Another day, another step backwards. That’s what it looks like to ISME on reading the story by @irishtimes industry correspondent Martin Wall that the government has abandoned a proposal to make a third of senior positions in the Civil Service open to competition from external candidates.
Ah lads, we don’t need any outside competition?
The coalition document, agreed in 2011, said all appointments at principal officer level and above would be open to external competition and that a third of these appointments would be allocated to candidates from outside the traditional Civil Service structure for a five-year period.
The Civil Service should be doing the very best job it can on behalf of the State and its citizens. So why not encourage outsiders, maybe those with industry experience or perhaps international public service experience, into the Civil Service to ensure we’re getting best practices and the best return for our buck? This kind of thing is commonplace in the US and other countries where many top rated business people choose to work in the administration for a number of years.
The Civil Service, the unelected government
As usual the stifling of competition, in this case for well rewarded jobs, seems to stem from concerns expressed by the Public Selfish (sorry Service) Executive Union (PSEU), the guys who say they must be first in the queue for, wait for it, “Pay Restoration”!!!!
Martin Wall quotes a communication from the union to its members stating, “In effect, promotion processes have been opened up already with access for all Civil Servants to posts across streams and grades. “However, worryingly and rather bafflingly, one of the action points speaks of the intention to extend the established policy of open competition for all senior management positions (assistant principal and above). “Apart from the logistical difficulties in running open competitions for all such posts, were this action to be implemented in its entirety, there would be no promotion opportunities within departments. Thus, exceptional work performance would, if this happened, carry no value in terms of promotion.”
A case for @CompetitionIrl ?
Now there is a baffling attitude. A ‘logistical difficulty’ in running open competitions? What planet do these people live on? Every enterprise, big or small, runs open competitions for jobs. And the reason for running an open competition is because it’s the best way to hire the best. And if someone has ‘exceptional work performance’ as stated by the union, surely they should have no worries that they’ll blow the other candidates out of the water?
If it wasn’t so depressing it would be funny. We presume that some PSEU members also work for the Civil Service run Competition Authority? This is the authority that is tasked with “Investigating and challenging practices that are damaging to consumers and/or the wider economy” as well as “Bringing anti-competitive behaviour and practices that are harmful to consumers to an end, where necessary via court actions”. This is clearly anti-competitive behaviour right under their own noses so will court actions ensue?