Kazakhstan to reduce number of civil servants by 10 percent this year and 15 percent next year
Downsizing of the workforce to increase the efficiency of civil servants or how will the size of the state apparatus in Kazakhstan be reduced in the coming years? Chairperson of the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Civil Service Affairs Anar Zhailganova spoke about the reform in public administration at a press briefing. She said that according to the instructions of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, next year the number of civil servants will decrease by almost a quarter. The size of the state apparatus will be reduced by 10 percent by the end of this year, and by another 15 percent in the following year.
According to Kazakh Civil Service Affairs Agency, to date, the total number of civil servants amounts to nearly 97,000 people. This is 1.1 percent of the economically active population - almost like in developed countries. The Agency proposes to consider the following points to ensure that the downsizing does not lead to an increase in the workload of the remaining employees, a decrease in the quality of performed work and an inefficient distribution of the workforce.
“In deciding which posts should be downsized, continuing vacancies will be considered first. To date, the total number of vacancies amounts to nearly 8,000, or 8.5 percent of the total number of the state apparatus. In addition, more than 1,000 positions are released each year due to the retirement of employees. Also, nearly 6,000 civil servants are moving into the private sector and other organizations. We believe that the use of this reserve will help minimize the actual civil service job cuts. Thus, it will not simply be mechanical civil service layoffs, but, first of all, downsizing with the aim to increase their efficiency,” Zhailganova said.
She added that such a downsizing will eliminate duplication of work and reduce redundant supervisors. In addition, low-priority tasks would be transferred to a competitive environment, and business processes would be automated as much as possible.
“It is necessary to ensure the protection of socially vulnerable categories of employees, as well as the employment of individuals subject to cuts. Currently, according to the Labor Code, pregnant women, mothers with children under three years of age, single mothers and other individuals raising children without a mother are not subject to cuts, as well as employees who have less than two years left until retirement. In this regard, observance of the above-mentioned rights of civil servants will be monitored. Also, the Law on Civil Service provides for the payment of severance pay if an individual has a public service experience of at least three years,” stressed Zhailganova, referring to four average monthly salaries.
The downsizing is considered by the Agency as a stimulus to the formation of the continuity of the state apparatus. Leaders are also advised not to touch socially vulnerable civil servants, especially if they are the only breadwinners in the family, and to help colleagues who have been laid off to find a new job.