By Suzannah Brecknell

31 Jul 2014

Jaime Perez-Renovales, subsecretary to the Presidency, Spanish Government, tells Civil Service World about the strengths and weaknesses of his home civil service

Which events or policies are dominating your attention, and how are you tackling them?
The effects of the economic crisis, together with the imbalances in our economy, have led the Spanish government to start an ambitious reform programme that has changed the work of every public manager in my country. We recently undertook the most comprehensive examination of our public sector in recent decades. This was conducted by the Commission for the Reform of the Public Administration (CORA), which issued a first report containing 217 measures to be adopted. However, we conceive this reform as an ongoing effort.

What are the biggest strengths and weaknesses of your civil service?
One of our main strengths is that Spain’s public sector workers have become key players in the modernisation of the country’s public sector. We have a professionalised civil service that has adapted to technological change and innovation in a very positive way. 

On the weakness side, we need to modernise some aspects of staff management, such as use of performance-related compensation. Moreover, coordination between different administrations [the regional and national governments] is clearly insufficient. 

How are you changing the shape and capabilities of your civil service?
A key issue is the implementation of new HR tools that give government greater flexibility to adapt to particular situations, and greater mobility for staff both within and across the different administrations. We are also reforming professional training to use new technology and improve coordination across government. 

Favourite musician: Verdi.

Favourite breakfast: Coffee, orange juice, and toast with Spanish olive oil!  

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