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Ministry drafts new law on state employees

The Ministry of Home Affairs is drafting a new law concerning government employees, aiming to improve public administration and service delivery as Laos becomes more integrated with the region and the world.

The new law comes as the government refines the selection process for state officials by requiring them to take exams to ensure they are employed on merit, in an effort to recruit more talent into the government.

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Mr Khammoun Viphongxay told Vientiane Times on Monday that more people are seeking employment in government offices since a salary increase came into effect last year, with further increases planned until 2015.

“The new law will help us to improve our work while addressing the challenges to our plans, ” said Mr Khammoun.

“I believe that as more people look for jobs in the public sector, we will have more opportunities to select qualified and competent people to work for the government and drive the country's development.”

The draft law was discussed at the government's monthly meeting on August 1-2 which was chaired by Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and attended by cabinet members.

The new law, which incorporates information from various decrees relating to state employees, is expected to be submitted to the N ational Assembly later this year for consideration and approval.

The development of the sector and the management of officials from department directors general to lower ranks are currently regulated by Prime Ministerial decrees.

Mr Khammoun said the new law will cover broader aspects and officials in higher positions.

T he government meeting recommended that the Ministry of Home Affairs study the issue in detail and obtain more input from the relevant sectors to ensure the law is wide-ranging .

Currently, about 150,000 civil servants work for ministries, government organisations and local authorities, accounting for more than 2 percent of the country's population. Of this number, more than half hold lower or intermediate level diplomas.

Mr Khammoun admitted that Laos did not have sufficient skilled and qualified officials and employed a large number of officials of low standard. This was inconsistent with the urgent need to develop the country.

The government aims to address this issue by streamlining the selection process.

The government also plans to allocate a larger quota of state employees at the local level, to realise the objectives of the ‘Three Builds' directive.

Laos now has more than 90 laws which have been passed by the National Assembly to regulate state and socio-economic development. According to a report on the NA's five-year plan, it is expected that 90 more laws will be passed in the next few years towards building a state governed by the rule of law.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
August 13,

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