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Slovenia Business Week no. 27/2005: Jansa Criticises Effectiveness of Public Sector

Prime Minister Janez Jansa on Thursday, 30 June criticised the effectiveness of the country's public sector in his address to the third business conference of the public sector

"The yield per hectare is too low and subsidies are still being granted...which results in excessively high taxes," Jansa said, adding the inefficient and irrational public sector was an enormous consumer.  

According to him, public administration was functioning well at the beginning of the 1990s, when practically everything was public sector. "The time between decision and implementation was shorter 15 years ago than it is today," Jansa said.  

While the public sector in its broader sense had shrunk since then, public administration has expanded drastically. "Quality has increased in some segments, but after being in government for six months, I can say effectiveness has generally not improved," Jansa observed.  

Compared to other post-communist countries that entered the EU a year ago, Slovenia has been slower in reforming the public sector. "The countries made more radical reforms of the public sector, even though some of them were not for the better," Jansa said.  

According to him, one of the reasons Slovenia was slower was that in the transition to a market economy, public sector was functioning better than in other post-communist countries.

As a key problem of the public sector, Jansa highlighted the mentality that the state should take care of the individuals' well-being with its social policy, which according to him would have to change since economic progress alone could provide well-being.  

He also mentioned privatisation and what he said were missed opportunities, in particular the fact that insufficient private capital was drawn into the building of the motorway network, which resulted in a lack of funding for other infrastructure.  

"It is therefore necessary to introduce a public-private partnership system. We are one of the few countries without it," Jansa observed.  

He said the changes could be implemented in a reasonable period of time. "In the new government, we have formed a new Public Administration Ministry for this purpose," Jansa said, adding that some things had been improved merely by tweaks to regulations.  

According to Jansa, new legislation is being drafted in the field, introducing a model of quality into the public service, while the granting of public finances is actually becoming public.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA