post eu accession the end of public administration reform in baltics n.
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Post EU Accession: the End of Public Administration Reform in Baltics?. ugis.sics@cpm.lv. Main questions. Three Baltic States have been praised for their economic performance and public administration reforms (strategic management in Lithuania and Latvia, and E-Government in Estonia)

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Post EU Accession: the End of Public Administration Reform in Baltics?


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main questions
Main questions
  • Three Baltic States have been praised for their economic performance and public administration reforms (strategic management in Lithuania and Latvia, and E-Government in Estonia)
  • But what are the achievements? And what are the failures?
  • What explains them apart from size of the countries? Can achievements be replicated elsewhere?
  • What challenges ahead? Is administrative capacity of the Baltic States sufficient for effective functioning within the EU including management of the EU funds?
what achievements
What achievements?
  • Re-establishment of the state (often under estimated factor in explaining reforms)
  • EU and NATO Membership (in many aspects drivers of the reforms so far)
  • Fast economic growth (on average around 10% per annum)
  • High degree of openness and participation
  • Privatization completed
  • Clear organization of public administration, well structured roles and responsibilities
  • Increasing focus on performance (in terms of policy planning, programming and organizational accountability)
  • Internal coordination system with some positive impacts and significant potential
  • Now – new system of HRM and pay
successful reform initiatives
Successful reform initiatives
  • Legal and institutional reform
  • New administrative process and courts
  • Strong centre of Government (State Chancellery)
  • New policy planning and coordination system
  • Open decision making process enhanced by various e-tools
  • Programme budget with increasing emphasis on non-financial performance information
  • Strategic planning initiative integrating policy, budget and operational planning
  • MTEF (1+3 including financial and non-financial information at the programme level)
where we have failed
Where we have failed?
  • Trust in Government, politicians and the Civil Service
  • “Unequal” distribution of benefits of the reform
  • High level corruption (state capture)
  • People vote not only in elections but also through exit (50 – 100 000 of workforce left during recent years)
  • The Civil Service that hardly copes with attracting, maintaining and developing talent
  • Return of politization
can our successes replicated
Can our successes replicated?
  • At technical level all these reforms can be copied
  • Comprehensive PAR programmes modelled according to “best practice” examples are easy to propose and “write”
  • The question, however, is:
    • Will they work in a particular context?
    • Does it address the real needs of the place?
    • Has this “best practice” been really understood?
  • The real question is – can reform be given sufficient space, time and incentives to be successful? And is there a self motivating and driving initiative for reform?
what explains success 1
What explains success?1
  • EU accession as one of the key external drivers, i.e. Latvia needed to catch-up with the first group of EU accession countries;
  • Previous reform initiatives have failed thus creating a platform for EU to talk about PAR:
    • Civil Service Law
    • Semi-commercial public enterprises
    • Anti-corruption
  • Significant role played by the World Bank (within the framework of SAL)
what explains success 2
What explains success?2
  • The Latvian model has been driven by Civil Servants, not so much politicians
  • However, politicians provided space for that
  • So one can talk about the combination of:
    • External pressures causing
    • Internal political pressures
    • Thus giving to the reform minded officials some freedom to experiment
    • A small group of senior and middle level officials who had interest and passion in the reform (with their own motivations)
    • Quite receptive, flexible (and young) administration
    • High quality external assistance
  • The process was inclusive – where it was not – reforms failed or failed partially
where are the blockages
Where are the blockages?
  • There is a need for political support for reforms. When politicians lack incentives, reforms will most likely fail
  • There can be some serious counter incentives:
    • Reforms requiring resources (pay reform) – always unpopular;
    • Merge of politics and business (state capture);
  • Lack of critical mass of people open to reform, “old cadre” dominate;
  • Lack of international language proficiency in the Civil Service;
  • Insufficient technical competence and leadership (in Baltics it has been limited to dozen of people in the Government’s centre) AND WILLINGNESS TO LEARN AND INNOVATE, NOT REPLICATE
  • Lack of political stability, i.e. continuity (most reforms require several years before bearing fruit)
  • Thinking that reforms can be done in the old command and control style
what challenges ahead 1
What challenges ahead? 1
  • Reversing politization process within the Civil Service and returning to competency and merit based appointments. There is a need for the role of the civil service
  • Re-thinking the Civil Service concept – the old structure is dead but its ethics relevant more than ever; the new concept is just emerging
  • HRM – dealing with increasing competition in the labour market
  • Possibly recruiting internationally
  • Stabilizing Civil Service
  • The old reformers get tired – need to find new ones
what challenges ahead 2
What challenges ahead? 2
  • Continuing to focus on programme management improvement (deign, implementation, monitoring, accountability, evaluation)
  • Linking individual and organizational performance
  • Addressing trust issues:
    • More equal distribution of benefits of growth
    • Continuing with strong anti corruption policies
conclusions
Conclusions

Future

  • EMBEDING THE SUCCESS STORIES
  • FOCUSING ON RE-BUILDING TRUST
  • CAPACITY AND INDEPENDENCE OF CIVIL SERVICE
  • INNOVATION AND OPENESS TO NEW WAYS OF WORKING
  • LEADERSHIP

Past

  • ISOLATED INNOVATIONS
  • WEAKENING COORDINATION
  • INCNTIVE PROBLEMS
  • RETURN OF POLITIZATION