor (2017) Diagnóstico institucional delservicio civil en América Latina: Paraguay, preparado para elBanco Interamericano de Desarrollo,

OECD (2014a), Recommendation of the Council on Digital Government Strategies, OECD, Paris, available at

OECD (2016a), Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2017, OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2016b), Digital Government in Chile: Strengthening the Institutional and GovernanceFramework, OECD Digital Government Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2016c), Skills Matter: Further Results from the Survey of Adult Skills, OECD Skills Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2017a), Government at a Glance 2017, OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2017b), Fostering Innovation in the Public Sector, OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2017c), Digital Government Review of Norway: Boosting the Digital Transformation of the Public Sector, OECD Digital Government Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris.


← 1.

← 2.

← 3.

← 4.

← 5.

← 6.

← 7.

← 8. Consisting of social benefits other than social transfers in kind and of social transfers in kind provided to households via market producers

← 9. Paraguay’s Central Public Administration (CPA) includes the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, their offices and departments, and this chapter will focus on the Executive branch

← 10. Law 1626/00, Art. 93 and 99

← 11. Created by Decree 17443/02 on June 7, 2002

← 12. Law n° 1626/00, Art. 98

← 13. In line with the Ibero-American Charter for the Public Service

← 14. Including for example: results of the performance evaluations, promotions, administrative penalties, training received, payments and benefits received, and other personal, family, academic and employment data

← 15. Law n° 1626/00, Art. 96

← 16. CSL Art. 96

← 17. Law n°1626/00, CSL

← 18. Including for example the Supreme Court of Justice, the General Comptroller of the Republic, some Departmental Governments (Guaira) and Municipalities (Asuncion, Ciudad del Este, Encarnacion, Luque). See here for updated list:

← 19. The list of institutions that have gotten agreement of unconstitutionality ruling is available at

← 20. Decree n° 1212/14 approving the implementation of the single portal of public employment “Paraguay concursa” and the operationalisation of the centralized integrated system for the administrative career”)

← 21.

← 22.

← 23.

← 24. Source of data was not available

← 25.

← 26. Article 47, 1992 National Constitution

← 27. Through Law n° 2479/2004 qu’establece l’obligatoriedad de l’incorporación de personas con discapacida en las instituciones públicas

← 28. Law n°1626/2000 also regulates the legal situation of most public officials and employees, staff of trust, contractual staff and ancillary service assistants. Exceptions include for example the President and Vice-President of the Republic, Ministers, Senators, Diplomats, Teachers, Magistrates of the Judicial Branch, etc. (CSL Art. 2)

← 29. According to the “Inter-American Convention against Corruption”, ratified by Law No. 977/96, "Public Official", "Government Official", or "Public Servant" means any official or employee of the State or its agencies, including those who have been selected, appointed, or elected to perform activities or functions in the name of the State or in the service of the State, at any level of its hierarchy

← 30. Article 5 and article 27 of Law 1626/2000

← 31. SINARH/SIARE (integrated system of financial information at the Ministry of Finance)

← 32. The information detailed by Agencies and Entities of the State is available in detail on the website of the Ministry of Finance,

← 33., Reports and Documents section, Reports on public finances (Informes y Documentos / Informes sobre las finanzas públicas)

← 34. Namely teachers and health staff

← 35. Constitution, Art. 105 and Law n° 700/96. Teaching (and part-time scientific research for Councillors) is an exception

← 36.

← 37. Regulated by Article 102 of Decree 8127/2000 “Establishing the Legal and Administrative Provisions that Regulate the Implementation of Law No. 1535/99, “On State Financial Administration“

← 38. Some suggests reductions from 85% of the public expense to 70%, although these numbers are unverified by the OECD. The OECD’s comparative methodology suggests approximately 50% of public expenditure went to the wage bill in 2014 as presented in figure 2 of this chapter

← 39. Approved in 2013 through Resolution SFP No. 328/2013 “Whereby the General Instruction for the Performance Evaluation and Identification of Potential for Permanent Public Officials and Contractual Personnel of the Agencies and Entities of the State is approved”, available in

← 40. Civil service law

← 41. In the Korean system, Grade 9 is the lowest and Grade 1 is the highest

← 42. Civil service law

← 43. See SFP Resolution No. 150/2008 “Establishing the Procedure for the Implementation of the Labor Mobility Policy of Permanent Officials in the Public Service, in Accordance with the Provisions Set Forth in the Establishments in Articles 37 and 38 of Law No. 1626/2000 ‘On Public Service’”

← 44. Art. 8, Law 1626/2000

← 45. Resolution SFP N°. 180/2016 que reglamenta el alcance de varios artículos del anexo del decreto nº 3857/2015 “por el cual se aprueba el reglamento general de selección para el ingreso y promoción en la función pública, en cargos permanentes y temporales, mediante la realización de concursos públicos de oposición, concursos de oposición y concursos de méritos, de conformidad con los artículos 15, 25, 27 y 35 de la ley n° 1626/2000 de la función pública”, y define los mecanismos de adecuación del SICCA

← 46. Approved by the XVII Conferencia Iberoamericana de Ministras y Ministros de Administración Pública y Reforma del Estado (CLAD 2016)

← 47. According to the civil service law

← 48. Taoiseach, Tanaiste, Ministers for DPER & Finance