Government downsizing state administration offices

epa03693597 Participants compete in the European Individual Chess Championship in Legnica, Poland, 09 May 3012. About 300 participants are competing for the title and 100,000 euro prize money until 17 May. EPA/MACIEJ KULCZYNSKI POLAND OUT

The government on Thursday sent to parliament a bill of amendments to the state administration law under which the current 20 state administration offices would be reorganised into five.

Public Administration Minister Arsen Bauk said the five offices would each cover several counties and that the law was being aligned with a 2012 Constitution Court decision.

Under the bill, the five state administration offices would be for Dalmatia, Slavonia and Baranja, Central Croatia, Northwest Croatia, and for Istria, the Croatian Littoral, Gorski Kotar and Lika.

Amendments to the law on the City of Zagreb will stipulate the role and method of election of the state administration coordinator for the Zagreb area.

Speaking to the press after the government session, Bauk said the downsizing would increase efficiency and flexibility as well as cut costs through staff downsizing. He added, however, that this was not an introduction into the abolishment of counties.

He said the number of employees in the state administration had decreased from 4,100 in 2008 to about 2,800 and that it would continue to be reduced through the retirement of older staff.