Social security supervisory boards re-established
The renewed bodies of social partners working with the National Pension Insurance General Directorate and National Health Insurance Fund are not self-governments but perform a consulting and controlling role
The Speaker of the Parliament handed over the members of the Health Insurance Controlling Body (Egészségbiztosítási Ellenörző Testület, EET) and Pension Insurance Controlling Body (Nyugdíjbiztosítási Ellenőrző Testület, NYET) the letters of appointment. As required by Act LXXII of 2005 passed on 27 July 2005, EET has 9 members and NYET has 11 members. Both national level trade union confederations and employers’ associations nominated 3 members to each board. The government delegated 3 members to each body, and the Council for Senior Citizens (Idősügyi Tanács), a forum for civil organizations, delegated two members to NYET.
The new law amended Act XXXIX of 1998, which disbanded the supervisory boards of the Pension Fund and the Social Security Fund. The 1998 law, which eliminated the self-government bodies of the social security funds established in 1993, was one of the first pieces of legislation following the right wing election victory. Initially, in 1993 the representatives of employees were elected by the votes of citizens, while the employers’ representatives were nominated by the employers’ associations. Their operation, especially the quality of management by these self-governing bodies, was several times criticised. The socialist government itself, which ruled the country between 1994-1998, planned some kind of modification of the rules in order to ensure greater state control. None the less, the disbandment was understood as an Orbán government’s measure to reduce the influence of social dialogue and to put an end the 'neo-corporatist' nature of Hungarian industrial relations system.
Both the representatives of employees and employers demanded the re-establishment of their role in operating the social security funds. Especially the national level trade union confederations demanded the re-installation of supervisory boards. In its 2002 elections campaign, the Hungarian Socialist Party (Magyar Szocialista Párt, MSZP) promised to re-establish the role of social partners in the supervision of social security funds, though did not want to reinstall the former self-government completely. According to the new regulation, the boards have not a self-government character but are consultative-controlling bodies working with the management of the National Pension Insurance General Directorate (Országos Nyugdíjbiztosító Főigazgatóság, ONYF) and the National Health Insurance Fund (Országos Egészségbiztosítási Pénztár, OEP). The bodies’ function is to control the efficient use of the social security fund and annually issue a report. They are entitled to initiate investigation and look into the documents of the social security funds. Formally, the Speaker of the Parliament has the right to invite and recall the members of the supervisory boards, following the nomination by the social partners. The members’ mandate period is three years, and they can serve maximum two terms.
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