Open Access

The Profile and Work of Officials in Central and Regional Administration Compared: The Case of the Czech Republic


This paper examines the profiles and work tasks of officials in central and regional administration in the Czech Republic. It analyzes data from surveys among the officials of eleven ministries in 2013 (N = 1351) and fourteen regional offices in 2012 (N = 783). First, the profile of ministerial officials (MOs) is compared with that of regional-level officials (ROs). In accordance with our hypotheses, on average it is found that MOs are, when compared to ROs, older, more educated and have spent more time in civil service. Th ere is also a higher proportion of men in ministries than in regional offices. On the other hand, ministerial work seems to be affected by higher levels of fluctuation than jobs in the regional offices. Second, we compare work tasks of MOs and ROs. As expected, MOs are more involved in analytical tasks and research than ROs. In contrast, ROs are more likely to implement policies or programs, direct and monitor programs or lower-level bodies, provide advice for political bodies of the region, negotiate with elected politicians, communicate with citizens and provide methodological guidance, train or lecture. Contrary to our theoretical expectations, we found a strong positive correlation between analytical and brokering tasks (communication and negotiation). We thus reject the hypothesis that analytical tasks are at odds with negotiating and communication. Instead, it is concluded that most officials are multitaskers, and it is especially so in regional offices. It is hypothesized that this might be caused by the fact that regional offices are smaller and have a lower capacity to specialize

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Political Science, Local Government and Administration