Minister of Public Administration promotes pact against political patronage culture

Minister of Public Administration Darío Castillo Lugo signed a pact for working towards less political patronage in government decisions.

Joseph Abreu, general coordinator for the civic watchdog group, Citizen Participation; Katja Afheldt, ambassador of the European Union in the Dominican Republic; Juan Castillo, executive director of Fundación Solidaridad Ricardo González and executive director of Ciudad Alternativa signed the agreement with Minister Castillo Lugo.

At the signing, Minister Castillo Lugo gave a speech, “Advances and Challenges in Public Administration.” He favored a pact between the leaderships of the political parties represented in the National Congress for strengthening Dominican institutions to eradicate the prevalence of clientelism in government decisions, and the culture of political spoils and corruption. He spoke of ending the practice of people demanding, “I campaigned and they do not resolve my cases,” recalling the words Miguel Cruz would have stated before murdering minister of environment Orlando Jorge Mera. Castillo Lugo blamed clientelism “of taking the life of a great Dominican and excellent public servant”.

The minister’s dissertation took place during the Seminar on Advances in Public Administration in the last 10 years held within the framework of the closing of the Inclusive Public Administration Project. The project is part of the Public Administration Reform Support Program (PARAP II) that is financed by the European Union, and which has been implemented by Participación Ciudadana, Ciudad Alternativa and Fundación Solidaridad for more than three years.

The objective of the seminar was to learn from different approaches, the progress and challenges that have been generated from the regulatory reforms that have been carried out in recent years in public administration, and how these have improved the quality and effectiveness of public services as a guarantee of rights.

In this sense, the Minister of Public Administration spoke of advances achieved after the passing of Decree 149-21, on the General Plan for the Reform and Modernization of the Public Administration and the enactment, in August last year, and of Law 167-21 on Regulatory Improvement and Simplification of Procedures.

Joseph Abreu, general coordinator of Citizen Participation said that political patronage is the main obstacle that prevents the consolidation of the main objective of the civil service: that those who make up the civil service are professionals with administrative careers.

Speaking for the European Union, Ambassador Katja Afheldt highlighted that civil society plays a key role in monitoring the processes of strengthening public administration, fundamental to meet the expectations of citizens that their fundamental rights are protected and guaranteed.

“I am pleased to note that the European Union has been a key ally for the country throughout three decades of joint work with the public sector and civil society, in favor of the reform and modernization of public administration in the Dominican Republic,” concluded Ambassador Afheldt.

The seminar looked into the advances in public administration reform in the last 10 years and into improving the quality of public services versus improving the quality of life of citizens.

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Ministry of Public Administration

21 June 2022