Cornelia Komposch

Cornelia Komposch was elected to the government council of Thurgau in 2015 and has headed the Department of Justice and Security since then. The SP politician from Chur is a qualified nurse and certified farmer with a certificate as master. Additionally, she completed further educations in public accounting and business administration. Her political career began in 1998 as a municipal councillor in Herdern, where she was mayor from 2006 to 2015. In 2004, she was elected to the grand council of the canton of Thurgau. From 2010 to 2012, she chaired the audit and finance committee. From 2012 to 2015, she chaired the social democratic-unionist parliamentary group. The mother of three adult children lives in Steckborn at Untersee.

«Appreciation towards employees is a fundamental requirement for a well-functioning administration»

What are the main topics that concern your canton as a large employer?
One of the major challenges is the implementation of the «Digital Administration Thurgau» strategy. The transformation means a change that should not be underestimated, especially for the employees. The government is further concerned with spatial planning topics, large-scale construction projects, security and supply topics due to the geopolitical situation, educational challenges in the context of migration, the stabilisation of the financial budget and the shortage of skilled professionals.

What do you take into account when selecting your key employees in your department? Does it matter whether they have experience from the private or public sector?
A goal-oriented screening of candidates begins with the formulation of the right candidate profile. My evaluation and ultimately the personnel decision is based on this profile. Neither gender nor professional background are decisive for me. Rather, the personal impression and my gut feeling are crucial. In the event of applications of equal quality and in consideration of the overall situation, I give preference to a female applicant in the interest of promoting women.

Automation, digitalisation, flexibilisation and the workplace of the future shape the way we work today. How do you address these trends?
The government has issued a digitalisation strategy with a set of measures and created a Digital Administration Competence Centre. Qualified skilled professionals are currently developing a digital citizen portal that will make it possible for the public to use electronic services.

What opportunities do you see to make public administration leaner, more effective and more productive?
The canton of Thurgau is one of the cantons in Switzerland that has a low number of employees in relation to its population. Even leaner would no longer be justifiable.

Public administrations must fulfil political requirements, but at the same time they have to meet financial demands and evolve. How do you deal with this?
Primarily, any action by the public authorities requires a legal basis and, perhaps, a credit. However, the primacy of politics does indeed play an essential role in the everyday life of the administration. In this respect, a constructive exchange between the executive and the legislature is of great importance.

Due to demographic developments, soon more managers and skilled professionals will retire than succeed them. How do you deal with the increasing shortage of skilled professionals in your canton?
Successfully addressing the phenomenon of a shortage of skilled professionals requires various measures, such as modern working conditions, wage, holiday regulations, etc. Appreciation towards employees is a fundamental requirement for a well-functioning administration.

In a few years, the majority of employees will belong to Generation Z. How does your canton attract this target group and what do you expect from this target group for the further development of your canton?
The personnel policy measures are further developed in a continuous process. In this respect, we have a responsibility to take Generation Z and their life plans into account and to set the course accordingly.

The ecological footprint of Switzerland is large. How important is sustainability in your canton, and how did ecological considerations change the focus of the government council work?
The government guidelines 2020 to 2024 state the principle of sustainability. Progress towards sustainable development is measured and analysed in the thematic areas of society, economy, and environment by means of a system of indicators. The climate strategy and the biodiversity strategy of the canton of Thurgau should also be mentioned.