03.02.2017 change 03.02.2017

Greater supervision of the ministers over research institutes - the President signed the law

Greater supervision of the ministers over research institutes, including the appointment of directors of institutes without a competition, is enabled by the amendment to the Law on Research Institutes and the Geological and Mining Law, signed on 25 January by President Andrzej Duda.

In Poland there are 115 research institutes, including 17 referred to as "state" institutes. Their task is to conduct scientific research and development work aimed at the implementation and practical application of research results. In July 2016 President Andrzej Duda signed an amendment to the Law on Research Institutes, which increased the influence of ministers on the appointment and dismissal of the authorities of subordinate state research institutes (National Research Institutes) and the composition of the scientific councils. The present amendment concerns to the remaining 98 institutes.

Under the new provisions, minister will have the power to appoint and dismiss the director of the research institute without the participation of the Scientific Council and announcing a competition. Until now, in the case of dismissal of the institute director, supervising minister could appoint a director from among deputy directors. According to the amendment, the minister can appoint any person - even not employed at the institute - who meets the current criteria set out in the Law. The amendment excludes only the requirement of knowledge of a foreign language.

The amendment also introduces changes that concern the Scientific Council. Currently, least 50 percent of its members are academics and research-technical employees of institute. 30-50 percent are persons from outside the institute, appointed by the supervising minister. Under the new regulations, institute employees will constitute at least 40 percent of the composition of the council, and persons appointed by the minister - at least 50 percent. Under the new provisions, the chairman of the scientific council can only be selected from among the persons appointed by the supervising minister. Until now the chairman of the scientific council of research institute had to be a person with at least a post-doctoral degree. According to the new provision, this person will have to hold a doctoral degree.

The amendment modifies the provisions on the work of work groups appointed to give opinions on the creation, transformation, reorganization or liquidation of the research institute. Now they will have to issue their opinion within two months, and not as previously - within three months. The law also shortens deadlines in proceedings to revoke resolutions of scientific councils.

Amendments to the Law on Research Institutes resulted in the need to adjust the provisions on the appointment of the director of the Polish Geological Institute - National Research Institute, set forth in the Geological and Mining Law.

The law will come into force 14 days after its announcement.

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