Kosovo – Civil Service and Salaries Laws 2008-2012

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Challenge

In February 2008, the Assembly of Kosovo declared independence, and Kosovo was immediately recognized as an independent state by the Government of the United Kingdom and many other governments. Most of the current operative legislation in Kosovo relating to the government system and management of the civil service was issued by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) of the United Nations in the form of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). UNMIK Regulations were the equivalent of primary legislation and UNMIK Administrative Directions the equivalent of secondary legislation.

PAI was awarded a series of contracts by the UK Department for International Development to assist with drafting primary and secondary legislation on the civil service, on civil service salaries and grading and on state administrative bodies. The challenge was to adapt the UNMIK Regulations and Administrative Directions and form new laws and secondary legislation appropriate to the effective, modern management of the public sector and in line with European standards.

Situation

The existing legislation governing the civil service was almost entirely enacted by the SRSG, although there had been some secondary legislation issued by government institutions covering minor issues. The UNMIK legislative system was fundamentally sound, but it was prepared at speed and in a situation in which many administrative institutions did not exist at that stage in Kosovo’s development. Consequently the legislative system contained gaps, was not fully attuned to the particular circumstances of Kosovo, and did not always reflect common European practice. The legal framework was also fragmented. However, there was a well-established and quite detailed body of supporting secondary legislation relating to the civil service, prepared by a project funded by DFID Kosovo, which operated until 2005.

The Government of Kosovo recognized the need to consolidate and improve this legislation by passing a new civil service law to reflect best European practice, while paying full attention to Kosovo’s special circumstances.

Detailed proposals on reform of the salary and grading system were prepared in 2004 but were not implemented by the government of the day.

Activities

The objectives at the start of PAI’s work in this area were to help to draft a law on the civil service and a law on civil service salaries for the Government of Kosovo. Our consultants then went on to assist in drafting secondary legislation arising from these laws and, following the passing of the Law on the Civil Service and the Law on Salaries of Civil Servants in 2010, to work with the Ministry of Public Administration in completing the most important secondary regulations and in implementing the legislation. Our consultants’ provided:

  • Advice on the scope and general content of the law, having regard to best international practice and, in particular, the best practice of European Union member states
  • Advice on the process for preparing the law, including stakeholder consultations
  • Advice on specific policy issues related to the law
  • Assistance in drafting specific sections of the law
  • Reviews of existing primary and secondary legislation and other background literature
  • Briefing on how to consult with external interests, both national (the presidency, the Assembly, other ministries, trade unions) and international (the International Civilian Representative, the European Union, the Sigma programme, the IMF/World Bank, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and advice on how to accommodate and react to comments received from those interests.
  • Help to the Legal Department and the Department of Civil Service Administration (DCSA) in the Ministry of Public Administration on finalising regulations, including job descriptions, job classification, allowances and expenses, redundancy, early retirement and performance appraisal
  • Support to the DCSA in implementing the Law on Salaries, including briefing sessions, training workshops, training of trainers, monitoring the quality of job descriptions and job classification and reviewing job grades
  • Support for the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Administration in calculating the costs and deciding on final salary ranges.

Outcomes

  • The Law on Civil Service and the Law on Salaries of Civil Servants were passed by the Assembly in May 2010. The Law on State Administration was passed by the Assembly in September 2010.
  • Key secondary regulations necessary to carry out job grading of all civil servant posts (Regulation on Job Descriptions and Regulation on Job Classification) were passed by March 2012.
  • The other regulation necessary to implement the Law on Salaries was passed in December 2012 (Regulation on Allowances and Other Reimbursements).
  • Advice and draft text were provided to the Legal Department of the Ministry of Public Administration (MPA) in 2010 to 2012 on other secondary regulations related to the Law on Civil Service and Law on Salaries of Civil Servants, including the regulations on redundancy, early retirement and performance appraisal.
  • Trainers were trained in 2011 and 2012 to deliver training on job descriptions and job classification and training manuals were provided to assist the trainers in delivering training to HR managers across the civil service.
  • The MPA/Ministry of Finance Joint Commission on Job Classification was trained in August 2012 prior to embarking on its major task of reviewing and approving organigrams, job descriptions, and proposed job grades from all civil service institutions.
  • A salary system of 14 grades was designed, which when fully implemented will result in a transparent salary system and equitable salary treatment of civil servants in all institutions.
  • The system of allowances and expenses has been simplified and made transparent through the Regulation on Allowances and Other Reimbursements.