Public administration reform

Project description

Title: Public administration reform in Serbia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Serbia
Lead executing Agency: Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government; Ministry of European Integration
Overall term: 2016 to 201

Context

Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Serbia has been striving to achieve economic stability. Since 2000, it has also been pursuing the goal of accession to the European Union (EU). The first formal step towards EU accession was completed in 2008 with the signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. In 2013, a decision was taken to open negotiations on Serbia’s accession. At present, administrative procedures are overly complex and lack clarity and 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

The services offered by public administration authorities, including the management of EU accession negotiations, are more efficient and are more in line with regulations, evidence and need.

Approach

The project strengthens networking, as well as organisational and human resource development in and between selected public administrative bodies and supports them in carrying out new procedures in selected areas of legislation. This ensures that the services offered by the authorities are more efficient and are more in line with regulations, evidence and need.

The measures are implemented at central and municipal level in four fields of activity:

  1. Harmonising the General Administrative Procedure Act with the special administrative law
  2. Creating the conditions required for enhancing the efficiency of public service delivery
  3. Improving evidence-based and needs-based policy-making, taking account of gender equality
  4. Improving the management of Serbia’s EU accession process: this field of activity was included in 2017. The activities build on a successful predecessor project.

The activities were expanded to include the local level in 2017. In 2018, the project activities will be extended to the municipal level, the aim being to increase efficiency in the provision of important municipal services.

Results

The review 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 GIZ support, a new competency framework has been developed for public administration employees. Once it is introduced, staff recruitment will be based more on actual requirements, and this, in turn, will lay the foundation for more efficient public service delivery.

The Public Policy Secretariat is supported in designing the impact assessment procedure for legislation and policy, together with sectoral ministries, on the basis of relevant policy documents.

Serbia’s negotiating structures for prospective EU membership have been advised by GIZ on efficiency and effectiveness and will continue to receive support. For the Government of Serbia, EU accession is a major catalyst for reform.