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EghtesadOnline: Vice President of Administrative and Recruitment Affairs Jamshid Ansari says 35,000-40,000 new recruitments will be needed in the current fiscal year (March 2020-21) to meet the needs of government organizations, companies and ministries.

If you add the new employments by armed forces and non-governmental public institutions like municipalities, the figure will go up to 50,000, he added. 

Ansari noted that organizations with more employees and higher rates of outgoing personnel will naturally have a bigger share of new employees. 

“For example, the Education Ministry, which has nearly a 1-million-strong workforce on its payroll, or the Health Ministry with more than 500,000 employees, or the Agriculture Ministry with close to 70,000 employees, each will recruit fresh blood based on the number of their vacancies,” he told the Persian-language daily Iran.

“Government employment accounts for 15% of Iran's total jobs. Considering that one million jobs must be added to the economy annually, the employment of 50,000 by the government would only constitute 5% of the annual employment. However, a significant number of young people are willing to work at governmental offices, which makes downsizing really difficult.”

The official noted that senior managers of executive organization are also unwilling to reduce their workforce. 

“Since downsizing by government organizations is not preferable, a new method has been devised to reduce the number of employees and make the government smaller, which is employing fewer people compared with the exit rate,” he said. 

“Around one-30th of the workforce of an organization retires annually. At present, the government has 2,279,000 employees, one-30th or 80,000 of them will be out by the end of the year. Plans are to take on 35,000-40,000 people, i.e. half the number of the leaving workforce.”

Noting that permanent employments are only offered to applicants who participate in the government’s recruitment exams and obtain the score needed to get approved, the top official said, “New graduates usually outperform contract workers: those already working with the government on temporary contracts have no privilege when it comes to getting recruited; recruitment examination are totally competitive.”

 

Downsizing Efforts

According to Clause 28 of the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2017-22), the government must reduce 3% or 40,000 of its employees annually, except for those with the Education Ministry. 

“We have managed to materialize 50% of this goal over three years to March 2019, thanks to the appeal of having a government job. At the start of the President Rouhani’s term in 2013, the number of government employees stood at 2,384,000, which declined to 2,279,000 by March 2019, suggesting that the government shed nearly 105,000 of its workforce over the five-year period," he said.

“The number of civil servants a country has is contingent on the services and missions their government must deliver. For example, according to the 2017 statistics, Japan with a population of 126 million has 3,324,000 government employees. The 67-million France has 5.3 million civil workers.”

In Iran, the government pays special attention to Education Ministry, which accounts for the lion’s share of government jobs.

“At present, the government is experiencing a 20-25% labor oversupply, of whom some are overqualified for the positions they hold. The root of the labor oversupply problem at government organization lies within the misguided distribution of employees. The government is faced with labor shortage in remote areas of the country whereas provincial centers and big cities are experiencing a labor oversupply,” he said.

“Had the government provided equal services in all parts of the country and if the distribution of labor force had been even, probably 10% of the current government employees would have been redundant. But now between 20-25% of government employees are redundant and should be redeployed. “

Ansari proposed that to resolve this problem, managers should be delegated more authority, the movement of employees from less-privileged to developed areas must be restricted and new recruitments must be deployed there.

 

 

Executive Salaries' Database

Asked about the progress with the "Salary, Bonuses and Legal Information of Civil Workers and Executives Database", Ansari said that in March 2018, the Administrative and Recruitment Affairs Organization piloted the website after compiling the information of the employees of a few select organizations. 

“The organization issued a retrospective directive to all state entities on May 8, 2018, for disclosing the full details of payments, including salaries and bonuses, made to their employees. The website "Aro.gov.ir is" designed to collect and disseminate information on all payments made to government officials, executives, directors general and civil servants of all public organizations. In summer 2018, we submitted the first comprehensive report to the government,” he said.

As per Clause 29 of the Sixth Plan [Transparency of Officials’ Assets and Properties], all organizations affiliated with the executive, judiciary and legislative branches of the government and even institutions under the auspices of Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, ministries, organizations affiliated to the Presidential Office, Guardians Council, judiciary, parliament, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Khatam-al Anbiya Construction Headquarters and all Iranian foundations and institutions are required to receive usernames and passwords from related authorities to upload information on the website. 

“Our progress has not been very satisfactory when it comes to gathering information of employees in organizations that are not controlled by the government. In terms of the number of employees, 80% of information have been loaded on the website. The launch of this website has definitely improved the compliance of government employees with the law,” he said.

Ansari was asked about the 2018-19 annual monitoring report by the Supreme Audit Court of Iran, the supervisory arm of the Iranian Parliament, which said a total of 241 executive managers of governmental companies, received paychecks worth more than the cap set i.e. 230 million rials ($1,345) per month.

“The government has 25,000 middle- to top-level managers. The 241 to 25,000 ratio is less than one-thousandth, which is really insignificant. But we have asked SAC to provide us with detailed information in this regard,” he said.   

The SAC report said these 241 executive managers received a total of 113.5 billion rials ($663,742) and the highest pay granted to a senior manager was 530 million rials ($3099) per month. About 360 lawsuits involving more than 17 trillion rials ($99.4 million) have been filed in this regard. 

 

Iran labor Recruitment Jamshid Ansari