Ahead of voting on the new government, Parliament on Friday evening abolished one ministry and introduced several other changes.
After Parliament was constituted on Friday afternoon, during the evening it already adopted several laws which changed the structure of ministries and other government bodies, and made changes to benefits of high-ranking state officials, reports Jutarnji List on October 15, 2016.
Parliament decided to merge the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and the Ministry of Economy, while the current Ministry of Environmental Protect and Nature will take over the energy portfolio from the Ministry of Economy, as well as the water management portfolio from the Ministry of Agriculture. It will be known as the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy. Another change is the focus on problems of demographic renewal, families and young people, which will be covered by the reorganized Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy.
Former government offices will be transformed into central state offices. Instead of four such offices, the new government will have six of them. The new ones are Central State Office for Sports and Central State Office for Digital Society Development.
So, the number of ministries has been reduced from 20 to 19, while the number of government/state offices has been increased from 4 to 6.
Another change is that deputy ministers will be substituted with state secretaries. The difference is that earlier each ministry had just one deputy minister, while now it will be able to have several state secretaries directly below the minister.
Parliament also made changes to laws which regulate certain benefits of high-ranking state officials. The right for officials to receive full salary for six months after leaving office and half salary for further six months had been kept only for those officials who remain in their posts for more than one year. Officials with shorter terms in office will have their benefits reduced accordingly. The reason for this change was to prevent situation which used to happen before, when certain officials would stay in their posts for just a few days, but would keep receiving salaries for many months afterwards. However, since Parliament decided that this legislative change will be valid for MPs which are already in Parliament, there are some who claim that Constitutional Court will annul the law, since laws are not allowed to be implemented retroactively.