Successful Self-Assessment of the PAR Coordinator's Office as Part of the CAF Process

— Over the last three months, the Public Administration Reform Coordinator's Office has been actively engaged in self-assessment, which is an activity under the CAF model implementation dedicated to quality management in public administration. In cooperation with experts from the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), self-assessment steps are being successfully implemented, and over the following week the first training of future CAF trainers is planned to take place, and is expected to be attended by representatives of PARCO, but also of the Civil Service Agency of BiH.

At the priorities-defining seminar held on the 8th, 9th, and 12th of December 2015 in Sarajevo, Dragan Ćuzulan, the Public Administration Reform Coordinator pointed out the importance of self-assessment: “I find the CAF public administration quality management model extremely important to any institution. Self-assessment, as an integral part of the CAF, represents an opportunity for objective reconsideration of all processes used in an institution, as well as opportunity to set priorities and strategic goals. The model as such is compatible with all strategic goals of a reformed public administration. Inclusion of the staff and the management through forming of a self-assessment working group is something that gives the entire process a special dimension of dedication, and successful implementation of such activities should result in identified measures for improving of the institution’s operations”.

According to the experts of EIPA, Patrick Staest and Nick Thijs, the self-assessment group produced a high quality report, while the group and the PARCO management were regarded as truly dedicated to introducing quality management in PARCO.

As a part of systematic introduction of quality management in public administration, the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office has translated and published CAF Guidelines 2013 which thoroughly explain the entire process of self-assessment. The Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions provides technical support in this process. As a result, previous activities of the Programme included translation of the CAF guidelines “Improving Public Organisations through Self-Assessment”.

The document in Bosnian is available here, in Croatian here, and in Serbian here. The original document in English is available here.

Source: Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office

Conference on Quality Management in Public Administration Held in Sarajevo

— Conference “Quality Management – an Instrument for Better Public Administration” was organised in Sarajevo on 27 October 2015 by the Public Administration Reform Coordinator's Office (PARCO) and GIZ in cooperation with the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA).

Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH Mirko Šarović said that the public administration reform is one of the key criteria in the process of European integration and that “Bosnia and Herzegovina is for years facing the challenge to organise its own society in order to restore confidence of its citizens in public administration, while respecting the principles of equality, justice, solidarity, legality, economy and efficiency.”

“The introduction of a quality management system will not solve all of our problems in public administration, but it will raise the level of responsibility, and the requirement for that is also to change awareness about public services and orientation towards customers,” said Šarović and added that the Council of Ministers endorsed activities led by PARCO in this process.

Public Administration Reform Coordinator Dragan Ćuzulan said that the modernisation of public administration, which is being carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina requires the introduction of a quality management system in the public sector, and that PARCO is given a role to promote the use of instruments for total quality management, develop necessary trainings, offer necessary information and to function as the focal point of this initiative.

“Total Quality Management represents a modern approach for monitoring and improvement of performance in organizations,” said Ćuzulan.

Head of the GIZ Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions in BiH Reinhard Lüke stated that the conference was organised in order to raise awareness of the importance of the introduction of quality management as a driving force for the improvement of public services.

“The introduction of quality management systems in public institutions aims to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of services to citizens and other stakeholders,” said Lüke and added that the Programme carried out by GIZ on behalf of the German Government and in cooperation with the PARCO, contributes to the further economic and social development and it promotes the process of integration of BiH into the EU by supporting the successful implementation of the public administration reform.

During the conference Memorandum of Understanding for establishment of cooperation in the field of quality management has been signed between PARCO, the Institute for Standardization of BiH (BAS) and GIZ.

Patrick Steas and Nick Thijs from EIPA held presentations about quality management in the public sector through a common assessment framework (CAF Model), Goran Paštrović, Programme Manager in ReSPA, spoke about the role of the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA) in quality management and Nina Hadžimulić, Sector Manager in the Nuclear Power Plant Krško, presented the activities on quality management in Krško Management Board. Furthermore, Aleksandar Karišik, Head of Operations Unit in PARCO, presented the activities of PARCO in this process, Bojan Golić from the Civil Service Agency of BiH also shared his experiences with the participants of the conference, and Aleksandar Cincar, Director of BAS, presented about the ISO 9001 standard.

The conference was organised for the institutions at the state level and other partners of PARCO in the process of public administration reform.

Source: PARCO, www.parco.gov.ba

Communication of the Public Administration is Effective Only When It is Proactive and Strategic

The managers and communications officers of the four beneficiary institutions of the Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions in BiH have attended 21-24 April 2015 a training on strategic communications. One of the messages from these workshops is that the communications of public administration with its various audiences can be seen as football game where the public plays continuously and thus creates the situation where the same is expected from the administration itself. Constant communications, imminent to the democratic socities, in today's information society is facilitated by the social media, mobile devices and apps so that there is no reason for public institutions not to use these communication tools that – beside their many other advantages – also can help save up on the constantly scarce budget resources.

The public and especially the media are able to find the way to the information of public significance and hence the proactive communication of the administration is a must. It is up to the institutions whether or not this information will the authentic and on-time and whether as such will help strengthen the public trust in their work. This implies the conclusion that effective communication of public bodies beside being proactive also needs to be strategic.

During the training an overview of main communication challenges of the public institutions was made; such challenges often are common to many administrations across the world. Among these challenges is the current positioning of communications within the organisations, limited human and financial resources and resistance to the use of new communication channels in everday practice. The participants also had the opportunity to jointly develop a public campaign adjusted to the everday conditions and environment of institutions in BiH.

Experiences and recommendations for improvement of strategic communication was transferred by Marguerite Sullivan, one of leading experts in communications who has extensive work experience in the U.S. public administration.

Training was developed and implemented within the thematic area of Communications and Knowledge Management of the Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions, implemented by GIZ on behalf of German governement. Beneficiries in this thematic area are four public institutions in BiH: Agency for Statistics of BiH, Agency for Development of Higher Education and Quality Assurance, Directorate for European Integration and Public Administration Reform Coordinator's Office.

Source: Directorate for European Integration