About Public Sector

What is the Public Sector?

The public sector, sometimes referred to as the state sector or the government sector, is a part of the state that deals with the production, ownership, sale, provision, delivery and allocation of goods and services by and for the government or its citizens, whether national, regional or local/municipal. 

Who are Civil or Public Servants?

All those working in the public sector are Public Servants.
The public sector is divided into Civil Service, the Judiciary and the Armed Forces.

Civil Service is a branch of the government composed of Civil Servants who work in governmental ministries and institutions. Employment in the Civil Service is through the Civil Service Board (مجلس الخدمة المدنية) and is based on educational and professional merit. 

The Judiciary is the combined system of courts which interpret and apply laws. It is made up of Judges, lawyers and the court staffs all part of the Ministry of Justice. Employment in this sector is through special exams carried out by the Ministry of Justice.

All those working for the army, internal security and local police are considered members of the Armed Forces.

What are Public Services?

The Public Sector has the responsibility to provide Public Services that are needed by all citizens but no private company will offer for free. These public services are either offered:

Through the Civil Service and Civil Servants such as:

  1. Building roads and bridges ( Ministry of Public works, The Council for Development and  Reconstruction),
  2.  Provision of street lighting and sidewalks ( Municipalities)
  3.  Protection of the environment ( Ministry of the Environment)
  4. Provision of free public education ( Ministry of Education)
  5. Provision of free health care (Ministry of Public Health)
  6. Facilitating the life of the disabled through care and provision of laws such as ramp access for wheelchairs, printing of books in Braille for the blind, etc. ( Ministry of Social Affairs)
  7. Provision of Pension and Social Security ( Social Security Administration),
  8. Provision of drinking water, electricity and sewer system ( Ministry of water and Energy),
  9. Establishment of diplomatic relation and trade and commerce with other countries (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

 

Through the Judiciary

  1. Interpretation of the laws present
  2. Application of laws in the name of the state through the court system
  3. Settlement of disputes between citizens, between citizens and businesses and between the state and citizens.

 

Through the Armed Forces:

  1. Defense of the country from outside enemies and maintenance of peace within the country (Ministry of defense)
  2. Provision of security and order within the country as well as control of sea and air ports. (Ministry of Interior)

 

Through its policies, the Public sector directly affects the Economy of the country through two main policies:

  1. Fiscal Policy: The amount of government spending, borrowing and taxation which all together determine the amount of services the public sector can provide and the number of people it can employ.
  2. Monetary Policies: Which determine the amount of money the Central Bank prints and the Interest Rate it charges other banks. Both of these actions have a direct effect on the rate of inflation in the country.

 

The Importance of the Public Sector

A quick review of the above roles and responsibilities of the public sector reveals the importance of this sector and the need for citizen participation to help with the provision of goods and services and assure the adequate distribution of it to all communities.

Article 12 of the Constitution states that every Lebanese has the right to hold public office, and that access to such positions is always made on the basis of merit and competence. The Legislative Decree No. 112/59 (Public Sector Staff Regulations) regulates conditions of employment of persons in the public sector.

Public Sector in Lebanon includes:

23 Ministries

6 Governorates (Muhafezat)

33 Institutions

Source: www.informs.gov.lb

 

The Civil Service Board (CSB)

The Civil Service Board (CSB) was established by Legislative Decree 114/59. Its organization and functions are stated in Decree 8337/61. The CSB handles issues related to civil servants, part-timers (on contract) and full-timers in the majority of administrations and departments of the public sector, and major municipalities. Namely, it sets conditions for hiring and appointment, promotion, remuneration, transfer, dismissal, as well as other employees’ issues. It also provides essential training to maintain and improve the performance of employees. At the same time, the CSB is in charge of continuous maintenance of the organizational structure of the public sector and major municipalities under its jurisdiction.

The Lebanese Civil Service is made up of five grades; Grade One is the highest. Grades are divided into steps, and each employee receives an automatic step every two years, which serves as a salary increment and an advancement step within his grade.

The average salary and benefits of an employee of Grade Three in the Public Sector is as follow:

Entry Level Salary1,200,000 LBP – 1, 400,000 LBP
( Soon to be revised to 1,800,000 LBP )
Medical Insurance1st Class Hospitalization
75% Lab and Medication
90% Surgery for Spouse children
75% Surgery for Dependents (Parents, Disabled Family Members)
Tuition SupportSchool up to the university level
OvertimeAround 50 % of Salary
(up to 100 hours per month)
End of year BonusUp to 2 Months’ Salary
Teaching hours allowed
160 hours/ year

 

Requirements for Applying for a Public Sector Job:

Public Sector jobs, except the Judiciary and the Armed forces, are classified into five grades (فئات). Grade three (فئة الثالثة), four (فئة الرابعة) and five (فئة الخامسة) are open to all Lebanese citizens aged 20-35 (18-23 for the armed forces) regardless of religion or ethnicity  and the minimum requirements for employment are as follows:

 

Grade 4 (فئة الرابعة)High school diploma (BACC II) or BT3
Grade 5 (فئة الخامسة)Brevet Certificate or BP II
Grade 2 (فئة الثانية) and 1 (فئة الاولى) are often assigned based on ethnic and religious quotas
*All university diplomas must be certified by the Ministry of Higher Education for equivalency with Lebanese University standards

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is there a quota system for the public sector based on religion or sect?

There is a quota system for Grade One who are generally Director Generals of Ministries or Institutions. Grade Two civil servants are recruited from among Grade Three and are not under a quota system but are chosen based on merit and accomplishments in Grade Three.

Doesn’t employment in government jobs require backing (wasta)?

Grade Three, Four and Five positions are open without the need for any backing (wasta) to all Lebanese citizens who fit the requirements and can pass a Civil Service Board test.  Grade Two positions are filled from Grade Three and though based on past accomplishments and performance, backing (wasta) can play a role. Grade one, is a political appointment and is based on quotas.

How will anyone know what to prepare for the Civil Service Board entrance exam?

All posted job vacancies include areas of required expertise and knowledge requirements. The Goguikian Foundation assists all those in need of preparatory classes to ready themselves for this entrance exam by providing preparatory classes..

What will the Goguikian Foundation do for those interested in a career in the Civil Service?

The Goguikian Foundation prepares a file of each candidate and advises them on all required documents and procedures and assists in completing their files. In addition, the Foundation provides for preparatory classes for the Civil Service Board entrance exam. It is best to contact the Foundation and sign up for free preparatory classes once you have decided to pursue a public sector career. The longer time you give yourself for these classes, the better your chances of success.

What is the role of the Goguikian Foundation once a candidate starts to work in the public sector? 

The Foundation will continue to support Lebanese Armenians in the public sector in order to offer maximum support and backing for promotion and advancement. Additionally, the foundation provides for networking opportunities within the public sector through events throughout the year.

What about those interested in working in the Armed Forces?

The Armed Forces, also accept recruits through the Army Entrance Exam. All information regarding entrance exam and requirements are listed on the website of the armed forces on www.lebarmy.gov.lb .In addition to academic performance, candidates are required to demonstrate physical fitness.

 

Does one need backing (wasta) to pass the entrance exams at the Armed forces and the Civil Service Board?

Both exams are transparent and conducted based on knowledge of the subject and in the case of the Armed forces physical fitness. Materials tested are announced in advance and all participating have equal opportunity to prepare for these exams. No backing (wasta) is needed to pass either of these exams.

 

The Public Sector has a reputation for corruption. Why should one be interested in a career in such an environment?

The majority of the people working in the public sector are honest, hard working specialists that provide for all the functions of the state. Unfortunately a small minority of the ministries is currently showing signs of corruption and those are the ones most frequented by the public. There are many dedicated qualified experts that consider it their national duty to serve their country by working in the public sector at least for a few years. But often due to the many extra benefits and conveniences of working for the government, most stay and retire from the public sector. It is due to these dedicated experts that we owe all our achievements as a state.

 

Do I have the right as a Lebanese Armenian to benefit from all that a public sector career has to offer?

All Lebanese citizens have the right to work in the public sector. Additionally, it is the duty of all citizens to give back to their country and to help improve its public sector in all ways small and big. By insisting on a public sector career, educated talented young men and women bring fresh blood to the sector and help improve it from the inside.