Central Government Reports – Municipality from the perspective of Public Policy

Place: Hotel Emerald
Date: 15 February 2013

Lecturers:

Prof. Dr. Ita O'Donovan, lecturer at the University of Birmingham and at the same time the European Commission expert

Besnik Tahiri, Master of Science for Decentralized Governance and International Development

Fatmir Haxholli, Master of Contemporary European Studies 


Topics:

•    Central Government Reports – Municipality from the perspective of Public Policy

•    The role of line ministries in relation to development at local level

•    The role of government in the coordination of actions for European Integration

Prof. Dr. Ita O'Donovan, lecturer at the University of Birmingham and at the same time the European Commission expert

In her lecture Professor. Dr. Ita O'Donovan, with topic: the relationship between the political level and civil servants, began her lecture precisely by three main components of the Madrid Agreement on transparency, accountability and legal framework.

Accountability by the institution to take an action, which action should be equal and right for all, impartial i.e. neutral, where an institution or group will benefit. According to her, center tends to keep things, on the other hand decentralization seeks to turn things down to citizens on how the service should be. Services to citizens are very important, and sacrifices must take place so these services can be as wider as possible (services), but with lower costs. She also stressed how to make workers more effective!?. At this point, she noted the principle of effectiveness that civil servant should think differently. The essence was in the reforms undertaken in England, Turkey, Netherlands and other countries of Western Europe and also gave examples of Central and Eastern Europe emerging from communist system, where the goal was to improve services for citizens. One of the requirements of civil servants was education, and if they did not agree with the reforms in administration then they can go (as she said here is the door). So the Municipal Mayor, the management team has worked as a team so the organizations can be effective in providing services to citizens. She also noted that the same team must have faith in what they will achieve.

She also mentioned examples from England that the British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated that municipalities are not doing the job properly, it is about waste management companies. He has requested from municipality that it may be a joint venture company. Precisely this reduction of employees and operations of companies has come from the fiscal crisis, where difficult decisions for citizens services like many services, such as environment, social, education affected by these reforms have been if workers are fired, the state has provided social assistance for them.

So the basic point is that the officer that has taken to implement a work, accountability was required by the responsible individual, and one of the principles of the EU is accountability, or in political language it is transparency, but on the third element it is the legality and enforcement of laws, so we will be intertwined with the aforementioned opinion that the center tends to keep more power while municipality requires to have more competencies, precisely in public management with the public goods.

That is why Blair stressed that municipalities are not working properly, so requested the citizen to be in decision making. According to Mr Tahiri, it is exactly crises that make us to reform.
By linking with the Kosovo, Besnik Tahiri stressed that reforms are very related (product), in beginning the system must function, to fire some, who immediately returns to social case because the state is unable to provide assistance in firing cases as a result of administrative reforms, as a result of meeting the education criteria, irresponsibility, unaccountability or not implementation consequences at work. Finally, Mr.Tahiri concluded by stressing that one should not think that he is most important man, but become one part, though generally motivation is decreased. Topic-II, Principles of European administrative space, strategies of public administration reform in Kosovo, key elements of reform processes in the EU.

On the second part of her lecture, prof. O'Donovan was focused on what the government of Kosovo has adopted a strategy of public administration reform:

•    It consists of three commitments which the government will serve citizens and businesses
•    To be effective in providing administrative services
•    To be cost-effective and
•    To be European in organization and working methods

In this lecture she started that, we have a Mayor of the municipality, advisor then directors and civil servants. Mayors and Directors are part of the party, but operate in municipality.
Balancing of issues – municipal government system should be balanced between the government (executive) and the municipal assembly. She also stressed the law for keeping executives responsible should be functional, so accountable.

Budget - in formulating the budget, the executives bring it to the assembly. This showed an example of her country that the municipality is governed by party A, B, C, D. It is given to civil servants, while small parties do not have to show their plans. There are three budget forms coming to assembly, and budget that becomes law is the one which exceeds 51 votes. In England there is a requirement by law ... those civil servants, they must demonstrate it in assembly on how they formulated it, explain in detail. Executive Budget must pass in parliament and should have balancing elements.

192 languages are spoken in England (different countries have come to England), the important thing was to be educated, thus have the right to apply for jobs, and if not handled correctly they can put the judicial process. Civil servants have performed work that is prescribed, recruitment is neutral, and Parliament has the right to keep the executive accountable. The system supports assembly members, and should also support executive in order to be responsible (accountable). The power of Mayor, the division of power (responsibilities), in order to share information, to be treated well and pass to the party (calls that this is a good leader), is politically astute. There must be consequences to executive (political), directors who do not perform properly, and he will no longer be on that duty.

Principles of the European Administrative Space are:

1.    The rule of law: legitimacy, credibility and pre-visibility
2.    Sincerity and transparency
3.    legal accountability
4.    Efficiency and fairness

Key elements of the reform process in the EU during the last 20 years:

•    Greater focus on results and increased value for money
•    Delegation of powers and extended flexibility
•    Strengthen accountability and control
•    Customer and service orientation
•    Strengthened capacities for policy and strategy development
•    Introduction of competition and other market elements
•    Correct relations with other levels of government

Besnik Tahiri, Master of Science for Decentralized Governance and International Development


Culture needs to be changed, to put into the system (control and monitoring) must be present. Addressing of assembly, is problem because they are elected by the people, but on the other hand they are representatives of political parties in parliament, which provide accountability only to the party they belong, and here is the disconnection between citizen. When you are educated, thoughtful, and become a member of the political party, it is called the wise politics. There should be consequence, because if no consequence and responsibility at work, then it will not be performed properly thus will stagnate in some areas. A policy system that has mechanism of (control, monitoring) and motivation (stimulation), is a good policy. Measuring performance is not by checking entering and exiting at work, but by service delivery to citizens.

Fatmir Haxholli, Master of Contemporary European Studies

Municipalities should develop an action plan to meet the criteria that are required for integration or approaching in Europe, according to the criteria and guidelines by the EU that are required to be met, such a thing for meeting these criteria is required by central level from local authorities. Local authority should get acts, which must be consistent with national laws and the EU. It was considered as necessary that the office for those services to citizens need to be more dynamic in terms of more efficient delivery of information and services to citizens.

Municipalities must make these improvements:

•    Human capacity building
•    Local governments are not good at managing finances, with public funds
•    Administration with loaded staff
•    Respecting the competences of local level given by central level (municipal)
Lecturer, Haxholli stressed that municipalities should testify with a better planning, with data about the criteria that are required by the central level, which should be completed by municipalities, but so far they didn’t deliver the full details and statistics about at which stage they currently are.

Principles:
Impartiality,
Accountability,
Subsidiary – in order to perform a good work, authority should be transferred to local level - performance is the one of providing a better service to the citizen.