Post eu accession the end of public administration reform in baltics
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Post EU Accession: the End of Public Administration Reform in Baltics?. [email protected] 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

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

[email protected]

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