The 9th NISPAcee Annual Conference:
"Government, Market and the Civic Sector:
The Search for a Productive Partnership"
Riga, Latvia, May 10 - 12, 2001
Organized in cooperation with Latvian School of Public Administration,
The Conference Theme
Many countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Newly Independent States (NIS) have simultaneously moved from an all encompassing, authoritarian state to one where both the market and civil society have rapidly emerged as being highly regarded institutions actively involved in redefining the role of a receding state. In most, if not all countries, a suitable balance has yet to be found whereby a reduced, but competent, state sector acts as a respected referee ensuring free exchange within the market and civil society and guarantees interactions with government itself.
During the past decade of transformation, each of the CEE and NIS countries have had to find a balance between the way government, market and civil society organizations interact in order to provide their citizens with effective public services, designed to increase the quality of life. While such interaction is crucial for democracy, there are still some key areas - both political and administrative - where the role of the state remains unreformed and even primordial. The State as the guardian of the rule of law is one of these. In most countries however, state functions have begun, if somewhat slowly, to change in a way to accommodate the evolving economic, political and social environment.
In theory, in the economic sphere, the operation of market forces should represent the appropriate way to achieve the desired goals. However, in many economies in transition (and even those of highly developed countries) we do not always observe a fully competitive market place environment in operation. To further complicate matters, there have also been some very costly failures. For example, there has been the failure of insurance schemes in health care, corruption especially as regards the privatization of state property and the abuse of the market environment by Mafia activities. As a result, in many countries, citizens are becoming more and more willing to have the state intervene, as illustrated by numerous recent public opinion polls.
As a consequence, there have been increasing calls for a redefinition of the relationship between the state and the market. One response has been the increased realization of policymakers and administrators that it is a strong (but limited) state to which the citizen must turn to create the necessary facilitating environment (sometimes through government regulation) for the operation of effective and humane markets. Likewise, both citizen and policymaker are beginning to recognize the importance of a large and vigorous civil society as a means of encouraging the correct balance between the state and the market. The creation of a vibrant civic sector is therefore increasingly being recognized as one of the most important preconditions for the success of any transformation to democracy. The outcome of this is that in many countries, there is an increased need for the civic sector (non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, etc.) to complement and/or even substitute the state or the market in responding to the different human and societal needs.
Given these conditions, the questions to be addressed in this conference include a wide array of the most important concerns facing any democratic society whether it is transitional or highly developed. These include:
BOSTOCK William, Australia: The Role of the Market
in Higher Policy: An Evaluation
NITSCHOVA Lucie, Czech Republic: Government Roles and Implicit Liabilities in the Czech Republic
PEDASTSAAR Elico, Estonia: Local Government Functionsand Their Financing and Local Government Borrowing in Estonia
SHELTON-COLBY Sally, France: Network of Institutes and Schools of PA of CEE
GAZARYAN Artashes, Lithuania: Public-Private Competition for the Quality of Service
MIKULOWSKI Witold, Poland: The Role of Non-Governmental Organization in the Modernization of PA in Poland
PAWLOWSKA Agnieszka, Poland: Public Administration - Information Services Consumer, Information Services Provider
MERICKOVA Beata, Slovakia: The System of Delivery of Local Public Communal Services in the City Turzovka, Slovakia
NEMEC Juraj, Slovakia: Competitive Contracting: Problems and Potential in the Public Sector Reform Process in CEE
SETNIKAR-CANKAR Stanka, Slovenia:
SALAMATOV Volodymyr, Ukraine: Effectiveness of PA and Perception of Social Institutes
SYTNYK Tetiana, Ukraine: Evaluating Efficiency of LOcal Public Expenditures in Ukraine
Five working groups have been established on topics which generated considerable interest in past conferences. The working groups meet to discuss the results of research conducted during the previous year since the last annual conference. These working groups are, of course, open to new contributors and they have issued a call for participation and papers in the topics listed below. (More detailed information on the working groups can be found in the NISPAcee Newsletters or on the NISPAcee web site, or by contacting the working groups coordinators).
1. Working Group on Politico-Administrative Relations
Tony Verheijen, UNDP, Slovak Republic
Alexandra Rabrenovic, Belgrade University ,Yugoslavia
The Working Group on politico-administrative relations has been operating for over two years. Its main objective is to gain a better understanding of the most important causes for the continuing problems in the development of frameworks governing the relations between politicians and officials in Central and Eastern Europe and the NIS. During these two years, an inventory has been made of the nature of politico-administrative relations at central government level in some 12 states, based on a research protocol designed by the co-chairs of the group. The country studies focused on the role of legal, political, cultural and historical factors in shaping politico-administrative relations. In addition, thematic studies were carried out on the delivery of policy advice, the impact of professionalisation and the role of ethics in the development of politico-administrative relations. During the last working group meeting, held at the 8th NISPAcee annual conference in Budapest, the priorities for research over the next year were agreed upon. The submissions of papers on the following themes for the 9th NISPAcee Annual Conference are being expected:
2. Working Group on Better Quality Administration for the Public
Joanne Caddy, SIGMA, Paris, France
Mirko Vintar, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
An issue of growing importance in transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the NIS is the need to develop a more responsive and better quality public administration (PA) for citizens. The main focus of research for the Working Group is on improving the quality of public administration in the service of the citizen by examining how the public administration: tailors its actions to the expectations and needs of the public; assesses the quality of its actions; incorporates information about its performance and, finally, delivers better quality to its public. Working Group members contribute to this goal through empirical research on concrete cases – which may be drawn from the national, regional and local levels.
The Working Group was established during the 7th NISPAcee Annual Conference “Improving Relations between the Administration and the Public” held in Sofia (25-27 March 1999). The Research Guidelines for the Working Group are available on the NISPAcee web site. The first plenary meeting of the Working Group took place at the 8th NISPAcee Annual Conference in Budapest (13-15 April 2000) where it was decided to establish three sub-groups on: basic concepts; legal and institutional factors; methods and approaches - each co-ordinated by a designated member of the Working Group.
SEDMIHRADSKY Milan, Czech Republic: Internet and Information Openness - Essential Quality Attribute of PA, Common Assessment Framework Possibility of Implementation in the Czech Republic
LAURITZEN Bruno, Denmark: Comparing Local Government Performance-Cross-National Experience and Perspectives
HUMPHREYS Peter, Ireland: Developing Best Practice in Quality Customer Service: The Irish Service Experience
REINHOLDE Iveta, Latvia: Introducing Quality Management System. The Latvian Case
UPENIEKS Reinis, Latvia: Quality Improvement in Civil Service: Human Resources Management
CHLIVICKAS Eugenius, MARCELIENE Kristine, VAITENKOVAITE Raimonda, Lithuania: Civil Servants’ Training Strategy as a Precondition for Improving the Quality of PA
SUWAJ Patrycja, Poland: The Legal Regulations as Importiality Guaranties of Public Administration Agencies in Poland-Analysis with due Regard to Jurisdiction
SWIANIEWICZ Pawel, Poland: Between Active Appreciation,Passive Approval and Distrustful Withdrawal
LOVAS Ladislav, Slovakia: Administrative Justice: Social Justice in the Sphere of Public Administration
BERNATOVA Magdalena, Slovakia:
KUNSTELJ Mateja, Slovenia: Influences of Information Technology on the Quality of Public Service
PECAR Zdravko, Slovenia: Obstacles with Implementing TQM in the Public Organisations
LOFFLER Elke, UK: Defining Quality in Public Administration
KAZNACHEYEV Konstantin, Ukraine: Ethics in Public Administration
PARASYUK Natalia, Ukraine:
NAVRUZOV Yuri, Ukraine:
ZAYTSEVA Tatiana, Russia: Performance Management System in Public and Private Sector Organisations in Russia: Comparative Research
MILOVANOVIC Dobrosav, Yugoslavia: Qualitative Public Administration and Yugoslav Financial Markets
3. Working Group on System of Social Security with Special Emphasis on Problems of Unemployment, Poverty and Gender
Janos Hoos, BUES, Budapest, Hungary
Marketa Vylitova, Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs, Prague, Czech Republic
The working group on Social Security has worked continuously with its current co-ordinators since the 8th NISPAcee Conference in Sofia, 1999, but was established prior to this date. The emphasis shifts slightly each year due to changes in certain aspects within social security. The Working Group aims to focus attention on the fact that not only institutions – the effectiveness and efficiency of public administration –are important but that people matter even more.
After ten years of transition, the CEE countries find themselves in
varying situations. It is extremely important for transitional countries
to take care of their social problems. Society cannot be fair and democratic
if the people do not have proper social protection. At the last conference
in Budapest in 2000, we came to the conclusion that problems which have
arisen in the social sphere can only be efficiently solved within a framework
of a broad social protection system and by reforming the important elements:
- pension schemes
- education and life long learning and training systems
- health protection schemes
More emphasis must be placed on human capital development. For this
reason, the WG selected the topics of education and heath policy
for special emphasis at the Conference in 2001.
It should be noted that the working group has agreed to form a research group for further investigation into the field of social protection. It is presently applying for research funding in the areas of health and education policies.
DOLEZALOVA Jitka, Czech Republic: The Impact of Globalisation on Systems of Social Security
HOOS Janos, Hungary: The Reform of the Hungarian Education System
VORONTCHUK Inesa, Latvia: Women and Labour Market
SURDEJ Aleksander, Poland, Michael Cain, USA: Globalisation and the Development of Social Welfare Reforms in Eastern Europe
MATVEYEV Alexei, Russia: Higher Education Vouchers in Russia: The Bad Case of Market Socialism?
4. Working Group on Governing Multiethnic Communities
Petra Kovacs, LGI, Budapest, Hungary
Most of the countries in the region live in a multi-ethnic society. Decentralisation and a market environment have made this more visible, bringing about a need for new actions. The first step for those countries which plan to solve ethnic conflicts in a peaceful way, is to draft legislation on individual and collective minority rights. The second is to implement the legislation and to manage the public sector in accordance with the accepted principles.
Since 1990, the various levels of public administration and governance have had the devolved responsibility of implementing policies to conform to international minority rights and standards. However, these provisions are often poorly implemented due to inadequate resources, insufficient technical expertise and a lack of willingness at all levels of public administration to do this.
Inter-ethnic relations and multicultural politics appear to be a major issue for the EU accession countries in the region. Although many international, national and local NGOs are actively advocating minority rights and act on behalf of the minority, both the public administration and local governments receive much criticism. There is therefore an urgent need to develop methods to overcome these shortcomings and to provide governments and public administration with technical support to design and implement multicultural policies that meet the needs of the different communities.
The major research problem of the Working Group is “Equity for minorities: measuring the access of minorities to public services”. The research will be centred on case studies from various countries of the region based on a common research protocol to ensure comparative results. The expected outcomes of the research include the evaluation of implementation of central and local policies, a typology of formal and informal practices to provide services for minorities and policy recommendations.
NONCHEVA Theodora, Bulgaria: Studying Access of Minorities to the Public Services:Examples of Recent Empirical Surveys in Bulgaria
ONDRUCHOVA Alice, Czech Republic: A Project for Improving Inter-Ethnic Relations in Pardubice-Czech Republic
KRIMPE Jana, Estonia: New Challenges:Politics of Minority Integration in Estonia
RZAVINS Aleksandrs, Latvia: Access to Public Servises for Russian Minority in Riga
JOVEVSKA Aneta, Macedonia: Minorities Presence in Political Life-Republic of Macedonia
OLLOS Laszlo, Slovakia: Hungarians in the Slovak Government
CHIRIBUCA Dan, Romania: Evaluation of the Policy Impact of Minority Participation in Governance in Romania
CROWSON Richard, UK:
KULENKOVA Olena, Ukraine: Governance in the Multi-Ethnic Community of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea
5. Working Group on Public Finance and Accounting
Zeljko Sevic, University of Greenwich, London, The United Kingdom
The main goal of the Public Sector Finance and Accounting Working Group is to produce high quality comparative empirical research on financial and accounting practices in the public sector in Central and Eastern European Countries. This does not mean that the group will not support and carry out theoretical research, but priority is given to cross-fertilisation of positive practices amongst the European transitional economies. The Group researches not only fiscal issues, but also public sector financial management practices in government bodies, public enterprises, organisations with clear para-governmental status, or even organisations in the third sector which play an important role in the public life and provide public service. An organisation, which receives more than 50 per cent of its revenue from public sources, may be regarded as a public organisation for the research purposes of the Group.
In the summer of 1999, invitations to join the group were sent to all members and observers of NISPAcee and to date, over 30 scholars and professionals have joined the Group. Each of the founding members was asked to propose projects which can be realised in the Group’s first year of operation. Over 20 different projects were proposed, but at the top of the list were the topics devoted to local government finance reform in CEECs and reform issues in Higher Education Finance. Therefore the WG session at the 9th conference will be devoted to the analytical survey of local government finance practices in CEECs. The protocol for the completion of country studies will be produced during the summer of 2000 and all interested candidates will be invited to prepare a short synopsis outlining their proposed paper. The papers look at the legal definition of the fiscal relationship between different levels of government and how it is employed in practice; main budget preparation procedures; the relations between the administration and elected councillors in the budgeting process; the structure of local government revenue and expenditures and their powers to introduce levies, etc. The studies are be prepared along the lines of the project protocol so as to enable the production of comparative study in a book format.
The authors of the accepted papers also address related issues such as the introduction of social responsibility, accountability and control and that attention is paid to the introduction of management accounting techniques in the public sector and how they can improve the management of public funds and prevent corruption and embezzlement.
It is also expected that the research project can be completed in a year with an aim to publish the studies in a book format. The time span of over 10 years of local government reform should give enough quantitative data for the analysis and forecasting of future trends.
ALEXANDROVA Svetlana, Bulgaria: Local Finance Reform in Bulgaria. EU Dimension
LADOS Mihalyi, Hungary: Financing Regional Development in Hungary
CHANDLER Mark, Lithuania: The Determination of Municipal Budget Incomes in Lithuania
BURY Piotr, Poland: Rural Areas and Local Government Finance in Poland
1. NISPAcee – How did we start? What are we? Where should we go?
Maria Gintowt-Jankowicz, National School of Public Administration, Warsaw Poland
Alexander Kochegura, People's Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russia
NISPAcee has become a widely recognized international organization since its inception five years ago. However, at the same time, its growth has brought about certain constraints. Its large membership is becoming more and more diversified, not only from a geographical, but also from an institutional point of view. This has resulted in a wider set of demands on NISPAcee services. The changing environment – political, economic and administrative, in many CEE countries, influences the special training needs and educational institutions which can be helped by NISPAcee. There are also ongoing changes in policies of NISPAcee donors which further complicate the situation. Finally, we must consider NISPAcee’s relationship with other similar international organizations when developing the organization’s future strategy.
This meeting gave representatives of NISPAcee schools, institutes and
other interested parties an opportunity to meet together with the NISPAcee
Steering Committee members to analyze the role of NISPAcee in the region,
how it functions and also to share views on its potential for future development
under the above mentioned circumstances. The meeting resulted in specific
recommendations for the NISPAcee General Assembly and the Steering Committee
on NISPAcee’s future strategy.
NISPAcee BUSINESS MEETING
In addition to the usual agenda, which includes a report of NISPAcee
activities, finances and future plans, the results of the above meeting
were presented to the General Assembly for approval. The election of new
Steering Committee members was also on the programme (three of the present
Steering Committee members finished their term of office at this conference).
Conclusions from the Conference
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