Government: State Reform reduces management positions by 25%

State reform was approved today by the Council of Ministers

Minister of the Presidency – Photo: Tiago Petinga/Lusa

The number of public leader positions will be reduced by 25%, to 236, following the State reform approved today by the Council of Ministers.

The number was mentioned by the Minister of the Presidency António Leitão Amaro, at the end of the Council of Ministers meeting, with this reduction from the current 315 management positions to 236 taking place during the first phase of this reform.

This reduction in almost 80 directors will translate into annual savings with salaries of four million euros, the minister also said, in other words, a reduction of 22% compared to the current value of 19 million euros.

One of the first visible steps of this reform is the move of several ministries, next Monday, to a common building, Campus XXI, which also houses the headquarters of Caixa Geral de Depósitos, in Lisbon.

But the State reform approved today by the Council of Ministers also includes the merger of eight of the general secretaries of ministries into a single General Secretariat of the Government.

The measure was detailed today by the Minister of the Presidency and is part of the State reform whose most visible immediate step will be the move of several ministries, next Monday, to a common building, Campus XXI, which also houses the headquarters of Caixa Geral of Deposits, in Lisbon.

As part of the reform approved today, of the 11 currently existing general secretariats, eight will be merged into a single one (the General Secretariat of the Government), and the Government IT Network Management Center (CEGER) will also be merged into this new body.

The remaining three general secretariats (of the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Internal Administration) will be subject to reorganization, which includes the transfer of common tasks and services to the General Secretariat of the Government and the Public Administration Shared Services Entity (ESPAP).

There will also be a transfer of common services (human resources, asset management, document management) to ESPAP and Estamo.

The objective, said the Minister of the Presidency, is to ensure that there is greater specialization and more focus among ministries on their knowledge, tasks and sectoral policies.

The reform also involves strengthening the capacity for planning public policies, according to the documentation distributed by the Government, namely the reinforcement of PlanAPP (Center for Planning, Policy and Foresight of Public Administration).

PlanAPP thus starts to function as a coordinating body for planning and evaluating public policies.

The reform also includes strengthening CEJURE for specialized legal services of the Government and the State in the areas of legal support, opinions, arbitration or support for the negotiation of complex public contracts.

Thus, in addition to the General Secretariat of the Government, the structures that will concentrate common services are ESPAP, PlanAPP and CEJURE.

Leitão Amaro justified the changes by saying that, in the case of legal services, there has been a “weakening” of these services in the State, which leads to too much recourse to external demand for these services, making it “essential to reverse” the loss of capacity within of the State machine.

For Leitão Amaro, this is a reform “that saves Portuguese taxpayers” by reducing the number of entities, management positions and properties occupied, in addition to enhancing synergies.

“It is a State that costs taxpayers less, but that responds better to taxpayers because in its sectoral areas it specializes more” because what is common, logistical or administrative work, “is in shared services”, freeing up resources.

At the beginning of this briefing by the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister, Luís Montenegro, had stated that this is a reform “that improves the State”.

Leitão Amaro considered it a “good for the Portuguese” reform, stating that this is just the beginning.