Estonian public service - in brief
Estonian public service was re-established in January 1995 with the adoption of the Public Service Act in the Riigikogu . The Act came info force on 1 January 1996. According to the Public Service Act, public servants are the staff employed by central government institutions (ministries, administrative agencies, boards and inspectorates, constitutional institutions, county governments) and local governments (226 towns and rural municipalities).
Certain groups within the public service are also covered with special legislation (e.g. the diplomatic corps, the police, the judiciary and the military). The public service system does not cover medical staff, teachers and academic staff. General working conditions of the latter are regulated by the Employment Contracts Act .
Estonian public service system can be characterised as an open, post-based system – it is possible to enter the public service at every level, including the highest. Management of human resources is decentralised. There is no ministry at the central government level with single powers to coordinate human resources policy. Every ministry and executive agency is responsible for recruitment, evaluation and development of its officials, guided by the legal framework and centrally set advisory guidelines.
There are 28 632 public servants in Estonia (data from 31.12.2009) including:
- 23 307 central government servants;
- 5325 local government public servants.
Majority of the public servants (20 177 in 2009) work for the boards, inspectorates and other administrative agencies, whose main task is to implement public policy. The biggest of these are Police Board (3984 officials in 2009) and Tax and Customs Board (1834 officials in 2009). Estonian ministries, which have mainly a policy-making role, are relatively small, employing all together only 2396 people.
For additional information on the Estonian state and public administration please see: