Civil Servant Downsizing Efforts Likely to Fall Short, Predicts Minister

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Civil Servant Downsizing Likely to Fall Short, Minister Predicts
Minister of the Home Affairs, Mr. Thongchanh Manixay speaking during the National Assembly (photo: Pathedlao)

The government’s goal of reducing the number of civil servants from 2.3 percent to 1.8 percent by the end of this year is unlikely to be met, informed a minister at a recent National Assembly session.

To reduce needless expenditure and streamline public service delivery, the government is committed to reducing the number of civil servants and downsizing the state’s organizational structure.

However, Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Thongchanh Manixay, stated in the meeting that the downsizing efforts were going slower than expected, especially when compared to the progress made in dissolving and merging different state bodies.

He went on to say that the poor progress was caused by the transfer of officials who had not reached retirement age to other departments when theirs was dismantled.

According to a Vientiane Times report, the number of civil officials is gradually decreasing as more people leave their jobs due to retirement or other reasons than are being hired.

In 2023, the government has approved the recruitment of 800 new civil servants based on the proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs. This is a sharp decline from 2022 which saw a recruitment of 1,300 civil servants.

This effort is to also prioritize the hiring of employees and volunteers, particularly teachers and volunteer doctors who do important work in remote rural areas.

Additionally, Mr. Thongchanh said the government’s goal is to improve the state organizational system, define job positions correctly, and increase work efficiency.

As per 2022 statistics, Laos now has 175,058 civil servants (including 83,066 women), of which 72,6002 are teachers (42%) and 15,970 civil servants (9%) are doctors.