UOB’s appeal against the modification of the seniority requirement for access to the post of head of the inspectorate dismissed

Jan 23, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The court considers the modification of the seniority period applied by the Regional Ministry of Education and Vocational Training to be reasonable.

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The High Court of Justice of the Balearic Islands has rejected the contentious-administrative appeal filed by the UOB against the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands regarding Decree 20/2021, of 29 March, amending Decree 36/2001, which regulates the Education Inspectorate and the resolution of 15 April 2021 agreeing on the award of the post of Head of the Education Inspectorate Department.

The judgment of 13 January 2023 also ordered UOB to pay the costs of the proceedings.

The Court concludes that “neither do we consider that the extension of the seniority period, in order to give access to a greater number of applicants, is indicative of a misuse of power and we refer on this point to the reasons that explain the modification in the background of the contested Decree. Reasons which are understood to be reasonable and justified”.

Specifically, reference is made to the appointment of the new Head of Inspection after this post became vacant due to retirement. The Inspection Decree established that in order to be able to access this position, one had to have 5 years of seniority. In 2015, when the previous legislature began, there were only 10 inspectors, half of whom were interim inspectors. It had been 15 years since there had been any competitive examinations for this body and they were reconvened in 2016. As they did not take office until 2017, none of the new inspectors (there are now about thirty) had the required 5 years. This was a serious disadvantage in appointing the new head of the department because, for all practical purposes, there was only a choice between 5 people, many of whom were about to retire.

The fact that the functions of the head of the department in the Inspection Decree had to be adapted to the conditions of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan was used as an opportunity to also modify the years of seniority from 5 to 3 years so that all new inspectors could be candidates.

This proposal was endorsed by the legal services and discussed with the two inspectors’ unions (ADIDE and USIE) who were in favour of this modification.

The position of Head of Department is freely appointed by the Minister.

The modification of the Decree with the accompanying explanation can be consulted in the BOIB of 30 March 2021.