Statement by IDI President Yohanan Plesner on Reforming Government Service
"We are witnessing a flood of initiatives that intend to bring about the politicization of and harm to the independence of the public sector."
Statement by Yohanan Plesner, President of the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), during the Feb. 9, 2016 meeting of the committee on reforming government service, which was launched today by Knesset Member Roy Folkman:
"We are witnessing a flood of initiatives that intend to bring about the politicization of and harm to the independence of the public sector. As a former member of Knesset in a party that held primaries, experience has taught me that there is a tremendous amount of pressure put on ministers and politicians to appoint party activists. This hinders the ability to recruit the best possible people to serve the state. It leads to a small group of close associates and interested parties taking control," says Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute.
He continues: "IDI research shows there is a strong connection between the number of political appointments in the public sector and decreased effectiveness. Therefore, Israel must choose whether it wants to remain among the governments with effective and professional public services, or be among those in which politics dominate professional decision-making."
In reference to the vision required to lead such reform, Plesner adds: "Besides giving support to government staff in the implementation of existing reform plans, it is important to put forward new ideas aimed at improving the level of functioning of the public sector, to increase management flexibility, and to develop more positions that are open to the general public through external tenders."