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Burocrati, scarsi incentivi per un difficile compito

Anno XXII, n. 98, luglio-settembre 1987
Centro Einaudi


Civil service in the eighties

It is fashionable nowadays to criticize the incapacity and bureaucratization of civil service. This is a grave mistake, however, in that, in the future, industrialized societies will have an increasing need for an efficient administration. The prestige and salary-levels of the latter, moreover, must be such as to attract the best talents around. According to the author, the growing importance of civil service derives from two factors: the constant quantitative increase of public budgets and the quality of investment in important sectors such as social welfare and aerospace and agricultural research. He stresses the causes behind the critical situation of civil service in the United States and Great Britain, identifying them as: the low level of salaries as compared with the private sector; the way in which che cultural climate has turned against public intervention; growing political orientation in the choice of top managers; and, finally, the excessive regulation of civil service activities to the detriment of flexible decision-making.