Cyprus Mail

House questions civil service appointments

DIKO chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos with Finance Minister Harris Georgiades during a past meeting in parliament

By George Psyllides

PARLIAMENT has not been told what criteria the administration had used to open 785 positions in the government to ensure the smooth operation of certain departments, the chairman of the House finance committee said on Monday.

Nicolas Papadopoulos said no information was provided to the committee about the cabinet’s decision to open the positions — most concern promotions.

A hiring and promotions freeze had been imposed as part of the austerity drive but officials say this has created operational problems in some areas.

Earlier this month, the government decided to open 79 positions in the central government, 296 in the education service, 83 in the police, 16 in the fire service, 260 in the army, and 51 in the wider public sector.

Promotions will not come with a pay rise.

“It has not been explained to us who and by what criteria certain people have been chosen to be promoted,” Papadopoulos said. “And who chose and decided that some senior positions are important and substantive while others are not.”

Most unions oppose the decision.

Ruling DISY MP Prodromos Prodromou said the criterion should be to fill positions, where there are problems due to the absence of superiors.
“The matter regarding the National Guard and education is separate,” he said.

AKEL MP Yiannos Lamaris said opening the positions was made possible after parliament passed legislation allowing the government o fill positions vital for the public sector’s operation without the monetary benefit for two years.

“From the 2,500 open positions (for promotion) the government chose 785,” he said.

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