Paper critical of govt decision to review appointments

Koper – Primorske Novice finds it unusual that the Robert Golob government has decided to review all appointments, reassignments and promotions in the state administration since 1 January 2020 to see whether some staff got the job through political connections. The newspaper believes this will do little to solve the problem.

Instead of compiling populist lists of names, more could be done by passing some legal restrictions, reads Saturday’s commentary headlined Depoliticisation Golob-Style.

“It might help if, for example, the National Assembly passed a bill banning hiring in the state administration six months before a regular election, or immediately after the fall of a government.”

The government is allowed to collect such data but what will it do with it given that it is not within its jurisdiction to act if it finds irregularities.

Action can only be taken by heads of individual bodies or by the public administration inspection service, which must first see if employment procedures were violated.

Depoliticising staffing in the state administration was one of the attractive pre-election promises, and now we are starting to see what it can bring in practice.

The paper says that the previous coalition certainly made sure that people loyal to it got jobs. “Just think of the Office for Demographic Affairs where people from the Democrats (SDS) or their circles found themselves shortly before the elections. For example, Aleš Primc, an advocate of the “real” family, got a job there.”

But what is at the same time ironic about Golob’s lists is that those who wanted to find a job for former Court of Audit president Igor Šoltes at the Official Gazette three years ago, are now preaching about the unacceptability of political staffing. It was the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) that wanted to get Šoltes a new job, while Šoltes has now become a state secretary by the choice of the Social Democrats (SD).

Professional posts in the state administration having become a political fiefdom is a reason for concern, but the government’s list will do little to solve the problem.

“The web of political hiring did not begin two and a half years ago. It will probably never be untangled, but it could at least be loosened a little.”