The Reform of the Government of Serbia General Secretariat
In the process of accessing European Union, the Government of the Republic of Serbia is facing institutional reform challenge.
Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Government of the Republic of Serbia (Serbian) (1) and Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on October 2, 2009, marks official beginning of the strengthening coordination policy reform within the Government of the Republic of Serbia, implemented by Government of Serbia General Secretariat.
Within this reform, and aligned with SIGMA/OECD recommendations, Government of Serbia General Secretariat should become a central focal point whose main task is that in the decision-making process enables expert and technical assistance to the Government, and to improve Ministries and special organizations work efficiency so that they would be more efficient and coordinated in implementation of their various activities, all aimed at achieving Government’s priorities.
By establishing Department of Planning, Monitoring and Policy Coordination, Government of Serbia General Secretariat has initiated reform process of the system of development, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the public policies.
The long-run reform goal is improvement of the quality of support that General Secretariat will provide to the Government of Serbia in its decision making process.Midterm goals of policymaking and coordination reform are:
- Establishing of a single strategic planning model which would involve linkage of all relevant institutions (Ministries and special organizations). Strategic planning model will enable for:
- Government considerations of the need for strategic priorities to take place within the frame of a wide estimate of the economic, political and social situation,
- Harmonization of the strategic priorities with other strategic documents of the Government,
- Budget preparation process to take into consideration and to reflect Government strategic priorities,
- Ministries work plans to be aligned with strategic and budgetary priorities of the Government, and
- Prime Minister to opportunely receive regular updated information on activities affecting implementation of the strategic priorities and Government Annual Work Program.
- Creation, monitoring and evaluation of the strategic and operative plans and long-term goals of all relevant institutions.
- Incremental introduction of the overall information system.
Reform within Government of Serbia General Secretariat will be implemented in several phases.
The first phase of policymaking and coordination reform is implemented within the General Secretariat, aimed at creation of a strong central coordination body. This reform phase includes:
1. Reorganization and modernization of the General Secretariat work
General Secretariat is currently developing application that will enable more efficient planning, monitoring and reporting of the Government work.
By using this application, public administration bodies will experience significantly eased access to the planning process and production of annexes for Annual Government Work Program, as well as for Annual Government Report.
This application developed for the purpose of the General Secretariat entails considerably improved process of analysis of the users’ contributions, and creation of the Annual Government Work Program and Annual Government Report. The system for monitoring of the effects of the Government work will improve quality of the Annual Government Report because it will include criteria for measurement of the achieved results of the relevant institutions in line with strategic plans.
This application will be connected with Government E-Sessions application, and will enable more efficient monitoring of the Government Work Program realization.
Application will be accessible online via General Secretariat portal.
Read more on the application »
By employing expert and young team currently working on the Project within Department of Planning, Monitoring and Policy Coordination, the capacities of the General Secretariat are strengthened in the area of the efficient work performances related to the Sector’s activities.
2. Defining of the strategic planning model and preparation for the usage in all Ministries and special organizations
By developing strategic planning model, improvements are achieved in the area of standards and methodology developments towards implementation of the Government strategic and operative planning process, and its linkage with budget preparation process. The goal of this model development is for strategic planning process and budget development process to be effective and functionally interconnected.
The General Secretariat strives towards establishment of more effective communication, providing timely information and encouragement regarding consultations between Ministries and other bodies in the process of harmonization of the proposed initiatives with the new framework. In the process of adoption of new guidelines and obligations, the line Ministries will receive assistance from the General Secretariat in the form of information exchange, trainings and mentor support.
The second phase of policymaking and coordination reform relates to the straightening of the Ministries roles in the process of policymaking, and in parallel, capacity development of the General Secretariat for the provision of adequate support to the Ministries in the new process.
If Ministries don’t have capacities to develop proposals of the high quality, to perform consultations and to estimate influences, the General Secretariat cannot secure enacting decisions based on the good awareness. Making procedure of highly qualitative policy proposals and legal acts should include inter-ministerial consultations, involving all other stakeholders. Also, there should be capacities for development of proposals based on valid analysis composed out of ex ante estimate of the influences of the proposals and the periodical ex post estimate of the results. The General Secretariat will provide support in the proposal preparation process and consultation phase between Ministries, and will enable public policies coordination, analysis and provide advices in order to secure flow of the highly qualitative information to the decision makers.
The goal of the reform is redesigning of the policymaking process, so that policies are strategically oriented, focused on effects, unified, inclusive, flexible and innovative. This means amending existing practices in the General Secretariat, as well as in line Ministries; developing sector approach, integration and more efficient utilization of IT technologies, as well as developing of new skills and knowledge of the civil servants.
1 On behalf of the Republic of Serbia, the Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Government’s General Secretary (go back)