Government approves civil service bill

The outgoing Czech interim government on Wednesday approved a civil service bill which overhauls the rules for the employment of public officials, Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok said. If passed by Parliament, the legislation will protect officials from the influence of elected politicians. Under the bill, government ministers would be exempt from legislation preventing former collaborators of the communist secret police, StB, from holding high public posts. It will also establish the position of the director general of public administration who will be appointed by the president. The introduction of the civil service act would cost the state budget around six billion crowns, according to the government.

The passing of the bill in a first round of debate in the lower house is a condition set by President Miloš Zeman for appointing ANO leader Andrej Babiš finance minister; Mr Babiš faces allegations he worked for the StB in the 1980s. MPs are set to discuss the legislation next week.

Author: Jan Richter