The recent scandals concerning the bonuses that were awarded to some members of the state administration and then returned, provoked me to write the following:
I am FOR state administration officials to receive clearly regulated by law bonuses. However, there needs to be an absolutely clear and transparent scheme for their distribution, and not to be done by “party line” or “because I worked a lot and I deserve the bonus.” On the other hand of course, there is no way to stimulate and retain skilled people in administrative positions than by money. Regardless of the specific criteria: volume of work done, hours worked, projects, etc.., this stimulation is necessary to avoid the abuse of position and thus state employees bringing in illegal incomes. Here the second and most important question about corruption arises.
Corruption is one of the most dangerous and complex issues in politics. Extremely convenient for any opposition, but it inevitably leads to the scheme:
You steal! -> You steal more! -> Everybody steals and politics and governing are all about stealing!
Frequent repetition and dissemination of these statements lead to two consequences:
1. The voices of freedom and honor and common good muffle in front of the overall howl and insult, and hence – differences in political positions and their importance to the community are being blurred.
2. A total demoralization in society occurs, the honest are beginning to look like fools, and the resistance of many people against temptation decreases significantly.
Much can be told and written on how to combat corruption or at least reduce it. But surely one of the reasons for its occurrence (especially in Bulgaria) is the state administration. In ‘normal’ countries civil servants are a few but very well paid. The fowl tradition inherited from communism that public administration is used used as a means of reducing unemployment is counterproductive and creates corruption.
As one of the measures which I think must be taken is precisely the reduction of the administration. Leaving only the most skilled and hard working people by certain criteria, by holding, lets say, an examination of some sort. The next step should be to also increase the salaries of these remaining employees. Because whatever the case any state employee with 400lv.(200Euros) gross monthly salary can not help being tempted by the ‘opportunities’ that his service provides. Therefore, implementation of this type of ‘downsizing’ will lead to better service and will dramatically reduce the corruption.
But then again, whatever measures are being taken, it all comes down to mentality and a certain level of morality, but in this case, as we all know, in Bulgaria morality is very low. All we can do is to try and change this trend.