In many countries, the central civil service organs do not enjoy the unqualified support of the political authorities, who in the final resort take the decisions. The result is a certain paralysis of these central organs. The sweeping reforms essential for a coherent personnel administration policy raise a multitude of political problems, especially where the aim is to institute a merit system, to reduce ministerial powers over personnel, to challenge ingrained habits, to change established practices, or even to get rid of redundant staff. The chief opposition often comes from ministers who feel themselves unjustly deprived of managerial responsibility and of authority over their staff. This basic problem is of particular concern in countries where centralization of the decision-making powers is highly developed.