Session to discuss optimization of personnel numbers in government agencies

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As part of the state machine optimization it is necessary to prune all the unnecessary things, all the things that generate red tape and interfere with the dynamic development of the country, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the session to discuss the optimization of personnel numbers in government agencies on 17 March.

“Constant improvement of the management system and its mechanisms is crucial to improving the effectiveness of the government machine. We need to achieve results with skills instead of superfluous efforts. Instead of blowing up personnel numbers it is necessary to systematically shape a compact structure and an effective management model,” Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced. “First of all, the government machine needs to immediately get rid of all the extraneous things that generate red tape and interfere with the dynamic development of the country. Every person employed by government agencies should have a clear goal and should deal with specific tasks. If these people are engaged like that, it means they will produce results.”

The President emphasized that the optimization is not a one-time action timed to some specific date. It has to be done step by step.

The head of state underlined that optimization should go beyond simple reduction of personnel numbers. It is necessary to improve the government machine’s overall quality of work. “It is not correct to view the optimization of the operation of government agencies only as personnel layoffs. We would not be able to achieve a good effect like that. It is necessary to review all the processes going on in government agencies,” the Belarusian leader noted. “By the way, Belarusians draw attention to the same things in our opinion polls. When I met with representatives of law enforcement agencies during a government conference, I said that we have to optimize processes. A greater effect can be secured this way.”

The head of state reminded that certain steps were already made in 2013. It is necessary to continue this work now, focusing on the quality of all the management work. “This is why the government and the Belarus President Administration have been instructed to put together systemic proposals. Getting government agencies rid of parallel and non-core functions is the main goal. Reducing red tape in decision-making is a high priority,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “We often make decisions, I do, too, and those decisions need to be formalized as a document, as a decree, an executive order, or an instruction. Nevertheless, we spend months coming up with a proper form for decisions.”

The President pointed out he would like to thoroughly and comprehensively discuss the presented proposals concerning the optimization of operation of government agencies in order to make sure that correct decisions are made later on. “These decisions will affect concrete people. One has to admit that for the most part — surely, there are some bad apples — government agencies employ the most qualified, experienced, and well-trained people, on whose performance the operation of the state depends. We should not carelessly treat these people and their livelihoods,” he said.

The President also underlined that government agencies in small towns, districts, and villages need no downsizing. “They are free to make their own optimization decisions. They can go ahead and adjust the payroll to shuffle jobs around if necessary,” the head of state noted.

“Let’s take a judicious look at the matter and come up with optimal decisions, which should be promptly put into practice without delays. I would like to emphasize that national interests must be prioritized above interests of individual government agencies,” Aleksandr Lukashenko summed up.

At the session Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov spoke about a draft decree on the optimization of government bodies. The President approved the outline of the project. He gave instructions to monitor its implementation carefully and retain the focus of the main goal of optimization.

The Belarusian President instructed the government to do this work in the most careful and tactful way so as not to offend the employees, to make sure no one is made redundant unfairly or their work is under-rewarded.