Fumbled meritocracy: improving Spanish civil service recruitment
27 de julio de 2017
Spain’s oposiciones fail to give aspiring civil servants equal opportunity of employment and threaten to rob Spanish public administration of the high-performing, motivated staff that it needs. Given the challenges of unemployment and political corruption that the country faces, this is alarming.
The Spanish constitution holds that civil servant hiring is to be guided by merit, aptitude, and equality. So far, so good. The current system relies on exams called oposiciones to fill positions in central, regional, and local government. While no one doubts the good intentions of the oposiciones in avoiding favoritism, they inadequately promote meritocracy. They frequently do not test for important personal characteristics in candidates, they constitute a waste of time, and they do not ensure equality of opportunity. This briefing proposes reforms that would make the oposiciones fairer and more scientific, drawing inspiration from the UK and France.
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