State energy firm hirings freed from civil staff council limits

A legislative revision submitted to parliament yesterday by a governing Syriza party MP will enable state-run energy enterprises joined by strategic investors as minority partners to appoint managerial staff directly through the labor market, free of any  constraints related to hirings carried out via ASEP, the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection.

The revision is necessary as the country’s energy sector is being reshaped by privatizations and the arrival of new strategic partners demanding managerial representation.

IPTO, the power grid operator, which was recently joined by State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) as a strategic partner, now holding a 24 percent stake, has agreed to offer key managerial posts to SGCC officials.

This managerial arrangement, agreed to between the Greek State and SGCC, a minority partner, would not have been possible without the legislative revision.

Strategic investors aiming to acquire minority stakes in other prospective Greek energy sector privatizations will also benefit from the legislative revision as they will be permitted to seek qualified managerial staff of their choice in the wider labor market.

Strategic investors who stand to acquire majority stakes in state-run energy firms have the right to appoint managerial staff of their liking, regardless of the legislative revision.

Snam, Enagas and Fluxys have been declared the preferred bidding team in an international tender offering a 66 percent stake of DESFA, Greece’s natural gas grid operator. An ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) privatization, still at an early stage, is offering investors a 50.5 percent stake. The prospective majority shareholders at DESFA and ELPE will be free to decide on managerial appointments regardless of the legislative revision.

However, management-level recruits at the main power utility PPC, still controlled by the Greek State with a 51 percent stake, continue to be made through ASEP, the civil personnel selection body. The revision will enable PPC management posts to be filled free of any ASEP intervention when a stake of the power utility is eventually privatized.

Also, strategic investors to acquire stakes in two forthcoming DEPA (gas utility) subsidiaries controlling the enterprise’s distribution networks and commercial matters, will be able to pick personnel from the wider market.