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Publications / Public Policy Papers

Open Information, Contract Management, Transparency and Ethical Standards: In local Government Units Contracting Out for Case Management Service Delivery

Author(s): Esien Eddy Bruno

Date: 2019

Publisher: NISPAcee Press

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Order contact: nispa@nispa.sk



The Public Policy Paper was developed within the NISPAcee project "PRACTIC - From Policy Design to Policy Practice in the European Integration Context” supported by EC ERASMUS+ Jean Monnet Action – Jean Monnet Project.

Esien Eddy Bruno, Faculty of Social Sciences,  Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

Abstract 
This policy paper discusses issues related to information, contract management, transparency and ethical standards to improve local units of government contracting out for case management in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. Existing research points to contracting out taking place in a weak macroeconomics context (Petersen et al., 2018; Domberger and Jensen 1997) with budgetary constraints that impact a government’s provision of public assistance schemes (Neil, 2004) to review and change service delivery mechanisms. These changes contribute to a more decentralised administration and also reduce the overall quality and performance of the government. Moreover, the administration of governance faces reduced access to information, increased accountability/transparency problems to administer public business, and presents major challenges to institutional compliance and performance management (Berle and Means, 1932). Although the agency relation shows certain local units of government in transitional economies have failed or are inappropriate to administer huge sum of taxpayers’ money in contracting out for welfare governance, there is still little policy study research in CEE countries analysing the improvement of local units of government overall contracting out for welfare governance. This also impacts third country nationals and disadvantaged ethnic-minorities employment-related transition in the selected entities.  Based on a qualitative cross-country oriented research approach with fewer country comparisons, this policy paper analyses and assesses both centrally directed and locally initiated contracting out governance in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. The findings show certain service provision is negotiated and exempt from open access to information; contracts are often treated as secret,  and the existence of unethical behaviour, which distorts the core value of trust in corporate governance and impacts third country nationals and (ethnic) minority citizens’ transition to work in the selected entities. As a matter of fact, the research recommends open access to (relevant) information, up-skilling and increased public service staff, and open book accounting to combine accountability, integrity, and ethical standards in the formation, delivery and implementation of public service. Not meeting these recommendations may reinforce fraud, penalise vulnerability and belongings, as well as weaken the economy in a global competitive market spectrum.

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