NISPAcee Annual Conference
Paper Details
Panel on Getting Public Administration Reform to Work
Author(s)  Polona Kovac 
  University of Ljubljana
Ljubljana  Slovenia
Nina Tomaževič, MsC 
Paper Name  National assessment of excellence in Slovene public administration - Pilot Project 2007
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Paper Abstract  
Abstract not available 
 Preliminary Abstract
National public administrations are nowadays forced to adapt to societal changes all over the world. In European Union the Lisbon Strategy is one of the key incentives, among others striving to develop the public administration (PA) operations on the basis of focusing on customers and all other stakeholders. In EU there is no prescribed tool for quality development in PA but the European Commission recommends especially self-assessment and external benchmarks as well as improvements according to the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) for the organizations in the public sector) in the context of overall reforms of PA. The Government of the Republic of Slovenia determined that in the mandate 2004-2008 the key goals are to make the administration user-oriented, its operation open and transparent, and to ensure efficiency and quality on all levels. The latter specifically includes establishment of quality system within PA – this being also the objective of the Slovenian Development Strategy until 2013. In the Slovenian PA different standards and model are used to develop the quality management, mainly ISO standards, the EFQM excellence model within the frame of annual national awards for business excellence and there is , since 2002 till 2007, about 80 Slovene administrative organizations, self assessed by the CAF model; in this manner they became part of the group of 800 CAF model users from all over Europe.

But there has been established that no tool ensures public organizations to gain the external and therefore objective assessment and the consideration of specifics of work in PA at the same time. Consequently, the Ministry of Public Administration and the Faulty of Administration decided to run in 2007 the project “The Development and the Establishment of the System for External Assessment of Excellence in Public Administration”.

As a basis for the assessment the CAF model has been taken, for only a holistic excellence model would link together the work done as well as ensure the benchmarks and upgrades. Additionally, the assessment tool is standards in relation to the customers that are included into the Decree on administrative operations (in force from 2005). Through the establishment and implementation of a total excellence model, developed on European level, Slovenia actively contributes also in the formation of so-called European Administrative Area. The project started in January 2007 and will be finished in November 2007. Eight organizations are participating in the pilot assessment procedure and these are: Environmental Agency, Centre of Social Work Ljutomer, Police Administration Novo mesto, Market Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia, Human Rights Ombudsman, Administrative Unit Metlika, Administrative Unit Velenje, Employment Service of Slovenia, unit Koper. There were also over 60 assessors and observers involved from both public and private sector.

The authors of the article will present this project in such a way, that it will be possible to discuss the aims of the project in the context of Slovene and even European PA reforms. We will present the evaluation of the project and especially its role in bringing the governmental goal of efficient and effective PA into practice. Additionally, we intend to describe the project as a role model in delivering public policy on excellence in PA into real life, at the same time we will put forward the limits in time, resources and other crucial success factors. Thus, participants of the conference will be able to get an insight into the impact of quality in PA operations in governmental policies and learn whether such an approach is transferable to other areas and countries.