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Public Administration and Personnel Policy

The foundation of governance consists of competent, reliable, result-oriented and motivated officials whose professionalism supports the harmonious development of the state.

The Ministry of Finance develops the public administration and public service policy and coordinates its implementation.

The Public Administration and Public Service Department:

  • designs public administration policy;
  • develops personnel and training policy, organises salary management;
  • strengthens the core values and ethics of public service;
  • coordinates the cooperation networks of development managers, HR managers and training managers;
  • promotes public service training and development activities;
  • collects and analyses public service information and statistics;
  • promotes international cooperation in the area of the public administration;
  • keeps the register of state and local government agencies.

The Ministry of Justice regulates legislation that concerns the public service, the Government Office hires and develops senior managers in the public service, and the Ministry of the Interior is responsible for matters related to local government service.

Public sector reforms 

Public sector reforms have been taken place in a number of areas in recent years and will continue in the future. Read more about governance reforms (724.04 KB, PDF).

Public sector in numbers 

The public sector is divided into general government and other public sector. In Estonia, the general government sector is divided into three parts: central government, local government units and social security funds. In total, the average number of employees in 2018 converted to FTE (full-time equivalent) in government sector was 116 180, including 53 358 in central government, 61 820 in local governments and 1 002 in social security funds.

Public sector in numbers

Further information can be found in the Public Service Annual Report 2017  (PDF)(in Estonian) prepared by the Public Administration and Public Service Department.

In March 2015, the Council of Ethics for Officials approved new Code of Ethics for Officials (152.55 KB, PDF). The Code includes the set of ethical values and principles which a person excercising public authority has to follow. The Council of Ethics for Officials is responsible for supporting the implementation of the Code.

Civil Service Act entered into force on 1 April 2013. It updated the organisation of the public service in Estonia and stipulated the legal status of an official. The act paves the way for the emergence of a simple, clear and efficient system for the aprraisal of officials. The salary system is more transparent and fair, as it considers the employment market and the each persons responsibility and competitiveness. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for the implementation of the Civil Service Act.


Last updated: 13 August 2019