On 12 April President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko signed Decree No. 168 “Concerning a number of measures to optimize the system of administration bodies and other state organizations, the personnel structure of these organizations”.
The document envisages reduction of the personnel of state bodies and organizations by 25% on average.
The decree introduces a new structure for local executive bodies, procedures to set the number of employees for the administration of concern companies, state institutions that report directly to central government agencies, public sector organizations financed by oblast, basic, and primary budgets, district and rural executive committees.
In particular, the number of the personnel of city (oblast capitals), district executive committees and local administrations of city districts, town (district capitals), rural executive committees is defined by the oblast administrations, the Minsk City Council in compliance with the decree.
Released civil servants are granted respite of payment (repayment) of loans issued to construct, renovate or purchase housing and of payments for the first higher education of their children for the period of less than 12 months until they are reemployed. Released civil servants can also get healthcare services in the institutions they attended before the dismissal.
The decree entrusts a number of ministries with additional tasks and functions.
The Trade Ministry is to supervise that organizations and citizens observe legislation in trade, implementation of a single state policy in government procurement contracts (works, services), ensure coordination of the exhibition and fair activity in the country, control the issuance of licenses on the import and export of goods included in the unified register of goods, import or export of which is banned or limited for the member states of the Customs Union within the framework of the AurAsEC in trade with the third countries.
The Foreign Ministry is entrusted with additional tasks and functions to coordinate the development of the commodity distribution network, the exhibition and fair activities abroad, customs, tariff and non-tariff regulation of foreign trade, interaction with the WTO.
The Economy Ministry will have to coordinate interaction of state administration bodies, other state-run organizations accountable to the Council of Ministers on the issues related to the cooperation with the European Economic Commission.
The decree abolishes the Republican Labor Arbitrage. In this respect, the government will have to determine the order and conditions for the operation of labor arbitrages by 1 July 2013. The legal institute of labor arbitrages which handles corporate labor disputes will remain operational.
Apart from that, the Council of Ministers is expected to come up with proposals by 1 May 2013 to raise the financial security of civil servants. The Council of Ministers will also work together with the Belarus President Administration and the State Secretariat of the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus to optimize the existing network of diplomatic missions and consular institutions of the Republic of Belarus.
By 1 July 2013 the Council of Ministers is expected to submit proposals to reform notary offices and ensure staff reductions in the administration of concern compnies.
By 1 June 2013 the State Secretariat of the Security Council is supposed to inform the head of state about the optimization of the structure and staff reduction of prosecution workers, employees of military courts and law enforcement agencies.
Heads of government agencies, other state-run organizations are expected to bring their personnel charts into compliance with the decree by 1 July 2013 regarding the number of workers involved in maintenance and enabling the operation of government agencies in positions other than those that have to be approved by the Council of Ministers.
Oblast administrations and the Minsk city administration will have to bring their structure into compliance with the decree by 1 July 2013 and will have to make sure that town, district, and city district administrations do the same.
In 2013 heads of oblast administrations will have to optimize the number of rural executive committees and the number of their employees.
Apart from that, by 1 January 2014 the Council of Ministers will have to optimize the system of government agencies accountable to central state administration agencies and reduce the number of public sector workers by 25% on the whole.
Heads of relevant administration bodies other state-run organizations will assume personal responsibility for the optimization of the number of civil servants. The aforementioned directors will have to take measures to guarantee employment for released civil servants in line with the decree taking into account their qualifications and previous jobs.
The decree enters into force on 12 April 2013 and envisages that the main procedures to optimize the personnel structure of administration bodies and other state-run organizations will be fulfilled before July 2013.