Union for Reconstruction of Romania - URR
Uniunea pentru Reconstrucția României - URR
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Closed: 31.12.2004
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Nicholson's Reports On Romania - 2004
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2002 finacial report
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Children of the Street [11.23]
Constitution [10.08]
Who Is Protecting Who? [08.04]
Statistics [07.21]
Derogations [07.07]
The Mammouth [06.15]
Criticism [05.25]
State Theft [05.17]
The "Christian" Socialism [05.09]
Freedom of Speech [04.21]
Circle of Power [04.16]
Redistribution [04.05]
Anti-corruption [03.22]
CNSAS [03.15]
Working Code [03.10]
Health [03.03]
Romania, for whom? [05.31]
Perversion of diplomacy [04.30]
Iraq War [03.25]




The Mammoth of Romanian Administration

The Nastase government is a mammoth government which leads to paroxysm the tradition of leafy and inefficient bureaucracy. At governmental level, the number of ministries is so high not only because in PSD are a lot of pretenders for the offices and many "tax payers" to which a position must be provided, but also because the PSD leaders believe that in this manner they create the impression of power. PSD wants to convine us that if there is a Ministry of Development, Romania is fastly developing or that small and medium enterprises are encouraged only because there is such a ministery within the structure of Government.

In fact, things are different, and the evidence is obvious. All candidate countries are much better in each of the areas for which the Nastase government has a special ministry. No one of these countries has ministries so ridiculous like Tourism, SME (Small and Medium Enterprises), Development and Prognosis or Public Information and yet their tourism is more alive than ours, SMEs are benefiting by much better conditions and their public institutions are more transparent.

Thus, it is obvious that all these ministries are not necessary for relaunching those areas. Actually, they do not even succeed in decently managing those areas; their function it is not primarily tis one. The function of baroque ministries and departments of the Nastase government is only to create a positive image. Not only the Ministry of Public Information is preoccupied by propaganda but also, for example, the Ministry of Tourism, that has the main task to launch programms meant to create the perception that tourism is fabulously developing under PSD government, without taking into consideration if these programs are really put into practice or if they are viable or not. "The achievments" from tourism, especially the privatisations, are largelly covered by the media - with a lot of money - as advertisments or in other forms. It's made on our money, of course: we pay taxes in order to get in exchange the PSD propaganda.

That's why we consider more than welcomed the proposal launched by Romanian Academic Society (SAR) that the government should drastically decrease the number of offices (from 26 to13, the average in the candidate countries being 16!). The moment when this proposal comes it is very good one, because PSD itself has announced its intention of decreasing the number of the government offices. It is, however, doubtful that it would accept such a drastic decrease, as it is also doubtful if it intended or not to really do this cut. One of the most efficient PSD tactics is to longly announce a change that has popular support, and then, after benefits of image were created, the change that was announced is forgotten or it is not done anymore by government because of some reasons that the governmental party finds and that have no connection with itself.

Not only that will be difficult for PSD to resist to this proposal and to the support this proposal will receive not only from society side, but also from oposition side, too, but also the cohesion of the opposition is important, because a major change as the one which implies the vision regarding administration must be the subject of a large political consensus. If, let's say, PSD will do the reform based on SAR's proposal and the present opposition will come in power and will bring the old structure, then everything would be in vain (the absolute record on number of ministries in the transition period is held by Victor Ciorbea with 28 offices).

The lack of continuity which creates so much harm in cases of major reform programmes in Romania produces more harm to institutions. The change of government pulls after itself the change of "hostile" functionaries' whith the team of the party's functionaries; about the exigencies of our time, the phenomenon is as abnormal as it was during Eminescu's time, when even librarians and teachers were fired. But not only functionaries were abusively dissmissed. The structure of the government was radically changed after the 2000 elections, the ministeries were renamed - which negatively affects the coherence of the administrative act. We can find only partially the motivation in the need of finding a pretext for dismissing the civil servants who benefit of the protection of their newly approved status. In fact, renaming the ministries (only three of them have kept during time their old name) it's a tactic of taking into ownership the state. It is a clear symptom of non-acceptancing the idea that administration is taken by a party or another in accordance with the electors preference, and that it is taken as a task, not as a privilege, as an objective which is not a political one anymore.

Not only the number of ministries itself is a problem.These offices have structures of which complexities is beyond absurdity and defies any correlation with the functions it has to fulfil. There are departments which have, beside its director, a single emplyee whose main task is to make this director feel as much director as possible.There are aberrant departments, like the Cults one within Ministry of Culture and Cults. Not only it is not justified, but its existence should worry us deeply: what can this department do to different religious groups? This is by excellence the area where a democratic state should do only one thing, respectively do nothing. If, by exception, it really occur the need of a rule, it can be sustained by the government as a whole, there is not necessary to create a special department; the same situation can be seen in the case of other minor functions for which PSD has created whole ministeries. Thus, if someone would carefully take a look at the structures of the ministries and what they are really doing, he/she would be terrified. For example, within Ministry of Justice there is a department led by an ex Securitate officer who, theoretically speaking, should fight against corruption, but, in practice it protects it.
The central administration's deficiencies are not at all at detail level and they are not inocent errors. These deficiencies are the results of measures taken on purpose against all rules and protests of the others. The Romanian politicians are stubbornly refusing to listen to the voice of specialists in the field of public policies; partially, from ignorance and stupid vanity, partially because of lazyness or just because the suggestions of the specialists are coming versus interests of the politicians. Areas such as education or health are of such complexity that the politicalicians assigned to manage them must by all means use the expertize of the specialists in public policies, especially in the special situation from nowadays which demand broad reforms.

The responsibility for the lousy quality of the central adminstration is not only linked with human errors, which appear in any activity but more because of the "programmed" neglicence. SAR - which now come up with a clear proposal of simplifying the Government structure - warned long time ago, for example, about the danger that hangs over health area, it explained the causes and suggested ways of action. Not only that the Nastase government didn't considered these suggestions but also acted against them, continuing to misappropiate the money collected for health and strenghthening its control over the National Health Insurance House. The result was seen in short time; the health system entered in a deep crisis which can be at most masked but not solved, only by implementing a reform of the system as a whole, beginning from clear principals and goals. For such a reform it would be very usefull the assistance of the specialists ( even more since some of them offer their expertise for free), but in order to accept that it is required another political culture than the one of the people in power now.

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