Monitoring the EU integration process – Public administration reforms – “Administering” the administration, key precondition for reforms

The document is the result of a research conducted within the project “Promoting Accountability and Transparency of Public Reforms”, implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation for Internet and Society in Skopje, with the support of the US National Endowment for Democracy. The project is implemented in 2021 and 2022.

The report is a set of facts and analysis of public administration reform from the second half of 2021 to the end of March 2022. It is based on conversations with experts, desktop research, fact-checking research and analysis of Metamorphosis media projects, primarily Truthmeter, as well as data obtained through research by other institutions or civil society organizations.

The summary of the monitoring for the public administration reforms is as follows:

  • A strategic framework exists, the problem is its re-evaluation and whether the deadlines for extension of the basic strategic document will be met.
  • Key laws exist, but their amendment, i.e. renewal is slow, although they have been prepared for two years now. Apart from this, the problem is the delay with the law on reorganization of the state administration bodies, as well as the law on senior management service, which has not yet seen the light of day.
  • The efficiency of the administration remains a problem. Although the existing legal solutions incorporate models for measuring efficiency, it is only implemented formally. Thus, in a way, the salary system is stuck, which according to the commitments of the executive branch of power should be changed and should grow, but at the same time, they emphasize the efficiency and the measurement of that efficiency in the administration.
  • The services of the administration have been partially improved. The portal through which e-services are provided to the citizens in the last 24 months has increased the offer from 50 to 184 fully electronic services, and for this year about 40 new services are being prepared. However, several unresolved issues remain. Formation of the digital identity of the citizens, the digital literacy of the citizens, greater use of the electronic signature and, finally, the implementation, i.e. trainings of the administration for full acceptance of the e-documents obtained by the citizens within the institutions. In the whole process of e-services, the increase in the number of such services in the local self-government units remains problematic.
  • Although there are different views on the number of civil servants and employees in the public sector, the atmosphere and the quality of the employees in the administration are imposed as key. And all the sources that were consulted for this report indicate that the atmosphere is not at an enviable level (in large part it is due to low wages) and that there is a problem in fulfilling the tasks both in terms of duration of the process and in terms of the quality of the completed tasks. Of course, the speed and quality of the implementation of the reforms in PA also depend on this factor.