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Gabriel Salvia had a meeting with Vice-President Cobos
January 25, 2008
With the intention of fostering a political-administrative reform of the Federal Legislative Branch, Gabriel Salvia, Chairman of CADAL, met with Ing. Julio Cobos, Vice-President of Argentina, at his office in the Federal Senate. Salvia highlighted the importance of improving public service by hiring by competition all the permanent staff. On this regard, the head of CADAL, told Cobos that an integral reform of the Federal Government ''should begin at home'', that is, at the Federal Congress, specially in the Senate, where the number of temporary personel by legislator outnumbers by three times those at the House of Representatives.

With the intention of fostering a political-administrative reform of the Federal Legislative Branch, Gabriel Salvia, Chairman of CADAL, met with Ing. Julio Cobos, Vice-President of Argentina. The meeting took place at his office in the Federal Senate on Friday, January 25. Salvia highlighted the importance of improving public service by hiring by competition all the permanent staff. According to Salvia, "'meritocracy'" means to prioritize the capability and equality before the law so that all the citizens have the same opportunity to postulate for posts for the public service and thus improve public employment". On this regard, the head of CADAL, told Cobos that an integral reform of the Federal Government "should begin at home", that is, at the Federal Congress, where such a law should be analyzed. 

Julio César Cobos

In consequence, the head of CADAL, detailed the Argentine Vice-President the necessity that all the permanent staff of the Federal Congress are hired by contest. For this, the requisites should be expressly stated for the different posts, like the case of Chile, for instance. Regarding temporary personel, CADAL proposed Cobos to eliminate it, replacing it with a fixed sum of money, equal for every senator, where each senator hires the staff fit through contracts of service and agreements with universities and NGO's. Salvia gave Cobos the following chart, with data based on the 2008 budget of the Legislative Branch:

Chamber

Senate

Representatives

Temporary staff

1.352

2.261

Percentage by legislator

18,78

8,80

Budget of temporary personel

104.255.004

106.403.000

Budget of contracted personel

2.072.000

19.727.000

Annual budget by legislator

1.476.763,94

490.778,21

Monthly budget by legislator

123.063,66

40.898,18

Proposed sum by legislator

?

?

Annual savings

?

?

As can be appreciated, the Senate has many employees more than the House of Representatives and a budget three times bigger than that of the Low Chamber. For CADAL, with the elimination of the expense of social services of temporary personel and to level the budget to a figure similar to those in hands of the federal representatives. Thus the Senate could generate a huge saving that would allowed it to offer voluntary retirements to the surplus personel and the less qualified, whose, obviously, got their posts because of political recommendation. In this regard, it is worth noting that Cobos, in a recent interview, recognized that 55 percent of the employees at the Senate do not have a college degree.

Finally, Salvia was very satisfied with the meeting and stated that "I am taking an excellent impression from Cobos, since he punctually received me. I didn't have to wait for a minute and in no more than fifteen minutes I was able to put this issue forward and I saw him really worried about this matter".