Overview of Programme Results in 2015: Most Significant Achievements in Quality Management
— One of the objectives of the Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions is the introduction of quality management (QM) and survey of client satisfaction with services provided by participating public institutions at the level of BiH.
In the Human Resource Management thematic area of the Revised Action Plan 1 (RAP 1) of the Public Administration Reform Strategy, the following goal was set for the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office in BiH (PARCO): “Enable institutions to use a Total Quality Management – TQM model (…) if they choose to do so.” In order to achieve this goal, the following activities were specified:
- Translation and implementation of the selected TQM model;
- Development of training in TQM in general and the TQM system;
- Development of a training manual for the selected TQM system;
- Formation of a TQM information centre and database.
The reform agenda also foresees a more modern, more competent, more transparent, more efficient, more cost-effective and more accountable public administration that will improve the provision of public services and achieve savings by following the SIGMA principles.
With the above in mind and in order to support public institutions in improving their services and better meeting citizens’ needs, in 2013 the Programme initiated a comparative study in cooperation with PARCO to evaluate and recommend the best systems and models for quality management in public administration in BiH.
The main findings of this study are briefly presented in the figure below:
After informing project partners of the results, recommendations and characteristics of the CAF quality management model and ISO 9001 quality standard, institutions opted for the following quality management systems:
- Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office – CAF
- Civil Service Agency of BiH – CAF
- Agency for Statistics of BiH – CAF
- Directorate for European Integration* – CAF
- Agency for Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Education of BiH – ISO 9001
- Central Bank of BiH – ISO 9001
- Procurement Review Body – ISO 9001
* Due to a large volume of ongoing internal activities, the Directorate for European Integration decided to postpone the implementation of CAF.
The Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance of BiH decided to participate in this thematic area through introduction of systematic measurement of user satisfaction, which is one of the main pillars of quality management.
In 2014 cooperation was established with the European Public Administration Institute in order to develop a framework document for introduction of quality management into the BiH public administration, which should result in development of a set of guidelines and an activity plan aimed at developing the capacities of public administration institutions for implementation of selected quality management models. PARCO was the main carrier of these activities and has identified a need for close cooperation with the Institute for Standardisation of BiH and the Civil Service Agency of BiH in order to involve all key stakeholders in joint promotion, improvement and introduction of quality management into public administration.
You can find out more about this process here.
Inter-institutional working group for quality management
The inter-institutional working group for quality management was established at the same time, consisting of appointed members from partner institutions in the Programme which decided to take part in the area of quality management. This inter-institutional working group represents a platform for exchange of experiences and learning about best practices in other institutions, and aims to educate its members about quality management and particularly ISO 9001, CAF, and methodologies for measuring user satisfaction with public administration services. Considering that quality management is a relatively new approach for public administration in BiH, this group was planned to become the first community of practice for quality management in the BiH public administration. The Institute for Standardisation of BiH is an associated member of the working group. The working group is tasked with development of guidelines in the following areas:
- Implementation and maintenance of ISO 9001
- Implementation and maintenance of CAF 2015
- Methodology for systematic measurement of user satisfaction
These guidelines are an important deliverable of the inter-institutional working group and should allow future public administration beneficiaries to implement the chosen model/standard for quality management and measurement of user satisfaction. Furthermore, this working group and other inter-institutional working groups in the Programme deal with cross-cutting issues such as gender equality, and integration of gender equality principles through Programme activities, as well as quality management.
Translation of CAF Guidelines 2015 to the Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian language
One of the main tools for introduction of CAF in an institution is certainly the CAF 2013 Manual/Guidelines, freely available in English on the EIPA website. Via its cooperation with EIPA, SPI Programme received approval to translate and print this document in the official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During 2015 we worked intensively on translation and localisation of these Guidelines to Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian language.
CAF 2013 Guidelines were presented to the general public on the Conference “Quality Management – Tool for Better Public Administration” held in late October 2015.
The objective of this conference was to introduce the public, and primarily public administrations, to the concept of quality management and activities in this area from the perspective of the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office, Civil Service Agency of BiH and the Institute for Standardisation of BiH, and all present were able to hear the experiences of long-term users of a quality management system from the Krško administrative unit. Lecturers included Patrick Staes and Nick Thijs from the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) and Goran Paštrovič from the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA).
Mirko Šarović, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, opened the conference and Dragan Ćuzulan, Public Administration Reform Coordinator, and Reinhard Lüke, SPI Programme Manager, stressed the importance of implementation of a public administration reform oriented towards European integration and citizens, and emphasised the importance of introduction of quality management into the BiH public administration.
A promotional flyer on the concept of quality management was also presented at the Quality Management Conference and certainly provides an overview of the most important characteristics and information about quality management in public administration and linkages to the Public Administration Reform and the European integration process.
The promotional flyer is a result of bilateral cooperation between the Programme and PARCO in the area of Communication and Knowledge Management.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the conference in order to establish formal cooperation in the area of quality management between PARCO, Institute for Standardisation of BiH and GIZ. This Memorandum formalised an already existing cooperation between these institutions and the SPI Programme, in line with the support offered by the Council of Ministers in its conclusion dated 17 September 2015 to PARCO’s cooperation with the above institutions in promoting and adapting quality management models, building required capacities, as well as creation of planning documents for introduction of quality management into BiH institutions and coordination of their implementation.
Training of trainers
In order to allow PARCO representatives to transfer and spread their knowledge to other Programme beneficiary institutions, and others in the future, in 2015 PARCO and Civil Service Agency representatives underwent intensive ToT programme for CAF, with assistance from EIPA experts and technical assistance from the SPI Programme. A total of 14 participants (10 from PARCO and 4 from CSA) received intensive training in the CAF 2013 model and its implementation, formulation of activities for improvement of organisational performance, and their role as future trainers. Offering quality training and education requires not just excellent knowledge of the subject matter but also presentation and moderation skills, which were demonstrated by many participants. EIPA representatives who delivered this training to future trainers positively assessed many of the participants and remarked that PARCO employees are ready to mentor other institutions in introducing CAF.
Institutional experiences with introduction of quality management
In 2014, the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office appointed the working group for quality management which gradually received CAF training together with colleagues from the Civil Service Agency and, in 2015, with support from the Programme and EIPA experts, carried out the first CAF self-assessment. Eleven members of this working group spent three months of 2015 actively working on the first self-assessment, in parallel with their regular duties. By doing this, group members and PARCO management have demonstrated their willingness to dedicate the necessary resources and carry out the self-assessment in a professional manner and within the agreed time.
In the words of EIPA experts Patrick Staest and Nick Thijs, the work of the self-assessment group resulted in an excellent report and the group itself and PARCO management were evaluated as exceptionally dedicated to introduction of quality management into PARCO. More details are available here.
In 2015 the Central Bank of BiH carried out a situation analysis in accordance with ISO 9001 requirements and upon its recommendations the decision was reached to provide comprehensive training in ISO 9001 to Central Bank employees and to implement an integrated quality management system based on ISO 9001 and ISO 27001, with technical assistance from the Programme. Members of the quality team were appointed and will, together with the consultant, monitor all processes during the introduction of the quality management system.
During 2015 and in early 2016 the Agency for Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Education implemented a quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001 and a decision was made to provide comprehensive training in this standard to the quality group, with technical assistance from the Programme. The appointed quality team has achieved excellent results in the implementation of this standard.
The Civil Service Agency of BiH was the first institution to receive, in March 2016, professional mentor support from the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office for introduction of CAF. The first seminar was held, next steps agreed, and the appointed self-assessment group agreed with PARCO trainers on the next steps in the process and further plan of activities necessary to complete the self-assessment process by this autumn.
The Agency for Statistics of BiH will be the second institution to undertake CAF self-assessment under mentorship from the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office in 2016. The first meeting was held with the coordinator of the appointed quality group and the timeframe was agreed for the self-assessment process in 2016.