Les jeunes apprécient la fonction publique et, pour nombre d’entre eux, apprécieraient de la rejoindre. C’est l’enseignement, qui n’est en rien contre-intuitif, de la reprise d’une série de sondages réalisés ces 10 dernières années. Entre 15 et 30 ans, pour reprendre la fourchette large des différentes enquêtes, une large part de jeunes (qui sont toujours d’anciens enfants…) rêvent encore de devenir pompiers, maîtresses, policiers ou infirmières… Plus sérieusement, il apparaît un attrait marqué pour ...
(28 more words)
Le Centre Interdépartemental de gestion de la Grande Couronne et l'Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas se sont associés pour faire le point sur l'organisation actuelle de la fonction publique territoriale et ses possibilités d'évolution. La rencontre, qui a eu lieu le 21 mai 2007 au Palais du Luxembourg, s'est structurée autour de trois tables rondes : " Vers une politisation de la haute administration territoriale ? " ; " Les collectivités territoriales, des employeurs comme les autres ? " ; " Vers une refonte du modèle français ...
(78 more words)
In this article General Alain Lamballe, who has held many high-level posts involving international strategic relations, stresses how the English-speaking nations, especially the British, have succeeded in "bagging" key posts in international bodies, whereas senior French civil servants have tended to be relegated to lesser positions, partly through bad personnel management and partly through inadequate training.
In particular, he shows how the British manage to monopolize key positions, especially when important strategic issues are at stake, thus enabling the English-speaking countries to impose their views on the conduct of business.
By contrast, he argues, France's problem lies in French policy with regard to senior international civil servants. In his view, after their initial training, such people are not given adequate long-term training or moved around enough to acquire the range of experience that ambassadors and senior military officers, for example, require in order to cope with the issues of globalisation.
In France the issue of administrative reform, more specifically of the civil service, crops up constantly and yet is also almost a taboo subject. Nevertheless, the Conseil d'État has just produced an important report about it, and Marcel Pochard presents here some of its key ideas.
French civil servants (numbering more than 5 million people) are subject to the common law of employment, but they enjoy a special status that was intended originally to protect them from what Jules Jeanneney called "the impulses, injustices and the ever-present risk of arbitrary action by those in power". As a result they constitute a particularly strong interest group (if not several).
While reminding us of the justifications for the special position of civil servants and the key characteristics, virtues and deficiencies of the public service, Marcel Pochard argues that a thorough overhaul is now indispensable.
He stresses that the civil service is facing three major issues: its performance, since the public sector cannot remain isolated from a largely inevitable general trend; better management of human resources, since this is recognized as having a key role in organizational efficiency; and reconciling the laws governing the public service with other branches of law, especially relating to the public budget and the free movement of state employees within the European Union.
In order to meet these challenges Pochard envisages five avenues of reform. The first concerns the laws relating to employees of the state and the need to review "their range and content" without questioning the need for special arrangements. The second proposes the introduction of contracts in civil service law. The third concerns the modes of management of civil servants, the fourth the modes of personnel organization and management, including the need to separate the grade from job content. The fifth and final one stresses the need to foster a better dialogue within and among civil service departments.
"The time has undoubtedly come for a complete overhaul of the French civil service", writes Marcel Pochard, and his analysis and proposals, which are both daring and relevant, will doubtless generate a lively debate. It remains to be seen whether these recommendations will be accepted and, above all, whether anything will come of them...
Working Time in the Public Service. A Synthesis of the Report Presented by the Commission on Working Time, Jacques Roché
The French government has made reduction of working hours one of its essential priorities in the fight against unemployment. A first law was passed in June 1998, stipulating that by the first of January 2002 the legal working week will be reduced to 35 hours from 39 hours.
But the main employer in France is the state (with 2.2 million employees); the public and para-public sectors together employ between 4 and 6 million (see the article by Annie Brenot-Ouldali). One of the unanswered questions is how the reduction of working hours will affect the quality of service of the public sector, which is already notorious for its relaxed attitude to working time.
The ministry responsible for reform and decentralization of the public service appointed Jacques Roché to head an interdepartmental inquiry on the topic. His mandate was 1) to conduct a comprehensive survey on regulations and practices pertaining to working time and overtime in the public service; and 2) to explore the ways to organize work to improve the quality of service with a working week of 35 hours. The published text is a synthesis of the report presented by the interdepartmental commission.
It starts with an analysis of the situation, which stresses the difficulty of giving a precise estimate of the time spent at work due to the different situations and conditions of work. It provides us nevertheless with useful information about hours of work per week.
The second part summarizes the Commission's proposals. It stresses especially the need to couple reduction with reorganization of working time and with a modernization of the public service, which Jacques Roché says should be undertaken to improve working conditions.
Public Sector Employees, Public Servants... and Others, Annie Brenot-Ouldali
While it may be common knowledge that the state is the principal employer in France, estimates of the actual number who are either public servants or otherwise paid out of the public purse (whether rightly or not) are the object of frequent controversy.
Annie Brenot-Ouldali provides us here with a very useful description of the public service world, along with estimates of the numbers who find employment in it.
She distinguishes :
- the public service itself, comprising those employed by the state, including the territories and the health care system. It represents 5.3 million employees (end of 1996);
- the social security system with a total of 332.000 employees;
- enterprises working for the public service but under different status; bringing the total up to about six and a half million employees.