Public administration reform? It is not enough just to reduce salaries!

Government budgetary responsibility. A government that wants to reduce the salaries of civil servants. Save in the state budget. Reduce the cost of state traffic… Sounds sublime, right? Is this government really about the better fiscal situation of the Czech Republic, or is it just a new facade of the same policy in the direction of the "status quo"?

Miroslav Kalousek
Miroslav Kalousek

Many "right-wing" people cheered after the election. Yes! Finally, there is a right-wing government with a strong mandate! Yes, we will finally stop getting in debt! Yes, taxes will finally be reduced, and yes, we will finally be "budgetary responsible" - giving money from the budget where it is really needed and not wasted.

Great hopes were placed in the current government. The reality after several months of office must be one big disappointment for many of these enthusiastic voters. And unfortunately, nothing much better probably awaits them in the future.

Mr. Parkinson would cry

A book was published 52 years ago The laws of Professor Parkinson. Two emerged from this satirical book Parkinson's laws state bureaucracies that say that an official rises in his career as his subordinates increase (because he is not motivated by profit but by the budget of his department), and that each official assigns work to other officials (to defend his position and gain some subordinates).

So it doesn't matter if we cut the salaries of current government officials by 10 percent or 20 percent. It will not reduce bureaucracy and government spending over time.

The reason is simple - although we will reduce salaries, even if some current officials leave the office, new officials will come in the future. He is satisfied with a lower salary in exchange for job security - and work in the state administration is generally relatively secure.

However, if some employees resign and we do not reduce the amount of work we require of employees, we will sooner or later have to hire new people in their place. And they have to learn, they make mistakes in the beginning, they work more slowly, they don't orient themselves… There are, of course, additional costs associated with all this. What does this mean for the state administration?

This means that if we have a state office of 100 officials and 50 of them leave our office after a salary reduction, the number of officials will increase again in the next few years - and the cost of the office along with them. In short, by cutting wages, the state will not save in the long run. Conceptual solutions need to be sought elsewhere.

The question is, of course, how long it will take for the number of officials to return to the original level, but it can be expected that it will be a period longer than 4 years. After all, it wouldn't be a good business card for one or another party of a devoted director. But others will follow. And they don't just bow down! That is why the current government solution is unconceptual. Although it may seem reasonable at first glance, the government is showing us a typically populist and short-sighted policy with its "cuts": during its tenure, it will get rid of some civil servants, but it will not get rid of the causes of their growth. number!

In a few years, when the current government is in opposition, the same politicians who are "reforming" today will get angry at the new set: "Look, look at them! They are to blame for the growth of bureaucracy and the number of officials, the bastards are spending it! ”And again, it will seem like a sensible burn, which will certainly bring preferential points. And so round and round…

In other words, the "cut-off policy" of the current government of Petr Nečas (and Minister Kalousek) is in fact a policy of anti-cuts - something will be cut today, but in order to spend it anyway in the future. Apart from the fact that the costs of "induction" are also associated with the new employee. If we take into account the overall size of the state administration, we may even find that the current "cuts" mean higher expenditures in the future, ie that the current government allocates costs to the next government.

And again, it will be today's government politicians who will call for the denigration of the wasteful government that will be in power at that time.

How to get out of it?

You may be thinking after previous skeptical lines that there is actually no way out of government spending. But yes - there is a way. Do you know which office costs us nothing today and nothing will cost us in the future? Well, of course, the office that doesn't exist.

An office that does not exist does not have a manager who longs for the largest possible budget. It has no employees lobbying for their hot spots and crowds of assistants. "There are so many registers! Who's to chase it! Do you know that? ”And it doesn't even have rooms that need to be acquired, maintained, or repaired. It just isn't.

In other words, the only way to streamline the state administration effectively and reduce the number of officials is disturb. Not thinning, not slimming down, but disturb whole unnecessary offices,get rid of government agendas and clean collection of laws.

Why is the government cutting spending on social assistance? Shouldn't we first think about whether we need the Wine Fund? Or is it really worth pouring 60 crowns a year into the contributory organization CENIA and its ecological brochures? And what do we need the Theater Institute for, please?

Unfortunately, the current government has not yet indicated that it has begun to disrupt. After all, this was also stated by the Minister of Finance Miroslav Kalousek himself, when he stated that he "is here for redistribution." But let's not blame him - he's a politician and he's about re-election.

All those who had already hoped that a government with such a strong mandate would finally do something sensible with the state administration must now be disappointed. This government has a strong mandate only to preserve the status quo, which will cover the old-new facade. After big statements, now what she wore on her T-shirt, she will only weakly leave to the next…

The article was originally published on


  1. And what? The article is nothing. The fact that the state administration is to be streamlined is clear to somewhere .. But how? The article no longer solves that .. The sentence to reduce the number of civil servants is the same as the sentence we abolish the authorities, we abolish subsidies .. So we do not solve anything with this: D How to really get out of it? firstly, the state administration needs to be depoliticised and career rules introduced. An example is Her Majesty's Civil Service. 2) change the system of financial evaluation of officials 3) increase efficiency. In terms of the number of officials, we are not so bad compared to other countries, but in terms of efficiency, it is terrible. see World Bank Governance matters research. point 3, however, precedes points 1 and 2. // What will make politicians introduce points 1.2. ?? It is clear from empirical research that it is a robust political competition and an institutionalized party system. This means that the voter has a choice between two alternative poles, and at the same time there is a clear and identifiable strong opposition in the political system that is capable of alternating power. The Czech party system has one problem, and that is the Communists, who complicate the formation of left-wing governments. It is clear to me that only the right-wing government (ODS) is pleased with the authors of this blog, but nevertheless, for any political system, the one-party dominance is detrimental. It is important to alternate two blocks - left and right. Ideally bipartism as in the UK. (Although you can argue to me that Hungary is an example that speaks against the application of majority democracy to post-communist states) The rotation of the two blocs has a centripetal effect and thus the promotion of a "central policy".

  2. The last, really right-wing government also ended in 1939, since then this country has had only left-wing governments.

  3. Of course. They consider only the rock favor of those parties to be the right-wing government. For me personally, it's all left and done

  4. Well, Lukáš, at least you can see that leftists and rightists sometimes agree. Especially if you don't tell me that everything the government does is right, because the government is officially right-wing (for me, the right-wing is not in the slightest, and at the same time not left-wing. For me, it is an oligarchic government. didn't matter much.).

  5. Flower, you wrote me that I would not like the comment… but I like it. However, I will tell you something that you will not like bluntly - the vast majority of people (as far as I know) consider this to be a critique of state administration from right-wing positions. 🙂

    For example, several Laissez-Faire fans like the article.

  6. I thought this was a right-wing website and it looked like on our CSSD intranet. Ujete That you describe from us?

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