Support to Public Administration Reform

Project description

Title: Support to Public Administration Reform 
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Serbia
Lead executing Agency: Ministarstvo državne uprave i lokalne samouprave (Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government)
Overall term: 2016 to 2020

Context

Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Serbia has been striving to achieve economic stability and, since 2000, closer relations with the European Union (EU). The first formal step towards closer relations with the EU was completed in 2008 with the signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. In 2013, a decision was taken to open accession negotiations. At present, administrative procedures in Serbia are extremely complex and lack transparency. However, one of the prerequisites for Serbia’s accession to the EU is a reliable administrative system that implements EU regulations and meets European standards for public service delivery.

Objective

Serbia’s public administration is more efficient and user friendly and more in line with regulations.

Approach

The project promotes networking and organisational and human resource development in and between selected public administration bodies and provides support for the implementation of new procedures in selected areas of legislation. This ensures that authorities provide services in a more efficient, fact-based and user-friendly manner.

The measures are implemented at the central and local government levels in four fields of activity. The goals are:

  • To harmonise the existing implementing provisions of special administrative law with the new General Administrative Procedure Act and to simplify service processes. 
  • To create a coordinated system for public services in order to improve efficiency and ensure legal certainty. To this end, the project supports the introduction of competency frameworks and the development of human resource development tools. 
  • To improve needs-based policy-making, taking account of gender equality. When drafting legislation, the project also draws on the experience of the population and the private sector.
  • To improve the management of Serbia’s accession to the EU: this field of activity was added in 2017 and builds on a successful predecessor project.

Results

The revision of the General Administrative Procedure Act is an important step towards ensuring that public service delivery is more standardised, clear and transparent for citizens and enterprises. The process of implementing the Act is under way and is reflected in the modernisation of several administrative procedures. GIZ supports the reform process in key areas, one of them being strategic steering and monitoring by the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, which is responsible for the sector.

With the support of GIZ, a new competency framework has been developed for public administration employees. Staff recruitment is now based more on actual requirements, which will improve public services in the long term.

The Secretariat for Public Policy is being assisted in the task of estimating the impact on policy of legislative changes, together with sectoral ministries, on the basis of current policy documents.

GIZ has provided advice on the efficiency and effectiveness of Serbia’s negotiating structures for prospective EU membership and is continuing to offer support. It is also providing the Serbian Government with ongoing support to facilitate the effective management of the country’s prospective EU accession. Joining the EU will pave the way for the implementation of important reforms in Serbia.

Further Information