Strengthening of Public Institutions

Programme description

Title: Programme for Strengthening of Public Institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ) and the UK Government
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lead executing agency: Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office (PARCO)
Overall term: 2010 to 2021

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Context

The complex administrative structure in Bosnia and Herzegovina stems from the Dayton Peace Agreement of 1995. It includes a large number of public institutions, with more than 70 at state level alone. All these institutions compete for scarce financial resources in the weak economic conditions that prevail today. Reforms to the public administration are therefore urgently needed before any further national economic and social development can take place, or if progress is to be made in the EU integration process.

Due to the heterogeneous political system, implementation of the Public Administration Reform Strategy as adopted in 2006 was very slow and came to a formal end in 2014. A follow-up strategy for the period from 2019 to 2022 was finalised on a working level in 2018, but the necessary action plans have yet to be prepared and adopted.

Objective

Selected public institutions apply principles of public administration for more transparent, accountable, effective and efficient public service delivery.

Approach

On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Department for International Development (DFID) through Good Governance Fund (GGF), GIZ is implementing the programme jointly with the Public Administration Reform Coordinator’s Office (PARCO). Activities also entail direct cooperation with the Civil Service Agency, the Directorate for European Integration (DEI), the Public Procurement Review Body and the Public Procurement Agency.

The programme operates in four intervention areas: 1) policy development and coordination, 2) improvement of transparency and accountability, 3) improvement of the quality of public service delivery and 4) improvement of public financial management in the area of public procurement. Through co-financing the Department for International Development (DFID) of the Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, the programme can expand the technical support to other administrative levels in the country.

The programme is also implementing the pilot project “Inclusion of LGBTQI rights in Open Government approaches in BiH”.

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Results

The programme provided technical expertise to the vertical and horizontal coordination in order to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of the coordination processes. As a result, DEI and PARCO have improved their efficiency and functionality, specifically in terms of providing support to other institutions involved in the processes of public administration reform and European integration.

The programme provided technical advice to the development of the Policy of Proactive Transparency in Public Administration, in close collaboration with civil society. Following the adoption of the policy by the Council of Ministers BiH in 2018, the supported institutions are not only the most transparent institutions in the country, but also act as transparency champions within the government.

With technical support from the programme, the Civil Service Agency (CSA) has developed a Rulebook on Competency-Based Job Interviews in the Civil Service. As the first publication of its kind, this has improved recruitment practices and increased the transparency of the processes involved.

The capacities and qualifications of the civil servants responsible for public procurement procedures have improved. With programme support, a website for public procurement has been developed which provides an easily accessible, transparent and user-friendly e-procurement system. This is an important tool for improving the efficiency, accessibility and transparency of public procurement.

Several partner institutions have introduced quality management systems to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their services and ensure a citizen-centred approach to service delivery. Following capacity development measures, PARCO has become the resource centre for and promoted the countrywide introduction of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF), a quality management model for the public sector.

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