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PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFORM: LESSONS FROM LATVIA. Vita Tērauda Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS. 1991 independence from Soviet Union May 1, 2004 European Union Member State. Initially – poorest EU country: 33% of average per capita income in EU

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public administration reform lessons from latvia

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFORM:LESSONS FROM LATVIA

Vita Tērauda

Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS

slide3
Initially – poorest EU country: 33% of average per capita income in EU

One of highest growth rates in Europe: 6,1% in 2002

2.3 million inhabitants, ethnically mixed: 58,5% Latvian, 29% Russian, 12,5% other

1993 launch of public administration reform
Inclusion of PAR priority early on in transition process

Recognition of need to radically overhaul inherited Soviet system

Political commitment (translating into financial commitment)

1993 – Launch of Public Administration Reform
broad issues
Changing the individual’s experience in interacting with the state

Bringing the public administration into line with the Constitution

Professionalizing the civil service

Broad issues
stages of reform
Stage One:

Design and launch of the PAR program

Leadership by the Ministry of State Reform

Stage Two:

Backtracking on many aspects of PAR program

Redesign of Civil Service to mitigate backtracking

“migratory” phase – PAR leadership changing with every new government

Stages of Reform
slide7
Stage Three:

Second tier issues in PAR

Consolidation and sustainability of Civil Service Administration and School of Public Administration

PAR responsibility embedded within the State Chancellery

initial actions based on strategic plan
Establishment of Civil Service

Citizen’s outreach program

Freedom of Information

Conflicts of Interest

Administrative Procedures Law

Redesign of decision-making at Cabinet level

Initial actions(based on Strategic Plan)
civil service reform
Career system

Establishment of Civil Service Administration

Issues to resolve:

Who qualifies?

Which positions are civil service?

How to change bureaucratic culture?

Civil service reform
civil service training
One of main tools to change culture

School of Public Administration

In-service training concept

Massive, universal initial training

Centralized curriculum development, decentralized delivery

Civil Service Training
slide12
Positive factors:

Capacity development of training institutions

Flexibility combined w/control of content

Instilled sense that “times have changed” in civil servants

slide13
Problems

“free good” – level of commitment of civil servants as well as ministries not as high

School of Public Administration has not been as responsive to changing needs following the initial massive training effort

lessons learned
Ministry of State Reform was crucial in establishing framework and political leadership for the PAR effort

Ambition to complete PAR in 2 years was severely flawed.

Announcement of sunset clause was a costly mistake, as was failure to remedy this mistake when it was recognized

Lessons Learned
lessons learned cont
Lack of inclusivity of key civil service players in design of PAR strategy led to major resistance by civil servants to reforms

Lack of upper/middle management commitment to reforms served to stall processes and encouraged backtracking during Stage Two

Lessons learned, cont.
lessons learned cont18
Budget constraints and inflexibility of originally envisaged Civil Service system hampered implementation

Bureaucractic cultures change only if “forced” via redesigning systems, lines of communication

Showing citizens real change in their interactions with the state is key to sustaining support for PAR

Lessons learned, cont.
thank you for your attention

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION!

Vita Tērauda

Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS