Public employment and management

The State of the Public Service


Table of contents | How to Obtain this Publication

 The State of the Public Service | OECD Free preview | Powered by Keepeek Digital Asset Management Solution

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Publication date: December 2008
Pages: 93


This publication takes stock of the main changes in the management of public services across OECD countries. It summarises the findings of the OECD Public Employment and Management working party over the past fifteen years.

Indeed, the management of the public service has changed tremendously in most OECD countries. First, governments have tried to reduce the size of their public employment to decrease the costs of producing government services. They have done this either directly or indirectly by contracting out the production of services to the private sector under the assumption that it would be more efficient. Second, in many cases, governments have tried to apply general good management principles to the management of public employees.

Among other aspects of the issue, this publication examines how countries manage to find a balance between attention to fundamental values such as fairness, equity, justice and social cohesion – necessary to maintain political confidence in the government system as a whole – and a focus on efficiency, productivity and effectiveness.

This publication will help governments and the public better understand some of the complex issues involved in the management of the public service.


This publication is also available in French, Japanese and Korean

Table of contents

Chapter 1. Employment Numbers and Compensation Costs: Changes over the Past Ten Years
Chapter 2. Towards Employment Conditions in Central Governments that Are Closer to General Employment Rules
Chapter 3. The Delegation of Human Resource Management in the Public Service of Central Governments
Chapter 4. Managing the Performance of Employees in Central Governments

Chapter 5. The Delegation and Individualisation of Pay for Employees of Central Governments

Chapter 6. The Senior Management in the Public Service of Central Governments

Annex A. HRM Composite Indicators: Construction, Weighting and Theoretical Framework

How to obtain this publication

Readers can purchase the e-book and/or paper copy of the full version of The State of the Public Service via our Online Bookshop or SourceOECD.


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