|Name||Strengthening of Public Institutions|
|Commissioned by||The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)|
|Country||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Lead executing agency||Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office (PARCO)|
|Duration||2010 – June 2019|
|Project value||9,7 Mio EUR|
The complex administrative structure in Bosnia and Herzegovina stems from the Dayton Peace Agreement of 1995. This complicated structure comprises of a very high number of public institutions – more than 70 at state level alone – that vie for scarce financial resources in a structurally weak economic conditions. Consequently, public administration reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina is of paramount importance for further national economic and social development and further progress in the EU integration process. Given the heterogeneous political system, the implementation of the Public Administration Reform (PAR) Strategy adopted in 2006 was very slow and came to a formal end in 2014. The institutions responsible for public administration reform have since been working on a follow-up strategy. Therefore, the implementation of public administration reform is still at an early stage and hampered by highly politicised interests and inefficient service delivery. Public institutions do not adequately apply the principles of public administration for transparent, accountable, effective and efficient public service delivery.
Therefore the goal of the programme is as follows: Selected public institutions apply the principles of public administration for transparent, accountable, effective and efficient public service delivery.
The programme is implemented jointly with the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office (PARCO) and cooperates directly with the following institutions: Civil Service Agency, Directorate for European Integration, Public Procurement Review Body and the Public Procurement Agency.
The programme operates in three intervention areas: 1) policy development and coordination, 2) improvement of accountability and 3) improvement of the quality of public service delivery. It provides bilateral process and advisory services and technical advice in selected reform areas, aimed at strengthening the capacities of the partner institutions to coordinate and implement reform measures.
The programme works in the following areas:
- Policy Development and Coordination
- Public Procurement and E-Governance
- Communications, Civil Society and Transparency
- Human Resource Management
- Quality Management
Through ongoing cooperation with selected public institutions in inter-institutional thematic working groups and other platforms, the programme is able to further develop successfully piloted initiatives. This enables partner institutions to disseminate the successes and products developed to other interested public institutions, therefore ensuring their sustainability and up scaling.
Impact – achievements to date
The work in the thematic area of “PAR Planning and Coordination and EU Integration” focused on institutions that have a key role in the implementation of the public administration reform and the EU integration process: PARCO and DEI. The interventions strengthened the capacities of these institutions in their endeavours to coordinate the process of PAR, subsequently fulfilling the requirements for EU integration. The programme provided support in the process of vertical and horizontal coordination of PAR and EU integration, with the aim improving the overall quality and effectiveness of the coordination processes. The tools used to enhance the capacity and knowledge of the partner institutions include: round tables, workshops, conferences, trainings, publications etc. As a result of the program interventions DEI and PARCO have improved their efficiency and functionality specifically in terms of providing support to other institutions, which are involved in the process of public administration reform and European integration.
Within the thematic area of “Communications and Knowledge Management” the programme supported the partner institutions (PARCO, Directorate for European Integration, Statistics Agency – BHAS, Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance) to develop a “Policy of Proactive Transparency in Public Administration” in close collaboration with the civil society organisations (e.g. Transparency International BiH, Centre for Social Research Analitika and Centre for Investigative Journalism – CIN). The four partner institutions were also supported in the implementation of the above mentioned policy and according to a research conducted in 2016, about 77% of the 38 defined standards of proactive disclosure of information were fulfilled by the partner organisations of the programme and thus they represented the top four institutions among 70 public bodies at the State level of BiH.
In the thematic area of “Human Resource Management” the programme provided support to the partner institutions to improve the civil service hiring processes, aimed at improving current practices and increasing transparency within the procedures. The programme supported the Civil Service Agency BiH (CSA) in the process of developing the first “Rulebook on Competency-Based Job Interviews in Civil Service”. The development of the rulebook enabled the institutions to apply the competency based approach in the recruitment processes in the civil service of BiH.
In the thematic area of “Public Procurement and E-Governance” the programme supported the partner institutions in further development of the capacities and qualifications of civil servants responsible for public procurement procedures through trainings, training materials, manuals and study visits. In addition the programme provided support to the development of a web portal for public procurement (www.ejn.gov.ba). This portal serves as an easily accessible, transparent and user-friendly e-procurement system, which acts as an important tool for improvement of efficiency, accessibility and transparency in public procurement. With regard to the public procurement review mechanism in BiH the programme supported the Procurement Review Body to become a more effective, efficient and transparent body by introducing a document management system and by supporting the board to make their decisions available to the public.
Within the thematic area of “Quality Management” the programme supported several partner institutions in the introduction of quality management systems aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery, subsequently resulting in a citizen-centred approach to service delivery. In addition, the programme supported the capacity development of PARCO to become the “Common Assessment Framework” (CAF) resource centre, a quality management model for the public sector. The customised support provided to PARCO, enabled it to sustainably promote the country-wide introduction of CAF in public administration. The programme supported PARCO, CSA and the Institute for Standardisation of BiH (BAS) in the development of a Quality Management Action Plan 2016-2018 and methodological guidelines for conducting client satisfaction surveys.