Civil Servant Numbers Culled

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Laos Prime Minister's Office
The Prime Minister's Office.

The government of Laos has authorized a quota of only 1,300 new civil servants this year.

The Ministry of Home Affairs was directed by the Prime Minister to coordinate the assignment of new civil servants to line ministries and government bodies, Vientiane Times reports.

Authorities will examine public servant management at each ministry to ensure that the appropriate number of individuals are assigned to major sectors.

The government has asked all departments, from the state level to the local level, to examine all current positions and determine which are necessary and which are not.

Applicants for positions in the government must pass a civil service exam based on a department’s vacancies and specific demands, and be willing to work in a remote location.

Without passing the exam, volunteers will not be able to work as full-fledged civil servants.

Some 1,600 new civil servants were recruited in 2021, while the quota was 2,000 in 2020.

Senior officials have been speaking out about the country’s bloated civil service since 2017, when duplicate records of civil servants were found in the system.

So-called “ghost civil servants” were rooted out in 2019 when the government cracked down on duplicate records allowing some to collect salaries twice.